When Meghan Markle tied the knot with Prince Harry in May 2018, she waved goodbye to her old life and was thrust into the royal spotlight. While the Suits alum has not appeared in an acting role since 2016, many have wondered how she got her start in Hollywood.
Was Meghan Markle on ‘Deal or No Deal’?
The Dater’s Handbook star did indeed model for the game show Deal or No Deal during its second season while trying to jumpstart her acting career. The show’s host at the time, Howie Mandel, reflected on working with the star from 2006 to 2007.
“She was slightly duchessy,” he told reporters during a Television Critics Association press tour panel in August 2018. “That speaks to who we have now and who we had then. Not everybody will have an opportunity to meet royalty, but these are all accomplished people that have something substantial. They’re not just standing there holding a case — they have careers, they have hobbies, they have families, they’re entrepreneurial.”
Howie continued, “So when somebody like Harry meets somebody who just happened to be on our show, there’s a lot to offer!”
The America’s Got Talent judge’s comments came just a few months after he revealed that he didn’t even remember Meghan being on the show.
“To be honest, I don’t even remember her. I don’t. I don’t,” he admitted to E! News in May 2018. “I’d like to say I do and if she’s watching, and she’s not, right?” He then joked while looking into the camera, “I don’t remember you. I don’t remember you. I’ve seen a lot of pictures, and I don’t …”
Perhaps that’s why Meghan left him off the guest list for her wedding. “I feel shunned I was not invited. I gave her her start. I’m not going to watch,” he quipped at the time. “I will not be watching.”
The comedian then joked about how Deal or No Deal set Meghan up for royalty. “I believe that that’s always the previous step to royalty — you’re a case holder and then you’re a duchess,” Howie said. “I said to her, ‘You start with Howie. You move to Harry. Howie to Harry.’”
Maybe the game show wouldn’t have been such an “or-Deal” if Meghan had actually toted the winning briefcase … like, once.
“I didn’t ever have it,” she told Esquire in February 2018. “I don’t think I did. I was the ill-fated No. 26, which for some reason, no one would ever choose. I would end up standing up there forever in these terribly uncomfortable and inexpensive 5-inch heels just waiting for someone to pick my number so I could go and sit down.”
Actually, it looks like she was briefcase 24 gal, not 26, but we don’t blame her for blotting out that detail from her memory!
Will Meghan Markle Return for the ‘Deal or No Deal’ Spinoff?
In August 2023, it was announced that a new spinoff called Deal or No Deal Island was coming to NBC. Howie will serve as executive producer of the show, which will be hosted by Joe Manganiello. While fans have been holding out hope that Meghan will return to the series in some capacity, she has not announced any official plans for an appearance on the game show.
Meghan previously denounced the show during an episode of her “Archetypes” podcast, revealing that she felt like she was reduced to a “bimbo” while holding the briefcase.
“Now, my experience on the show, which included holding said briefcase on stage, alongside 25 other women doing the same was … for me, fascinating,” she recalled in October 2022. “There were times when I was on set at Deal or No Deal and thinking back to my time working as an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina, in Buenos Aires … and being in the motorcade with the Secretary of Treasury at the time and being valued specifically for my brain. Here I was being valued for something quite the opposite.”