Cheers, the sitcom about a group of quirky, everyday people who work and meet regularly at the titular Boston watering hole ran 11 seasons on NBC and took final drink orders May 20, 1993, after 275 episodes. The show racked up 117 Emmy Award nominations with 28 wins and launched the careers of many beloved actors. Let’s reopen the bar tab and tally what the cast has been up to over a quarter-century.
Ted Danson’s character, Sam “Mayday” Malone, was an ex-baseball player turned bartender with a roving eye for female patrons and staff alike. The role was a breakout for the actor with viewers tuning in each week to witness the crossfire banter between Malone and his co-stars. Danson jumped to the big screen in films such as Three Men and a Baby (1987) and Getting Even with Dad (1994), but it's been television work that has been consistently keeping him in the public eye. Post Cheers he starred in Becker (1998-2004), Damages (2007-2010), Bored to Death (2009-2011), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2011-2015), The Good Place (2016-2018) and played himself on Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-2017). Offscreen Danson divorced Casey Coates in 1992 after 15 years of marriage and embarked on a highly publicized but short-lived relationship with Whoopi Goldberg. He married actress Mary Steenburgen (Book Club) in 1995 and they have two daughters together.
As Diane Chambers, Shelley Long was the perfect counter-balance to Danson’s Malone. A highly educated snob, waitress Diane loved nothing more than to prove her on-again-off-again suitor wrong during the show’s first five seasons (Long made a guest appearance on the series finale in 1993). After Cheers Long landed the lead role of Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) and A Very Brady Sequel (1996). She has worked consistently ever since in one-off television roles including Murphy Brown (1995-1996), Diagnosis Murder (1998), 8 Simple Rules (2003), Retired at 35 (2011) and has appeared regularly as DeDe Pritchett on Modern Family (2009-2018). Long married investment advisor Bruce Tyson in 1981 and they have one daughter together. The couple divorced in 2004.
Playing kind but slow-witted Woody Boyd, Woody Harrelson took on the assistant bartender role following the death of actor Nicholas Colasanto who played Coach during the first three seasons of Cheers. During his time on the sitcom, Harrelson also appeared in movies such as Wildcats (1986), L.A. Story (1991) and White Men Can’t Jump (1992). He went on to land lead movie roles in Indecent Proposal (1993), Natural Born Killers (1994) and was nominated for a lead actor Academy Award for The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996). Other notable films include Wag the Dog (1997), The Thin Red Line (1998), Anger Management (2003), No Country for Old Men (2007), The Hunger Games series (2012-2015), The Glass Castle (2017), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) and Solo: A Star Wars Movie (2018). An outspoken environment and marijuana advocate, Harrelson is also a longtime vegan. Briefly married to Nancy Simon (1985-1986), he wed Laura Louie in 2008 and the couple lives in Maui, Hawaii.
Waitress Carla Tortelli had an opinion or wisecrack for every situation that arose at Cheers. Deeply superstitious but fiercely loyal to friends and family, Carla was a fan favorite character over the course of the series. Following Cheers Rhea Perlman starred in the short-lived TV series Pearl (1996-1997) and appeared on the big screen in Matilda (1996). She returned to TV alongside Cheers costars Kirstie Alley in Kirstie (2013-2014), Danson in Becker (2001) and Kelsey Grammer in Frasier (2002), as well as featured roles in Hung (2009-2010), Getting On (2015) and The Mindy Project (2014-2017). Perlman married actor Danny DeVito in 1982 and they have three children together. The couple announced they were splitting in October 2012 but reunited following a three-month separation.
Five-time Emmy-winner Kelsey Grammer will forever be associated with the erudite, if hapless, psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane, whom he portrayed for two decades on Cheers (1984-1993) and the spinoff sitcom Frasier (1993-2004). Other sitcom roles included Wings (1992), Just Shoot Me! (1998) and as the voice of Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons (1990-2017). A Juilliard School-trained performer, Grammer made his Broadway debut in the 2010 musical revival of La Cage Aux Folles for which he was nominated for a Tony Award, and originated the role of Captain Hook in the Broadway production of Finding Neverland in 2015. A father of seven children, he divorced first wife Doreen Alderman in 1990 following eight years of marriage, was then wed to dancer Leigh-Anne Csuhany from 1992-1993, before marrying dancer Camille Donatacci in 1997. They divorced in 2011 and Grammer went on to marry British flight attendant Kayte Walsh the same year.
Selected to replace the departed Long, Kirstie Alley portrayed Rebecca Howe, the fiercely independent Cheers business manager who Sam Malone initially tries to seduce. Following Cheers, she won an Emmy for her role in David’s Mother (1994) and starred in sitcoms Veronica’s Closet (1997-2000) and Kirstie (2013-2014). Alley was the only major Cheers character that did not go on to appear on the spinoff sitcom Frasier. After a much-publicized struggle with her weight, she appeared in the unscripted comedy series Fat Actress (2005) and the same year published a book, How to Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life, which chronicled her personal experiences with weight loss. She has also been an on-again-off-again spokesperson for Jenny Craig. She competed on Dancing With the Stars (2011) and placed second overall. An outspoken Scientologist, Alley was married to Falcon Crest actor Parker Stevenson from 1983 to 1997 and they have two adopted children together.
Mail carrier and dubious fact teller Cliff Clavin was a Cheers favorite as much for his inane trivia as his postal worker uniform during the show’s 11 seasons. Actor John Ratzenberger helped create the mustachioed blowhard who famously competed on Jeopardy! Ratzenberger’s distinctive voice helped to land him roles in every Pixar animated film to date, including Hamm the pig in the Toy Story series and Mack the truck in the Cars franchise. He competed on Dancing with the Stars in 2007. An environmental activist, he was owner of Eco-Pak, which produced eco-friendly packaging. Ratzenberger married Georgia Stiny in 1984 and the couple have two children together. Divorced from Stiny in 2004, he wed Julie Blichfeldt in 2012.
George Wendt, as barfly Norm Peterson, was the sage — if wisecracking — best friend to Cliff Clavin and will be greeted with shouts of “Norm!” anytime he enters a drinking establishment. Wendt received six Emmy nominations for his work on Cheers and went on to star in the short-lived The George Wendt Show (1995). Almost as famous as Norm was his Chicago Superfan character Bob Swerski on Saturday Night Live (1991-2003). Wendt made TV guest appearances on Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (2001-2002), George Lopez (2004) and had a recurring role on Clipped (2015). On Broadway, he performed as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray (2007), as Santa in the musical comedy Elf (2010) and in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (2013). Wendt married Bernadette Birkett in 1978 and they have three children together.
Juilliard School-trained performer Bebe Neuwirth was already a New York theater fixture and Tony Award winner (Sweet Charity, 1986) when she was offered the role of the physically and emotionally uptight psychiatrist Lilith Sternin-Crane, eventual wife of Frasier Crane. The portrayal won her two Emmy Awards ahead of big-screen roles in Bugsy (1991), Jumanji (1995), Tadpole (2000) and Fame (2009). On TV she featured on Deadline (2000-2001), Bored to Death (2009-2011), The Good Wife (2012-2013), Madame Secretary (2014-2017), Blue Bloods (2013-2018) and again as Lilith on Frasier (1994-2003). She won her second Tony Award in 1997 for Broadway’s Chicago. Married to actor Paul Dorman from 1984 to 1991, she wed writer and director Chris Calkins in 2004.