Cast of Cheers: where are Kirstie Alley, Shelley Long and Ted Danson now - what is the TV show cast doing?
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Kirstie Alley, well known for her role in the US sitcom Cheers, has died at the age of 71 after a brief battle with cancer. Her family announced the news on social media, describing her as an “amazing mother and grandma.”
Their statement read: “To all our friends, far and wide around the world… We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered.
“She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead. As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”
Alley was best remembered for her role as Rebecca Howe in the NBC sitcom Cheers, on which she first appeared on in 1987, rapidly becoming a fan favourite for her part opposite Ted Danson’s womanising bar tender Sam Malone. She portrayed Howe on the show until it ended in 1993, winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the character in 1991.
Cheers is still considered one of the most iconic sitcoms of all time, but where are the rest of Alley’s castmates now, and what have they done since the famous show came to an end?
Here is everything you need to know.
Ted Danson as Sam ‘Mayday’ Malone
Malone was an ex-professional baseball player, and the owner of the titular ‘Cheers’ bar around which the sitcom was set. As the proprietor and bartender, he frequently engaged in amusing dialogue with customers and employees, and was also popular with female visitors.
Danson received two Golden Globes and two Emmys for his performance, and has since gone on to become something of cult a cultural icon, appearing in a number of prominent television shows like The Good Place and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Danson has also appeared in several films, including the buddy comedy Three Men and a Baby and its sequel, as well as the Oscar-winning Saving Private Ryan. Danson was most recently seen in the 2021 sitcom Mr. Mayor, and the 2017 sci-fi sitcom The Orville, both of which were developed by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.
Shelley Long as Diane Chambers
Diane Chambers was a cocktail waitress hired by Malone. The pair frequently argued due to their disparate backgrounds and general attitudes, but despite their turbulent relationship, they attempted to make it work romantically several times.
Long won an Emmy and two Golden Globes for her role as Diane, and maintained her television career after her stint in Cheers. She played Diane again in the Cheers spin-off Frasier (for which she received another Emmy nomination), and recently appeared as Claire and Cam’s mother in eight episodes of Modern Family.
Rhea Perlman as Carla Tortelli
Perlamn received four Emmys for her performance as Carla Tortelli, a sarcastic and belligerent waitress who frequently made jokes at the expense of her customers, and who’s plotlines centred around her ex-husband and her hunt for a stepfather for her children.
Perlman most recently performed in the Netflix musical 13, and has been in episodes of popular shows such as Frasier (reprising her role as Tortelli), Ally McBeal and Law & Order over the years, and has appeared in cult classic films such as Matilda (directed by her then-husband, Danny DeVito). She will appear in the Barbie film in 2023.
John Ratzenberger as Cliff Clavin
Cliff Clavin was a regular at the bar who was frequently mocked because he lived with his mother and had no romantic relationships. John Ratzenberger received two Emmy nominations for his performance as Clavin.
If Ratzenberger sounds familiar, that’s because he has appeared as a voice actor in nearly every Pixar film; he voiced Hamm in the first ever Pixar film, Toy Story, and has had a role in every subsequent one until 2020’s Soul. In addition to Hamm, he has played the Abominable Snowman in Monster’s Inc., the Underminer in The Incredibles and The Incredibles 2, and Mack in the Cars trilogy.
George Wendt as Norman ’Norm’ Peterson
The most devoted Cheers patron, Norm kept a running tab at the bar for years, was well-known among the employees and always greeted loudly when he entered the bar. Actor George Wendt received six Emmy nods for his performance.
Wendt continues to appear in television shows and films, and has appeared in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, his own self-titled series The George Wendt Show, as well as reprising his role as Norm on Frasier. He also appeared on Saturday Night Live several times in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane
Arguably Cheers’ most famous character, Grammer was nominated for two Emmys for his portrayal as Frasier on Cheers, before starring in the character’s own spin-off sitcom for another 11 seasons (meaning Grammer portrayed Frasier for a total of 20 year). He received ten Emmy nominations for Frasier, winning three.
Since the end of Frasier, Grammer has appeared in a number of sitcoms, including Modern Family, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and 30 Rock.
He also voices Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons, and has appeared in some of the most popular film series of all time, including X-Men, Transformers and The Expendables. Grammer said in 2021 that he will reprise his role as Frasier in a revival series, which has yet to air.
Woody Harrelson as Woody Boyd
Woody was Cheers’ simple-minded and kind-hearted bartender, a role for which Woody Harrelson won an Emmy.
Harrelson is now an Oscar nominated actor, with a career littered with memorable parts. He received his first Academy Award nomination for his performance as Larry Flynt in the film The People vs. Larry Flynt, and throughout the 1990s, he was in films such as Natural Born Killers.
Zombieland, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, War for the Planet of the Apes, and the Hunger Games franchise are among Harrelson’s other famous films, and in 2009 and 2018, he received two additional Oscar nominations for The Messenger and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, respectively.