It makes me happy to work. And it makes me a better mother to be a happy person.

Cheryl Ruth Hines was born on September 21, 1965 in Miami Beach, Florida, to Rosemary (Graham) and James Hines, and grew up in Tallahassee, Florida. She went to West Virginia University, Florida State University and graduated from the University of Central Florida. She studied theater and television production, but it was not until she moved to Los Angeles and studied at the Groundlings Theater that she felt she had really learned anything about comedy. Her first teacher there was Lisa Kudrow. She learned to improvise and write comedy sketches. This experience helped her prepare for the role of Larry David's wife on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000). The dialogue on the situation comedy is improvised, so she feels right at home. She still performs at the Groundlings Theater when she has a chance.

Before getting her break in Hollywood, Hines worked as a waitress, television reporter, and telephone operator, as well as personal assistant to Rob Reiner, when she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. Though Reiner did not play a critical role in her career, he would watch her shows when she began acting. She has had guest appearances on television shows such as Swamp Thing and Unsolved Mysteries.

Hines serves as the executive producer for the 2010 reality series School Pride, which follows the renovation of a different school each week. Hines starred as Dallas Royce on the ABC sitcom Suburgatory and in We Need Help a web series aired on Yahoo Screen.

On January 29, 2014, Hines received the 2,516th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.