Few shows are as iconic as the Boston-based bar sitcom, Cheers. Leading the all-star cast of this beloved series was Ted Danson.
His incredible performance made Sam Malone one of the most memorable characters in television history. The talented actor has gone on to star in several movies and television series since his Cheers days. He’s won prestigious awards and has dedicated much of his time fighting for environmental causes, namely keeping our oceans clean.
The actor has been happily married for over twenty years. He and his wife also have some pretty impressive political ties.
Who is Ted Danson?
Ted Danson is best known for his role as Sam Malone in the award-winning sitcom Cheers. Danson became interested in acting while attending Stanford University, where he majored in political science. He then transferred to Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.
He graduated in 1972 and headed to New York City, where he became involved with the theater. Eventually, he returned to the West Coast and began his impressive acting career.
In 1982, Danson began the role of a lifetime. Ted Danson shone as the Cheers bartender Sam Malone, supported by stellar co-stars like Kelsey Grammar and Rhea Perlman. Malone was a former Boston Red Sox pitcher turned bar owner, who was also a recovered alcoholic and notorious womanizer.
Danson was one of only three actors to appear in every episode of Cheers — all 275 of them, to be exact. Rhea Perlman and George Wendt, who played Carla and Norm, also appeared in every episode. John Ratzenberger, who played mailman Cliff, was a close second. He was only absent from one episode of the entire 11 seasons.
Sam Malone amassed a loyal fan base, and Danson won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He also received two Golden Globe Awards for his work on Cheers.
In addition to Cheers, Danson starred in several movies and television series. His most notable films include Three Men and a Baby, Cousins, Made in America, and Saving Private Ryan. Most recently, Danson portrayed the charming demon, Michael, in the Emmy-nominated comedy series The Good Place.
He and his wife are good friends of the Clintons
Unfortunately, Danson’s relationships weren’t always quite as successful as his acting career. He married his first wife, actress Randall Gosch, while the two were studying at Carnegie Mellon. The marriage only lasted four years, and in 1977, he married Cassandra Coates. His wife suffered a stroke after the birth of their daughter, and Danson took time out from his career to take care of her.
During his second marriage, Danson worked with Whoopi Goldberg on the film Made in America. The two had instant chemistry and ended up having an affair. Shortly after, Danson divorced Coates and pursued a relationship with Goldberg. The couple split suddenly without much talk about what went wrong.
In 1995, Danson remarried — this time to actress Mary Steenburgen. On their big day, the bride was actually walked down the aisle by the couple’s good friend, Bill Clinton. The actress had been friends with Clinton since he was governor of Arkansas, and Danson later helped Hillary with her presidential campaign.
Danson and Steenburgen fell in love while filming Pontiac Moon. The actress recalls that she wasn’t entirely smitten with Danson the first time she met him. She assumed he was just like his Cheers character, arrogant and superficial. She soon learned that he was no Sam Malone, and the two still have a happy marriage to this day.
These other celebs also have famous politicians for friends
Danson and Steenburgen aren’t the only celebrities with famous political friends. Oscar-winner Tommy Lee Jones roomed with Al Gore back in their Harvard days. In 2014, Eva Longoria formed a political action committee with Henry Munoz, according to Times Union. The committee, Latino Victory PAC, was created to raise money and resources for Latino candidates.
Leonardo DiCaprio was appointed the UN’s Messenger of Peace by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The two share a passion for environmental protection.This last one is a bit surprising–NBA legend Dennis Rodman is reportedly friends with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (they say he loves basketball).
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