TV Discussion

Cheers: What are the cast up to now?

The US sitcom Cheers, set in a Boston bar run by former baseball player Sam Malone (Ted Danson), first aired 35 years ago this week. The sitcom ran for 11 years and well over 200 episodes, as well as spawning one of television’s most popular spin off shows, Frasier, starring Kelsey Grammer. Over the course of the show, we saw womaniser Sam make many attempts at wooing his new barmaid Diane, played by Shelly Long, as well as the adventures of the staff and patrons of the bar.

It also had one of the best theme tunes of any TV programme ever.

Here we look at what happened to the cast of Cheers….

Ted Danson (Sam Malone)

After Cheers, Danson featured in a number of movies; none of which hit the heights of Three Men and a Baby, which he starred in while Cheers was still running, although he did have a cameo in Saving Private Ryan.

He has had more success in television. As well as a number of cameos, bit parts and one offs, he found a minor hit in the sitcom Becker, where he played a disgruntled doctor. Danson also had a major role in three different series of the CSI franchise and in 2015 played Sheriff Hank Larsson in Fargo. Currently he is starring in NBC comedy The Good Place.

Woody Harrelson (Woody Boyd)

Harrelson came to the show to replace Nicholas Colasanto’s Coach after the actor passed away and has had huge success on the silver screen since the bar closed. He has twice been nominated for Academy Awards, first for his role in 1996’s The People vs. Larry Flynt and then in 2009 for The Messenger.

You will have also seen him in A Scanner Darkly, No Country For Old Men, Seven Pounds, Zombieland, 2012, The Hunger Games series, Seven Psychopaths, War for the Planet of the Apes and he will be playing Han Solo’s mentor in the upcoming Star Wars spinoff scheduled for  2018. In television he starred alongside Matthew McConaughey in the acclaimed first season of True Detective.

Kelsey Grammer (Frasier Crane)

As already mentioned, after Cheers Grammer took his character, the psychologist Frasier, in to his own show which lasted for 11 years meaning he played the role for almost two decades.

He has also voiced Bart’s nemesis Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons since 1990 and has starred in Boss and Back to You. He has also had success with in movies playing Hank McCoy/Beast in the X-Men movie franchise and roles in Toy Story 2, Transformers: Age of Extinction and The Expendables 3.

Shelly Long (Diane Chambers)

After leaving Cheers in 1987 after five seasons, Long has failed to hit the same heights. Her most notable appearances have been reprising he role as Diane in Frasier and a bit part on Modern Family as DeDe Pritchett.

Kristie Alley (Rebecca Howe)

The replacement for Diane and Shelly Long, Alley joined the show as the new manager of the bar who, like Diane, Sam tries to hook up with.

Like many of the former cast members she has featured in a number of TV movies and had a number of one off appearances in TV shows including a pilot for a US version of The Vicar of Dibley. Alley also had her own reality show ‘Kirstie Alley’s Big Life‘ and is a Dancing With the Stars Runner Up.

Rhea Perlman (Carla Tortelli)

Perlman played the fiery and feisty barmaid Carla (because every show that has a bar needs a fiery and feisty barmaid) who often butted heads with Diane and the customers.

Perlman appeared in the pilot episode of the first Cheers spin off, the short lived The Tortellis, which aired while Cheers was still running. Since finishing the show, she featured in Matilda alongside her partner Danny DeVito and has been in a huge number of TV shows and made for TV movies.

John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin)

Postman and know it all Cliff was a character pitched by Ratzenberger himself after failing to get the roll as Norm. He and George Wendt were a great duo for the duration of the show.

Since Cheers, you will probably know Ratzenberger for his voice more than anything else as he has a role in virtually all of Pixar’s movies. Most notably he voices Hamm in the Toy Story films but has also been the Abominable Snowman in Monsters Inc, The Underminer in The Incredibles, Mack in Cars, John in Wall-E and Earl in The Good Dinosaur.

George Wendt (Norm Peterson)


Has done the least of any of the stars of Cheers since the show finished, again mainly the odd reality appearance or guest spot.

Are you a fan of the legendary US sitcom? Know an interesting bit of trivia about these actors that we don’t? Let us know in the comments section.

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