WHERE ARE THEY NOW: The cast of 'Cheers' 40 years later

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: The cast of 'Cheers' 40 years later
  • "Cheers" turned 40 years old on September 30.

  • The show remains one of the most iconic sitcoms of all time.

  • Oscar-nominated actor Woody Harrelson got his start as Woody Boyd, the bartender at Cheers.

Ted Danson portrayed Sam "Mayday" Malone for all 11 seasons. He was the owner of the titular bar, Cheers.

Ted
Ted Danson as Sam Malone.CBS

Sam was a witty ex-professional baseball player who bought the bar earlier in his life. Ironically, the former Red Sox pitcher was a recovering alcoholic.

He served as the owner and bartender, often engaging in cheeky banter with Cheers patrons and employees. Sam was also popular with the ladies, and had a love-hate relationship with cocktail waitress Diane Chambers, played by Shelley Long.

Danson won two Golden Globes and two Emmys for his role as Sam.

Danson has gone on to become a cultural icon, appearing in several major television shows.

Ted
Ted Danson.Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Danson, 74, has graced our television screens for decades, acting in award-winning series that have become staples in pop culture like "Frasier" (as Sam) and "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Over the years, he's also starred in shows like "Fargo," "CSI: Crime Investigation," "CSI: Cyber," "Damages," "Becker," "Bored to Death," and "The Good Place."

Additionally, Danson has also co-starred in multiple movies, including the buddy comedy film "Three Men and a Baby" and its sequel "Three Men and a Little Lady," and the Oscar-winning "Saving Private Ryan."

More recently Danson starred in the 2021 sitcom "Mr. Mayor" and the 2017 sci-fi sitcom "The Orville," which was created by "Family Guy" show creator Seth MacFarlane.

From 2015 to 2020, Danson also voiced a character in a few episodes of MacFarlane's animated comedy "American Dad!"

Danson has been married to actress Mary Steenburgen since 1995.

Shelley Long played Diane Chambers, a feisty cocktail waitress who Sam hired after she was dumped. She left after five seasons.

Diane
Shelley Long as Diane Chambers.CBS

Diane often clashed with Sam because of their different backgrounds and general vibes. She was very opinionated, book-smart, and frequently snooty.

Despite the volatile nature of her and Sam's relationship, they attempted to make it work romantically frequently throughout the show.

During one of their "off" periods, she fell in love and got engaged to Dr. Frasier Crane, played by Kelsey Grammer, but left him at the altar to be with Sam — but that didn't last either.

Diane left "Cheers" after season five, but returned in the final episode of season 11.

Long won an Emmy and two Golden Globes for her role as Diane.

Long's latest role was in the 2022 film "Give Me Pity!"

Shelley
Shelley Long in 2017.David Livingston/Getty Images

After her role in "Cheers," Long, 73, continued her television work, starring in the series "Kelly Kelly." She also reprised her role as Diane in the Cheers spin-off "Frasier." She was nominated for another Emmy for her performance in "Frasier."

In the '90s and early 2000s, Long portrayed Carol Brady (the matriarch of the Brady family) in the "The Brady Bunch Movie," as well as the follow-up films "A Very Brady Sequel" and "The Brady Bunch in the White House."

As of late, she appeared in eight episodes of "Modern Family" as Claire and Cam's mother, and the 2021 film "The Cleaner."

Rhea Perlman portrayed the sharp-tongued and quick-witted waitress Carla Tortelli for all 11 seasons.

rhea perlman in cheers
Rhea Perlman as Carla Tortelli.CBS/Getty Images

Carla was a waitress like Diane, however she was a lot more brazen than her. She was sarcastic, confrontational, and often made jokes at the customers' expense.

Carla was also the mother of eight children, and much of her plotlines revolved around her ex-husband and her search for a stepfather for her kids.

Perlman won four Emmys for her role as Carla.

Perlman recently appeared in the 2022 Netflix musical "13."

Rhea
Rhea Perlman.Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Over the years Perlman, 74, has appeared in episodes of huge shows like "Frasier" (as Carla), "Ally McBeal," and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

Perlman has also been in many short-lived television shows including "Kate Brasher," "Pearl," "Hung" and "Robot and Monster." Alongside television, she has also starred in iconic cult classic films like "Matilda" (which was directed by her husband Danny DeVito), "Class Act" and "Sunset Park."

Perlman is still acting in popular shows, and has recently appeared in series such as "The Mindy Project," "Me and My Grandma," and "The Goldbergs."

In 2022, she had a role in the coming-of-age musical film "13," which is based on the 2008 Broadway musical of the same name. Next year, she'll be in the "Barbie" film.

Outside of television and movies, she's also a children's book author. In the mid-2000s, Perlman authored the book series "Otto Undercover."

Perlman was married to her "Matilda" co-star Danny DeVito from 1982 to 2012, though they've never formally divorced. They share three children together.

John Ratzenberger portrayed the brainy mailman and frequent Cheers customer Cliff Clavin throughout the entire show.

Cliff
John Ratzenberger as Cliff Clavin.CBS

Cliff was a regular at the bar and knew a lot of trivia — or at least, he claimed to. He was made fun of a lot because he lived with his mom and had no love life to speak of. Cliff's best friend was fellow bar patron Norm Peterson.

Ratzenberger earned two Emmy nominations for his role as Cliff.

Ratzenberger has had a voice role in almost every Pixar movie. He recently had a voice role in the 2020 Skydance film "Luck."

John
John Ratzenberger.Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

Once "Cheers" ended, Ratzenberger, 75, continued to get roles in notable television shows like "Murphy Brown," "That 70's Show," "8 Simple Rules," and many others.  He also appeared on "Frasier" as Cliff.

While Ratzenberger might be known as a popular on-screen actor, his legacy expands beyond just television. He's appeared in the films "Superman," "Superman II," and "Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back," among many others.

However, Ratzenberger's most iconic legacy remains his association with Pixar. He voiced Hamm in the first-ever Pixar movie, "Toy Story," and had a voice role in every single one, until 2020's "Soul," though his likeness was seen. Besides Hamm, his other famous Pixar roles include the Abominable Snowman in "Monster's Inc., " the Underminer in "Incredibles" and "Incredibles 2," and Mack in the "Cars" franchise.

He had a role in the Disney+ series "Monsters at Work" in 2021.

George Wendt portrayed Norman "Norm" Peterson, a daily customer who sat at the same bar-stool everyday for 11 seasons.

george wendt as norm
George Wendt as Norm Peterson.CBS/Getty Images

Norm was the most loyal Cheers customer, and had a running tab at the bar for years.

He was very well-known by the employees, and always received a loud greeting whenever he entered the bar. Each day, Norm enjoyed a drink at the bar next to his best friend Cliff.

Wendt earned six Emmy nominations for his role as Norm.

Wendt still appears in television shows and movies. He will be in the upcoming films "Christmas with the Campbells" and "Love's Second Act."

George
George Wendt.Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Throughout his career Wendt, 73, has acted in various television shows ("The Naked Truth," "Madigan Men," "Sabrina the Teenage Witch"), and even starred in his own self-titled series "The George Wendt Show." Additionally, he appeared as Norm once again on "Frasier."

He also had repeated appearances on "Saturday Night Live" in the '90s and early 2000s.

In the past few years, Wendt has also been in hilarious movies, co-starring in comedy films such as "Grand-Daddy Day Care" and  "Americanish."

Wendt has been married to actress Bernadette Birkett since 1978.

Fun fact: Wendt's nephew is none other than "Ted Lasso" creator Jason Sudeikis.

Starting in season six, Kirstie Alley played the career driven bar manager Rebecca Howe.

Rebecca
Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe.CBS

After Sam sold Cheers to a large corporation in the beginning of season six, Howe was appointed as the bar manager by its new owners. She was hardworking, occasionally selfish, very neurotic, and eventually got romantically involved with Sam, but it didn't last.

Alley won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role as Rebecca.

Alley recently starred in the Lifetime movie "You Can't Take My Daughter" in 2020.

Kirstie
Kirstie Alley.Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Alley, 71, has had a successful acting career after "Cheers." She earned another Emmy nod for her starring role as the title character Veronica in "Veronica's Closet."

Also, Alley has been many movies that are now cult favorites like "It Takes Two," which co-starred the Olsen twins, "Look Who's Talking," "Looking Who's Talking Too," "Look Who's Talking Now," "Drop Dead Gorgeous," and "Deconstructing Harry."

She was even in the "Star Trek" universe, appearing in the 1982 film "Star Trek II:Wrath of the Khan."

In 2005, she played a fictionalized version of herself in the Showtime series "Fat Actress."

Not only has Alley been in many television shows and movies, but she's also been in a few reality show competitions like "Dancing With the Stars" and "Celebrity Big Brother (UK)."

In 2010, she had her own reality show called "Kirstie Alley's Big Life." The show chronicled Alley's personal life.

Kelsey Grammer portrayed psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane. He was a therapist to both Sam and Diane. He joined "Cheers" in season three, and remained until the end.

Kelsey
Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane.CBS

Frasier was a sensitive intellectual who got quickly engaged to Diane during season three. After Diane left him for Sam, Frasier began casually drinking to cope ... and eventually he started drinking so often at Cheers that Diane asked Sam to intervene.

Although Frasier got his drinking under control, he still remained a consistent customer at Cheers. He often tried to contribute professional knowledge and sound advice to group discussions at the bar, though he was usually ignored.

Grammer earned two Emmy nominations for his role as Frasier on "Cheers."

Grammer went on to continue his role from "Cheers" in the spin-off series "Frasier."

Kelsey
Kelsey Grammer.Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

After "Cheers" ended, Grammer, 67, took Frasier to the west coast and began starring on "Frasier." The show lasted another 11 seasons, meaning Grammer played Frasier for a total of 20 years. He was nominated for 10 Emmys for "Frasier," winning three.

Grammer has appeared on numerous sitcoms since the end of "Frasier," such as "Modern Family," "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "30 Rock," and "Carol's Second Act." He also voices Sideshow Bob in "The Simpsons."

He also has played dramatic roles, like Dr. Geoffrey Skadden in "Dr. Death," and Gore Bellows in "Proven Innocent."

On the big screen, Grammer has been in some of the biggest movie franchises ever, including "X-Men," "Transformers," and "The Expendables." He co-starred with his "Cheers" cast-mate John Ratzenberger in "Monster's Inc.," as well.

In 2021, it was announced that Grammer would reprise his role as Frasier in a revival series, though it hasn't premiered yet.

 

Woody Harrelson portrayed the country bartender Woody Boyd, beginning in season four. He remained on the show through its end.

Woody
Woody Harrelson at Woody Boyd.CBS

Woody was the simple-minded and kind-hearted bartender at Cheers. He initially came to Boston from the Midwest to meet his pen pal, who happened to be Cheers' bartender Ernie "Coach" Pantusso.

But, sadly, when he arrived, he found out that Coach had died (due to the real-life death of actor Nicholas Colasanto), Sam hired Woody on the spot, and took on a big brother role with him.

Harrelson won an Emmy for his role as Woody Boyd.

Harrelson is now an Oscar-nominated actor, and will be in the upcoming 2023 sports film "Champions."

Woody
Woody Harrelson.Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Harrelson's career is filled with iconic roles that showcase his incredible dramatic acting skills.

He played Larry Flynt in the biopic "The People vs. Larry Flynt," which led to his first Oscar nomination. Throughout the '90s, he appeared in iconic films like "Natural Born Killers" and "White Men Can't Jump."

Other memorable movies that Harrelson, 61, has done include "Zombieland" and its sequel, "Now You See Me" and its sequel, "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," "The Edge of Seventeen," "Friends with Benefits," "War for the Planet of the Apes," and the "Hunger Games" franchise.

He earned two more Oscar nominations in 2009 and 2018, for "The Messenger" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," respectively.

On the TV front, Harrelson reprised his role as Woody in an episode of "Frasier," a performance which got him another Emmy nomination. Most famously, he starred in the first season of "True Detective," which also garnered him an Emmy nod.

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