*Terrence Howard slipped under the radar to marry his girlfriend Michelle Ghent-Howard … back in January.

Michelle Ghent Howard (Facebook photo)

The actor, about to suit up as Nelson Mandela opposite Jennifer Hudson in the biopic “Winnie,” was at the Cannes Film Festival in France this week to promote the film when he told reporters that being at the event with his new wife is “the best feeling in the world.”

Ghent-Howard, a 33-year-old commercial production worker, married Terrence in a small wedding ceremony in Los Angeles at the beginning of 2010, but the couple has kept it under wraps – until now.

An insider told UsMagazine.com: “Terrence is so in love with her and she’s a great, down-to-earth girl who really understands and loves him for him. He feels so lucky.”

Howard, 41, was previously married to Lori McCommas for 14 years and has three children with her.