Can you believe it’s been nearly 25 years since Cheers went off the air? We can’t! Because we still love the hit NBC sitcom so much today, we’re taking a look at what the iconic cast has been up to in recent years — and answering some of your burning questions about the show’s stars! Scroll down to see the Cheers cast then and now!
What are Ted Danson, Shelley Long, and Kirstie Alley up to now?
After playing bartender Sam Malone, Ted Danson portrayed Dr. John Becker on the sitcom Becker from 1998 until 2004, D.B. Russell on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation from 2001 to 2015, and now stars as Michael on The Good Place. Throughout his prolific acting career, Ted — who is married to Mary Steenburgen — has been nominated for 15 Emmys, 10 Golden Globes, and a SAG Award.
Kirstie then and now.
Shelley Long — who received an impressive five Emmy nominations portraying Diane Chambers on Cheers — has since appeared in movies Night Shift, Troop Beverly Hills, and The Brady Bunch Movie as well as on the hit TV series Modern Family. Kirstie Alley was honored with both a Golden Globe and Emmy Award for her time on Cheers. Since leaving character Rebecca Howe behind, the actress has starred on Veronica’s Closet, Hot in Cleveland, and Kirstie and appeared on reality shows Dancing With the Stars and Fat Actress.
Why did Diane Chambers (aka Shelley Long) leave Cheers?
After playing Diane for five seasons, actress Shelley decided to leave Cheers to instead pursue her movie career and spend more time with her family. Years later, Shelley’s co-star Ted — who played Diane’s on-again, off-again love, Sam — revealed there was on-set tension between himself and the actress due to their different modes of working.
Ted then and now.
Shelley later admitted she left the show because she “didn’t want to keep doing the same episode over and over again.” She continued, “Working at Cheers was a dream come true… it was one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. So, yes, I missed it, but I never regretted that decision.”
Is George Wendt (aka Norm Peterson) still alive?
Yes! George Wendt is 68 years old and still experiencing Hollywood success today. After playing beloved character Norm on Cheers, George starred in popular movies including Fletch, The Little Rascals, and Santa Baby, and on TV shows The George Wendt Show, Harry’s Law, and Clipped.
George then and now.
How old was Woody Harrelson when he appeared on Cheers?
Actor Woody Harrelson was just 24 years old when he made his Cheers debut as bartender Woody Boyd in 1985. It was his breakout Hollywood role and Woody was nominated five times — winning once! — for his time on the beloved show. Following the show, Woody starred in a plethora of popular movies including The Edge of Seventeen, No Country for Old Men, Zombieland, Transsiberian, The Messenger, and A Prairie Home Companion, just to name a few!
Are any of the Cheers stars dead?
Sadly, yes. Nicholas Colasanto, who played Coach Ernie Pantusso, unfortunately, passed away from a heart attack at age 61 in 1985. He wrapped his final Cheers episode just three months before his death. Actor Jay Thomas — who portrayed Rhea Perlman’s character Carla Tortelli’s husband Eddie LeBec on Cheers — recently died at age 69 in late August 2017 after battling cancer.
Shelley then and now.
Which Cheers stars appeared on the spin-off Frasier?
Lots! Of course, Frasier followed former Cheers character Frasier Crane — a psychiatrist and bar regular — as he moved from Boston back to Seattle. During Frasier‘s 11-year run on NBC, Cheers characters Sam Malone (Ted Danson), Diane Chambers (Shelley Long), Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth), and Woody Boyd (Woody Harrelson) all appeared in Frasier episodes. In one Season 9 episode, titled “Cheerful Goodbyes,” Frasier returned to Boston to see his former Cheers friends at a retirement party for Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger).
Check out the gallery to see the Frasier cast then and now!
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