When Cheryl Hines landed the role of Larry David's wife in the original Curb Your Enthusiasm special that evolved into the beloved comedy series (which returns for its ninth season on Sunday, Oct. 1) she was an unknown. David wanted it that way, because the show, especially in its early days, had a mockumentary format and he wanted it to feel as real as possible. Having a recognizable actress play his wife would ruin the illusion. That realism, plus the fact that Hines used her actual first name for the character, made people think that Hines and David were married in real life, a misinterpretation that is weirdly persistent even 17 years after the series premiered. When you type "Cheryl Hines" into Google, "Is Cheryl Hines really married to Larry David?" still comes up as a top result.
"When I'm going through the security line at the airport, people will be like 'oh my god, you're Larry David's wife!'" Hines tells TV Guide. "I say "Yeah! Okay, can I just get my laptop bag?'" A bit of Cheryl David's wryness slips into Hines' voice as she says this, and she cracks her signature extravagant smile.
At the end of the day, Hines is fine with the confusion, though. And she's even fine with people pretending she's married to David even when they know she isn't.
"People have said, and more than one, 'I know you're not really married to Larry David, but I want you to be, and I like to think that you are," Hines says. "It's nice. It's like, alright, you stay in that reality. That's fine. You're not hurting anybody."
Hines is actually married to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. One of the ways that her real life is like Curb Your Enthusiasm is that both she and Cheryl David go to a lot of fundraisers and benefits, because that's the world Hines and her character both live in. Hines will see someone like Ted Danson at an event in real life, and then a week later she'll go to work on Curb and she'll shoot a scene where she sees Ted Danson at an event. So, really, it's easy to be confused about what's real and what's not real on Curb Your Enthusiasm. The lines are definitely blurry.
But Cheryl isn't even married to Larry on the show anymore. They got divorced in Season 8 back in 2011. Cheryl's back for Season 9, however, which may seem a little odd, but since she and Larry are still friendly and move in the same social circle it feels organic. Other than that, though, she can't say anything about Cheryl's arc this season because HBO has sworn her to secrecy. So if you want to know if Cheryl and Larry will reconcile, you're just going to have to tune in. But remember: even if they get remarried in the show, that still doesn't mean they're married in real life.
Curb Your Enthusiasm's long-awaited ninth season premieres Sunday, Oct. 1 at 10/9c on HBO.