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Who plays Howard Hamlin’s wife Cheryl in Better Call Saul?

Bruno Cooke May 17, 2022
Who plays Howard Hamlin’s wife Cheryl in Better Call Saul?
Photo by: Barbara Nitke/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

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Better Call Saul season 6 episode 6, Axe And Grind, aired last night, to positive reviews. Among other things, it properly introduces Howard Hamlin’s wife Cheryl, played by Sandrine Holt. What do we know about the character, and the woman that plays her?

In which episode of Better Call Saul did Howard Hamlin’s wife Cheryl first come up?

In season 6 episode 4 of Better Call Saul, notes one keen-eyed audience member in the r/betterCallSaul subreddit, “we finally hear [Saul] talk about his wife Cheryl”.

“He implies that their relationship is currently strained.”

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Season 6 episode 4 marks the first instance of her coming up in conversation during the entire series. Such was its significance then that the OP (above) speculated that Better Call Saul’s writers were setting Cheryl up to leave Howard over his scheming practices.

And now, finally, audiences have met Cheryl Hamlin for themselves. So, what do we know about her, and the woman that plays her?

Meet Cheryl Hamlin, and British-Canadian actress Sandrine Holt

Rolling Stone’s episode recap notes that, in Axe And Grind’s first present-day scene, Howard Hamlin is living in his guest house, “and it appears his marriage to Cheryl now exists in name only”.

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The two remain cordial to one another, however. Howard goes “out of his way” to prepare Cheryl’s morning coffee – with a “peace sign” in the foam”. He is meticulous; Cheryl, however, “barely looks at the thing” and perfunctorily pours it into a travel mug.

One Reddit user described the interaction thus: “He was trying so hard, while [she gave him] all the affection of a passing bus”.

Born 19 November 1972, Sandrine Holt is a veteran of the small screen. Her recent TV credits include The Expanse (2020), Homeland (2018) and MacGyver (2016-17), but she’s been in plenty else besides.

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She also played Gillian Cole in House Of Cards (from 2013 to 2014), Julie Han in The Returned (2015) and Susan Jacobs in Mr Robot (2016).

Fans react to Sandrine Holt being cast as Howard Hamlin’s wife

The appearance of Cheryl Hamlin, six and a half seasons (and seven years) into Better Call Saul, has caused quite a stir among BCS fans.

That Howard Hamlin’s wife is actually real appears to have floored some longstanding viewers. One wrote that having to look at Howard and Cheryl together was a “cruel and unusual punishment”.

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One tweeted that they could “treat Cheryl better than Howard Hamlin ever could”; another wrote simply, “What is going on”. 

It’s turned out to be a pretty major revelation for fans of the show. But for Sandrine Holt, the role of Cheryl Hamlin is just one in a long string of high profile film and TV roles.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.