The Tragic Death Of Sheryl Underwood's Husband

The following article includes details of suicide and depression.

Sheryl Underwood's happy and bubbly personality shines through on the CBS talk show "The Talk," and the comedian and host is often a source of levity and happiness for people all over the globe with her upbeat demeanor and infectious smile. However, the star has also had her brush with controversy. 

In March 2021, Underwood made headlines for an on-air verbal incident with her then co-host Sharon Osbourne after she publicly questioned "The Osbournes" star for defending close friend Piers Morgan amid very controversial comments he made about Meghan Markle following her and Prince Harry's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey. The drama resulted in Osbourne leaving "The Talk" and Morgan departing his British morning show, "Good Morning Britain."

On the show, Underwood isn't afraid to speak out and make her voice heard, but there's one very tragic part of her past that she understandably didn't open up about publicly for years: her marriage. Keep reading to learn the tragic details about Underwood's relationship.

Sheryl Underwood's husband died by suicide

Sheryl Underwood married a chef named Michael in 1987. However, three years into their marriage, he died by suicide after struggling with clinical depression, per People. The star didn't speak publicly about what happened for decades, but got very candid during an interview in 2016 where she opened up about the lasting impact his death had on her.

"I'll never forget it. I made him a German chocolate cake that morning, and I said, 'Drop the bills in the mailbox and I'll see you when you get home.' It's the most painful thing in the world because he is not coming back," she recalled to People of the tragic day in 1990, but added, "Everything I went through made me stronger. You may never forget it, but in remembering it you should make it better for the next person. I wouldn't change anything in my life, because I have learned so much about myself."

She also spoke to Inside Edition in March 2016 about her husband's passing and was asked if she ever blamed herself for his death. To that, she replied, "I asked all those questions." As for how she's managed to stay positive amid so much heartache over the years, Underwood shared, "I believe God doesn't give you more than you can bear."

What Sheryl Underwood wants people to know about suicide

Sheryl Underwood got a little more candid about Michael's death on "The Talk" in May 2022, speaking about her own experience with suicide following the tragic passing of country music star Naomi Judd. The co-hosts discussed a heartbreaking interview Naomi's daughter, Ashley Judd, did with "Good Morning America" in which she confirmed she was the one who found her dead.

Underwood shared that she often asks herself 'what if?' questions about her husband's death, but knows she will never get any answers. "You're making it about you [by asking 'what if'], because you're the person who was left behind. But if you look at it as when someone's sick and they die, we as a society say 'They're no longer in pain anymore. They're no longer hurt.' Doesn't mean we don't feel it and [we're] not left behind. When someone takes their life, I would want the world to say, 'They're no longer mentally in pain anymore,'" she said.

Underwood's candid words came after she spoke openly about her relationship with Michael and the way he ended his life with Maurice Benard on "State Of Mind" in November 2021. "If my husband had been alive to see what I became, or maybe could our marriage have sustained, in his action, I learned how to accept it but he had the last word," she shared. "There's no way in hell you can stop suicide," Benard passionately told her in response.

Sheryl Underwood has spoken out about getting help

Sheryl Underwood also got candid about the sad death of her late husband Michael on "The Talk" in June 2018, becoming emotional while the co-hosts discussed depression following the death of fashion designer Kate Spade. "You will never know. For people who think they know, you will never know. You'll never know if it's clinical depression. You'll never know if it's financial stress. You'll never know," Underwood said. She also spoke out about reports Spade had left a suicide note, confirming her husband had done the same before his passing. "What the note does to the person who's still alive, it shows that the person who's no longer alive has now had the final word," she shared.

Underwood added that the pain never goes away after someone passes away as a result of suicide. "For people that need help, they need to get the help that they need," she urged. "And for those left behind, you get help also."

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, or call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).