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Cast of 'Cheers': Where Are They Now?

Everybody knew their names — and we still do

  •  Cast of 'Cheers':  Where Are They Now?
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    Since the 80s and 90s

    For 11 years it was one of the most popular shows on TV. And for good reason: Cheers featured one of the most entertaining and beloved casts of characters ever put together in a sitcom. They stayed tight even with inevitable additions and departures. So it should be no surprise that the actors behind these characters have gone on to stage and screen success. Raise a glass to long-lived careers.

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  • Ted Danson, 69 (Sam Malone)
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    Ted Danson, 69 (Sam Malone)

    Danson’s Sam Malone was the sexy, self-obsessed center of the cast of misfit friends, but always a smiling face behind the bar for his regulars to talk to in times of need. He tried a movie career (Three Men and a Baby, Getting Even With Dad come to mind), but he is made for the smaller screen. Think about him in CSIDamages, Bored to Death and the second season of Fargo. Now, on NBC’s weird comedy The Good Place, Danson is bringing it again.

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  • George Wendt, 68 (Norm Peterson)
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    George Wendt, 68 (Norm Peterson)

    Wendt’s Norm was one of only two Cheers patrons to appear in every episode — understandably, by the finale, Sam Malone had to have Norm’s tab “calculated by NASA.” He went on to make appearances in many a TV show, including Columbo and The Larry Sanders Show. But outside of Cheers, Wendt is most famous for his role as Bob Swerski in the Saturday Night Live Super Fans sketchwhich in its heyday in the early 1990s became as popular as Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump today. A proficient theater actor, the stage has become his most common home of late. His roles have ranged from a juror in Twelve Angry Men to Tracy Turnblad’s father in Hairspray in 2016.

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  • John Ratzenberger, 70 (Cliff Clavin)
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    John Ratzenberger, 70 (Cliff Clavin)

    Like Norm, Ratzenberger’s Cliff also appeared in each episode. As the bar’s know-it-all mailman, however, he wasn’t quite as beloved by his barmate or Cheers fans as were the other mainstays. Even back when everyone knew his name, Ratzenberger’s voice was distinctive, and he has become a sought-after voice actor since the show ended. You can hear him in every Pixar animated film, most notably as Hamm the pig in Toy Story and Mack the truck in Cars.

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  • Rhea Perlman, 69 (Carla Tortelli)
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    Rhea Perlman, 69 (Carla Tortelli)

    For Perlman, Cheers was award magic. She earned six Golden Globe nominations for best supporting actress for her portrayal of the superstitious, cynical and opinionated waitress Carla. Perlman’s sitcom Pearl was short-lived, but she has had a recurring role in The Mindy Project as Annette Castellano. Her latest project is the comedy-drama film Lemon.

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  • Shelley Long, 68 (Diane Chambers)
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    Shelley Long, 68 (Diane Chambers)

    During the show’s first five seasons, Long’s educated and intellectual Diane was Sam’s foil, trading barbs with her amour during their characters’ on-and-off relationship. After leaving Cheers in 1987, Long embarked on a movie career — most notably playing Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie in 1995 and a sequel in 1996. But nothing brought the acclaim or award wins — including an Emmy and two Golden Globes — that Cheers did. More recently she has surfaced on ABC’s Modern Family, occasionally portraying DeDe Pritchett, the former wife of Ed O’Neill’s Jay.

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  • Kelsey Grammer, 62 (Frasier Crane)
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    Kelsey Grammer, 62 (Frasier Crane)

    His first appearance didn’t come until the third season, but Kelsey Grammer ended up with the longest run of a Cheers character. His spin-off Frasier became a hit on NBC for 11 seasons and 264 episodes. Since retiring Frasier in 2004, Grammer has won Emmys for his role as Mayor Tom Kane in Starz’s drama Boss and for his voice acting in the Netflix series Trollhunters. He’s also the voice behind Sideshow Bob, one of the most beloved recurring characters on The Simpsons.

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  • Woody Harrelson, 56 (Woody Boyd)
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    Woody Harrelson, 56 (Woody Boyd)

    After the wonderful Nicholas Colasanto died in 1985 following Season 3, Harrelson’s Woody took the job as new assistant bartender. Harrelson appeared in more than 200 episodes of Cheers before turning his comic work into a movie and television career that has earned him Oscar and Emmy nods for such projects as The People vs. Larry Flynt and the HBO miniseries True Detective. Perhaps the most successful of his castmates since the show’s finale, Harrelson seems always to have work. Among his six films in 2017 are War for the Planet of the Apes andThe Glass Castle.

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  • Kirstie Alley, 66 (Rebecca Howe)
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    Kirstie Alley, 66 (Rebecca Howe)

    Alley’s Rebecca came to Cheers at the beginning of Season 6 to replace Diane as a partner in witty, sexually charged banter with Danson’s Sam. Alley’s career after Cheers includes the popular Look Who’s Talking movies with John Travolta, as well as her own sitcom Veronica’s Closet. In 2016, she starred in the second season of Fox’s comedy-horror show Scream Queens. Her public weight travails put her on the cover of People and on Oprah in the 2000s, and also landed her a role as a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig.

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  • Bebe Neuwirth, 58 (Lilith Sternin)
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    Bebe Neuwirth, 58 (Lilith Sternin)

    Neuwirth wasn’t officially a main cast member until Season 10. As Lilith, she provided plenty of laughs as Frasier Crane’s intellectual snob equal and eventual wife. An accomplished musical theater actress and longtime dancer, Neuwirth has won two Tony Awards for her work on Broadway. She also has had several character roles on the small screen, including literary editor Caroline on HBO’s Bored to Death — where she reunited with Ted Danson — and Nadine Toliver, assistant to Tea Leoni’s title character on the CBS drama Madam Secretary.

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