Friday, September 23, 2011

Sam Malone from Cheers played by Ted Danson

Ted Danson was born December 29, 1947 in San Diego, CA.  He is most famous for playing the role of bartender/bar owner Sam Malone in the TV comedy Cheers from 1982 to 1993.  He is also well known for playing the role of Dr. John Becker in the TV show Becker from 1998 to 2004.  Fact is, Ted is a very prolific actor in Hollywood these days and has been since Cheers.
Ted Danson then

Ted began his acting career as Tom Conway on the daytime soap opera Somerset (1975-76).  A year later he appeared on 2 episodes of The Doctors starring David O'Brien, Jane Fleiss, Larry Weber, and Dorian Lopinto (1977).

Ted Danson made his TV debut on the day time soap opera Somerset in 1975

Two years later, Danson would continue making television appearances such as The Amazing Spider-Man starring Nicholas Hammond, Chip Fields, and Robert F. Simon (1979). Ted landed his first film role that same year in The Onion Field co-starring John Savage, Christopher Lloyd, James Woods, Dianne Hull, Franklyn Seales, and Ronny Cox (1979).  

Ted Danson in his film debut The Onion Field 1979

Danson went on to appear in Mrs. Columbo starring Kate Mulgrew, Lili Haydn, Henry Jones, and Don Stroud (1979); Trapper John, M.D. starring Pernell Roberts, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Charles Siebert (1979); The French Atlantic Affair co-starring Jean-Pierre Aumont, José Ferrer, Chad Everett, Horst Buchholz, James Coco, John Houseman, Michelle Phillips, Telly Savalas, Stella Stevens, Donald Pleasence, and Marie-France Pisier (1979); and an appearance on B.J. and the Bear starring Greg Evigan.

In 1980 Danson went on to appear movies and shows such as Laverne & Shirley starring Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, Michael McKean, David L. Lander, Phil Foster, Eddie Mekka, and Betty Garrett; Family starring Sada Thompson, James Broderick, Meredith Baxter, Gary Frank, and Kristy McNichol (1980); The Women's Room co-starring Lee Remick, Colleen Dewhurst, Tyne Daly, Mare Winningham, Patty Duke, Gregory Harrison, Tovah Feldshuh, Kathryn Harrold, and Jenny O'Hara (1980); and Once Upon a Spy co-starring Mary Louise Weller, Eleanor Parker, and Christopher Lee (1980).

In 1981, Ted appeared in a couple of episodes of Benson starring Robert Guillaume, James Noble, Missy Gold, Inga Swenson, Rene Auberjonois, and Ethan Phillips; Magnum, P.I. starring Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Larry Manetti, and Roger E. Mosley; Dear Teacher starring Melinda Culea, Rebecca York, John Welsh, Rachel Jacobs, Sydney Penny, and Nan Martin; Body Heat co-starring William Hurt, Kathleen Turner , Richard Crenna, Kim Zimmer, and Mickey Rourke; and Our Family Business co-starring Steve Peck, Deborah Carney, Vera Miles, James O'Sullivan, David Morse, and Christopher Mayer.

Ted Danson (center) in the film Body Heat 1981

Danson started off 1982 appearing in an episode of Taxi starring Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Marilu Henner, Tony Danza, Andy Kaufman, and J. Alan Thomas.  His career would take a huge turn however later in the year as he landed his signature role as Sam Malone in the hit TV comedy Cheers.  He co-starred with Rhea Perlman (Carla Tortelli), Kelsey Grammer (Dr. Frasier Crane), Woody Harrelson (Woody Boyd), George Wendt (Norm Peterson), John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin), Shelley Long (Diane Chambers), Nicholas Colasanto (Coach), and later in the series, Kirstie Alley (Rebecca Howe) as well as Bebe Neuwirth (Dr. Lilith Sternin).  Only Danson, Perlman, and Wendt starred in all episodes of Cheers.  Ratzenberger was one episode short of joining the those three.  Danson played the role of Sam Malone for 11 years until the show ended in 1993.

Ted Danson as bartender/bar owner Sam Malone in the hit TV comedy Cheers 1982-1993
The cast of Cheers during the early years.  Front: John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin), Rhea Perlman (Carla Tortelli), George Wendt (Norm Peterson) Back: Nicholas Colasanto (Coach), Ted Danson (Sam Malone), and Shelly Long (Diane Chambers)

During his run on Cheers, Danson also starred in Creepshow co-starring Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielsen, E.G. Marshall, Adrienne Barbeau, Ed Harris, Fritz Weaver, Carrie Nye, and Viveca Lindfors (1982); Tucker's Witch starring Tim Matheson, Catherine Hicks, Barbara Barrie, Bill Morey, and Alfre Woodard (1982); Allison Sydney Harrison co-starring Katy Kurtzman, Corbin Bernsen, Ellen Travolta, Cynthia Harris, and Don Calfa (1983); Cowboy co-starring James Brolin, Annie Potts, Randy Quaid, Robert Keith, and George DiCenzo (1983); Something About Amelia co-starring Glenn Close, Lane Smith, Olivia Cole, Jane Kaczmarek, and Kevin Conway (1984); Little Treasure co-starring Margot Kidder, Burt Lancaster, and Joseph Hacker (1985); Just Between Friends co-starring Mary Tyler Moore, Christine Lahti, Sam Waterston, Julie Payne, Salome Jens, Beverly Sanders, and Timothy Gibbs (1986); A Fine Mess co-starring Howie Mandel, Maria Conchita Alonso, Stuart Margolin, Richard Mulligan, Jennifer Edwards, Paul Sorvino, and Tawny Moyer (1986); When the Bough Breaks co-starring Richard Masur, Kim Miyori, and Rachel Ticotin (1986); We Are the Children co-starring Khadija Ali Ahmed, Ally Sheedy, Judith Ivey, and Zia Mohyeddin (1987); 3 Men and a Baby co-starring Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Margaret Colin, and Nancy Travis (1987); Mickey's 60th Birthday co-starring Kirstie Alley, Wayne Allwine, Meredith Baxter, Tony Anselmo, Justine Bateman, Corbin Bernsen, Fred Dryer, and Brian Bonsall (1988); Cousins co-starring Isabella Rossellini, Lloyd Bridges, Sean Young, William Petersen, Keith Coogan, and George Coe (1989); Dad co-starring Jack Lemmon, Olympia Dukakis, Ethan Hawke, Kevin Spacey, and Kathy Baker (1989); and 3 Men and a Little Lady co-starring Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Nancy Travis, Sydney Walsh, Fiona Shaw, and Robin Weisman (1990).

The cast of Cheers during the later years.  Front: George Wendt (Norm Peterson), Kirstie Alley (Rebecca Howe), Ted Danson (Sam Malone) John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin)  Back: Rhea Perlman (Carla Tortelli), Woody Harrelson (Woody Boyd), Kelsey Grammer (Dr. Frasier Crane),  Bebe Neuwirth (Dr. Lilith Sternin)
3 Men an a Baby stars Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson

After Cheers, Danson went on to star in Made in America co-starring Whoopi Goldberg, Will Smith, Jennifer Tilly, Nia Long, Paul Rodriguez, and Peggy Rea (1993); Getting Even with Dad co-starring Macaulay Culkin, Glenne Headly, Gailard Sartain, Saul Rubinek, Hector Elizondo, Sam McMurray, and Kathleen Wilhoite (1994); Pontiac Moon co-starring Mary Steenburgen, Ryan Todd, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Schweig, Max Gail, Lisa Jane Persky, and Don Swayze (1994); The Simpsons starring Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright and Julie Kavner (1994); Frasier starring former Cheers co-star Kelsey Grammer, Peri Gilpin, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, and John Mahoney (voice, 1995); Gulliver's Travels co-starring Mary Steenburgen, Ned Beatty, James Fox, Edward Fox, Karyn Parsons, Alfre Woodard, and Peter O'Toole (1996), and Vows of Deception
Nick Mancuso, Nancy Cartwright, Mike Farrell, and Michael Woolson, and Cheryl Ladd (1996).

Ted Danson stars in Gulliver's Travels 1996

It was in 1996 that Danson landed the role of Mike Logan in the TV series Ink.  He co-starred with his off screen wife, Mary Steenburgen (Kate Montgomery).  The show lasted for 22 episides ending in 1997.  

Ted Danson (Mike Logan) and Mary Steenburgen (Kate Montgomery) in the TV show Ink

During his run on Ink, Danson also starred in the film Loch Ness co-starring Joely Richardson, Ian Holm, Nick Brimble, James Frain, Harris Yulin, and Kirsty Graham (1996); and Pearl starring Carol Kane, Kevin Corrigan, former Cheers co-star Rhea Perlman, Dash Mihok, Lucy Liu, and Malcolm McDowell (1997).

After Ink, Ted starred in Jerry and Tom co-starring Joe Mantegna, Sam Rockwell, Sarah Polley, Maury Chaykin, William H. Macy, Charles Durning, Peter Riegert, Shelley Cook, and Lindsey Connell (1998); Veronica's Closet starring Kirstie Alley, Kathy Najimy, Daryl Mitchell, Wallace Langham, and Dan Cortese (1998); Homegrown co-starring Billy Bob Thornton, John Lithgow, Hank Azaria, Jon Tenney, Kelly Lynch, Jon Bon Jovi, Ryan Phillippe, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tiffany Paulsen, and Judge Reinhold (1998); Thanks of a Grateful Nation aka The Gulf War co-starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Marg Helgenberger, Matt Keeslar, Brian Dennehy, Amy Carlson, Steven Weber, and Sabrina Grdevich (1998); and Saving Private Ryan co-starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Adam Goldberg, Barry Pepper, Edward Burns, Vin Diesel,  Jeremy Davies, Giovanni Ribisi, and Dennis Farina (1998).

Ted Danson in Saving Private Ryan 1998

It was later in 1998 that Danson landed the role of Dr. John Becker in the TV show Becker.  He co-starred with Hattie Winston (Margaret Wyborn), Shawnee Smith (Linda), Terry Farrell (Reggie Kostas), Saverio Guerra (Bob), and Alex Désert (Jake Malinak).  Ted played the role of Becker for seven years until the show ended in 2004.

Ted Danson in Becker

During his run on Becker, Danson also starred in films such as Mumford co-starring Loren Dean, Hope Davis, Mary McDonnell, Jason Lee, Alfre Woodard, Zooey Deschanel, David Paymer, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Martin Short, Jason Ritter, Priscilla Barnes, and Jane Adams (1999); Grosse Pointe starring Irene Molloy, Lindsay Sloane and Bonnie Somerville (2000); Curb Your Enthusiasm starring Larry David, Cheryl Hines, Susie Essman, and Jeff Garlin (1st appearance, 2000.  Four more appearances in 2002); Living with the Dead co-starring Mary Steenburgen, Michael Moriarty, Diane Ladd, Queen Latifah, and Jack Palance (2002); Electric Playground starring Eliza Bayne, Victor Lucas and Donna Mei-Ling Park (2002); and Gary the Rat starring Kelsey Grammer (voice, 2003).

The cast of Becker. Front: Shawnee Smith (Linda), Ted Danson (Dr. John Becker), Hattie Winston (Margaret Wyborn) Back: Alex Désert (Jake Malinak), Terry Farrell (Reggie Kostas)

After Becker, Danson starred in films and movies such as It Must Be Love co-starring Mary Steenburgen, Erin Karpluk, Bonnie Bartlett, Polly Holliday, Adam Frost, Fred Keating, Mary B. McCann, and Danny Dorosh (2004); Fronterz co-starring Reno Wilson, Dennis Pressey, Ken Garito, Garth Belcon, Laurence Mason, Tamara Lynch, and Henry Winkler (2004); Curb Your Enthusiasm (2004); The Amateurs co-starring Jeff Bridges, Joe Pantoliano, Tim Blake Nelson, William Fichtner, Lauren Graham, Dawn Didawick, Tom Bower, Glenne Headly, and Jeanne Tripplehorn (2005); Our Fathers co-starring Christopher Plummer, Ellen Burstyn, Brian Dennehy, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Baldwin, Will Lyman, and James Oliver (2005); Knights of the South Bronx co-starring Malcolm David Kelley, Devon Bostick, Clifton Powell, Keke Palmer, Kate Vernon, Brian Markinson, Alex Karzis, and Karen LeBlanc (2005); and another episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm (2005);

Ted Danson and wife Mary Steenburgen in 2004

In 2006, Ted landed another series role as Dr. Bill Hoffman in Help Me Help You.  He co-starred with Jere Burns (Michael), Charlie Finn (Dave), Darlene Hunt (Darlene), Suzy Nakamura (Inger), and Jim Rash (Jonathan).  The show was short lived and only lasted 14 episodes before being cancelled.

Ted Danson and the cast of Help Me Help You

During his run on Help Me Help You, Danson also starred in Guy Walks Into a Bar with Jeff Ellingson, Kathryn Fiore, Kirsten Maryott, George Grey, Robin Thede, Chris Williams, Gabriel Tigerman, and former Cheers co-star George Wendt (2006); Bye Bye Benjamin co-starring Griffin Armstorff, Roland Armstorff, Seymour Cassel, Taylor Baugh, Lolita Davidovich, and Benjamin Bryan (2006); and an episode of Heist starring Marika Dominczyk, Dougray Scott and Steve Harris (2006).

After Help Me Help You in 2007, Danson almost imediately landed the role of Arthur Frobisher on the show Damages.  Appearing in roughly half of the episodes so far, he co-starred with Glenn Close (Patty Hewes), Rose Byrne (Ellen Parsons), Tate Donovan (Tom Shayes), Zachary Booth (Michael Hewes), and Anastasia Griffith (Katie Connor).  As of the writing of this article the show is still running.

Ted Danson in the TV show Damages

During his run on Damages, Danson has also starred in films such as Nobel Son co-starring Alan Rickman, Bryan Greenberg, Mary Steenburgen, Eliza Dushku, Shawn Hatosy, Bill Pullman, Lindy Booth, Danny DeVito, Ernie Hudson, and Tracey Walter (2007); Curb Your Enthusiasm (4 episodes, 2007); Mad Money co-starring Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes, Adam Rothenberg, Meagen Fay, Peyton 'Alex' Smith, and Christopher McDonald (2008); King of the Hill starring Mike Judge, Kathy Najimy, Stephen Root, Pamela Adlon, Johnny Hardwick, and Brittany Murphy (voice, 2008); The Human Contract co-starring Jason Clarke, Paz Vega, Jada Pinkett Smith, Idris Elba, T.J. Thyne, Steven Brand, Tava Smiley, Nicole Muirbrook, and Joanna Cassidy (2008); The Magic 7 co-starring Jason Aaron Baca, Kevin Bacon, Michael J. Fox, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Judy Collins, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore, Bette Midler, Olivia Newton-John, Ice-T, Meryl Streep, and James Earl Jones (voice, 2009); and The Open Road co-starring Justin Timberlake, Mary Steenburgen, Harry Dean Stanton, Kate Mara, Jeff Bridges, and Laurie Foxx (2009).

Ted Danson 2008
Ted Danson and wife Mary Steenburgen in 2008

In 2009, Danson began playing the role of George Christopher on the series Bored to Death.  He co-starred with Jason Schwartzman (Jonathan Ames), Heather Burns (Leah), and Zach Galifianakis ( Ray Hueston). Danson also appeared in Curb Your Enthusiasm (2 episodes, 2009) during this time as well as Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! starring Tim Heidecker, John C. Reilly, Eric Wareheim and Bob Odenkirk (2010); Fight for Your Right Revisited co-starring Elijah Wood, Danny McBride, Rashida Jones, Mike Mills, Arabella Field, Seth Rogen, and Susan Sarandon (2011);

Ted Danson today

Ted will be appearing on the new 2011 season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as D.B. Russell, playing the head honcho of the crime lab who had once upon a time been Gil Grissom.

Ted Danson and Marg Helgenberger in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 2011

Danson has future productions in the works such as voicework in Jock with Donald Sutherland, Helen Hunt, Bryan Adams,William Baldwin, Mandy Patinkin, and Desmond Tutu (2011); and Big Miracle co-starring Kristen Bell, Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Vinessa Shaw, Dermot Mulroney, and Stephen Root scheduled for release in 2012.

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