Cheers is a much-beloved show that last aired over 25 years ago. The show is well known for its hilarity and helped to launch the career of a number of now-famous actors. It’s also the most awarded show in television history! Let’s see how the cast has changed since then!
John Ratzenberger As Cliff Clavin – Then
John Ratzenberger started out as a humble improv actor and often worked strange jobs like house framing and archery instructing. As an actor, he had a number of minor roles in films like Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Superman. It wasn’t until his role of Cliff Clavin in Cheers that the actor really had a stand-out role to his name. After Cheers, his career was never the same!
John Ratzenberger – Now
Since his iconic role as Cliff in Cheers, John Ratzenberger has gone on to have a very impressive credit list. However, the majority of his recent success comes from his amazing voice acting abilities, which have landed him important roles in films like Toy Story, The Incredibles, Wall-e, and Up. However, his greatest achievement, two Emmy nominations, came from his time on Cheers and as an actor, John owes a lot to the show.
Kirstie Alley As Rebecca Howe – Then
Kirstie Alley was a small town girl hoping to make it big in the film industry. She started her performing career with a number of small-time roles. However, her most iconic character, and the one that she’s remembered for most often, was that of Rebbecca Howe in Cheers. It’s easy to see why audiences fell in love with her large-and-in-charge character and attitude. Her performance won her a Golden Globe Award in 1991 for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical Series as well as a Primetime Emmy Award.
Kirstie Alley – Now
Kirstie Alley’s performance on Cheers is hailed as one of her best to date, winning her a number of awards and becoming her claim to fame. From 2004 to 2007 she spent a lot of her time focussing on weight loss and managed to lose 75 pounds! You might also be surprised to know that she is also a high-ranking member of the Church of Scientology. Since her time on Cheers, Kirstie has performed in a number of TV movies and has most recently starred in Scream Queens as Ingrid Marie Hoffel.
Woody Harrelson As Woody Boyd – Then
Woody Harrelson came from humble beginnings. Due to his father’s dubious career as a hitman, he grew up with a single mother in a poor household. After graduating from Hanover College, he went into the acting business. While he had garnered some minor success in the world of film, after his role on Cheers, where he replaced then bartender Nicholas Colasanto, his acting career picked up speed at a tremendous pace. He played the character of Woody Boyd – a hopeful actor working part-time as a bartender.
Woody Harrelson – Now
During his time on Cheers, Woody Harrelson won an Emmy award and an American Comedy Award for his role as Woody Boyd, the bartender. This helped him draw the attention of ‘bigwigs’ in Hollywood – which wound up launching his career. Since then, he has gone on to star in some of the most memorable movies of our time and has been nominated for three Oscars, as well as 54 other nominations – with a total of 27 awards. A true Hollywood legend!
Shelley Long As Diane Chambers- Then
Shelley Long is an actress who is known for her versatile abilities as an actress. Before her role as Diane Chambers in Cheers, Shelley Long had made appearances in shows such as M.A.S.H, as well as the movie. Her ability to portray comedic situations well garnered her a strong following among viewers and lots of support from her fellow cast members. Her role as Diane Chambers made her the ‘darling’ of the show and the memories of her character last until today.
Shelley Long – Now
Shelley Long’s performance in Cheers is often considered some of her best acting. In fact, during her time on the show, she managed to win two Golden Globe Awards and was nominated for another two. This stands as a testament to how much people really loved her character, Diane Chambers. Since then, Shelley has continued acting and found herself in a number of different roles over the years. Most recently, she played DeDe Pritchett in Modern Family.
Lisa Kudrow As Emily – Then
At this point in time, Lisa Kudrow was a little-known actress sporting dark brunette hair and looking for a break wherever she could find one. During the late ’80s, this actress had been acting mainly in TV Shows such as Married to The Mob and Just Temporary. However, it was only after her guest appearance in Cheers, that her career really started to take off. This was her first sitcom credit ever and would certainly not be her last!
Lisa Kudrow – Now
Lisa Kudrow has become synonymous with the cast of Friends, one of the most popular TV sitcoms of all time! Her character, known as Phoebe, has become an all-time favorite of viewers and managed to launch Lisa into the stratosphere of TV roles. Friends became one of the longest-running and most-watched TV shows on American TV and Lisa can’t deny that her role in Cheers helped her get there. She is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable faces in TV today.
Bebe Neuwirth As Dr. Lilith Sternin – Then
Bebe Neuwirth was born into an affluent home in Princeton, New Jersey. Her mother was an artist and her father was a mathematician – giving her a rather unique creative balance. At the beginning of her career, she had started out as a dancer but as her career progressed, she became popularly known for her role as Dr. Lilith Sternin. She originally played the role during her performance on the show Wings, which carried over into her performance on Cheers.
Bebe Neuwirth – Now
During her time on the set of Cheers, Bebe Neuwirth managed to win herself two Primetime Emmy awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy. Her role of Lilith Sternin was one that drew audiences back again and again with her strict and tight-lipped attitude. She has gone on to be nominated for 12 awards in total and has featured in TV Sitcoms such as Fraiser (with her co-star Kelsey Grammar, for which she was also nominated for an Emmy), Law & Order, and Blue Bloods.
George Wendt As Norm Peterson – Then
George Wendt also started his acting career in the theater. Apparently, his first job was as a floor-sweeper for the famous The Second City club, where his dreams of going into comedy started. After a number of smaller roles, he made it onto the set of Cheers as a more prominent character. During his time on the show, George Wendt played the role of the loveable and laughable character Norm Peterson. Norm was a regular at the bar and a real laugh-a-minute kind of character.
George Wendt – Now
During his time on Cheers, George’s character Norm became one of the most-loved characters in the series. George also did such a good job at portraying the character that his performance won him six consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards over the course of the show for Outstanding Supporting Actor. After his success on Cheers, George Wendt went on to start his own TV show, The George Wendt Show, and starred alongside stars such as Robert de Niro and Mel Gibson in feature-length films.
Paul Willson As Paul – Then
Paul Willson played the character of Paul Krapence in the series – the geeky loner who hung out at the bar and was often mistreated by his fellow characters. He turned out to be quite the ladies man!
Paul Willson – Now
Paul Willson went on to star in over 80 episodes of cheers. After the series ended, he had a number of successful roles in both TV shows and full-length features. He has had roles in shows like Star Trek: Voyager, The King of Queens, and The Big Bang Theory. He also went on to act in a number of feature films ranging from quirky comedies like Office Space to cheesy horror films like 976-EVIL. Definitely a dynamic actor, to say the least!
Nicholas Colasanto As Coach – Then
Nicholas Colasanto was an actor who had a number of important roles in movies such as Raging Bull and Family Plot. It was during his time on the set of Cheers that he really found himself in a role he loved and his loud and verbacious bartender character of Ernie ‘Coach’ Pantusso was much loved by audiences. Nicholas’s character received high ratings from audiences due to his lively mannerisms, wise-crack, ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ attitude and well-timed humor.
Nicholas Colasanto – Now
While audiences had largely fallen in love with the boisterous and lively character that Colasanto portrayed on screen, the truth was that his health was in serious trouble in real life. He unfortunately succumbed to a heart attack at the age of 61, in 1985. Over 300 people attended his funeral. Since then, fans of the show have gone on to honor his life and time on the set of Cheers by always remembering him as the original bartender in the show.
Kelsey Grammer As Dr. Fraiser Crane – Then
Kelsey Grammer is probably the best-trained actor on the show and spent two years studying at the prestigious Julliard School. Before making it on to the set of Cheers he spent a number of years acting on Broadway in classic Shakespeare plays such as Macbeth and Othello. During his time on the set of Cheers, he played the role of Dr. Fraiser Crane and is often regarded as one of the most-loved characters on the show.
Kelsey Grammer – Now
Kelsey Grammer has earned 24 different acting awards over the course of his life and a further 62 nominations, including three Golden Globes and five Emmy Awards. While he didn’t earn any of his awards during his time on Cheers, his ability to develop the character of Dr. Fraiser Crane lead him to start his own off-shoot show, Frasier which garnered him the awards. The often cynical and witty attitude of Grammer’s characters has always drawn warm responses from audiences and led to some great comedy over the years.
Phillip Perlman As Phil – Then
Phillip Perlman was originally a manager at a doll part manufacturing plant who entered into the world of acting largely for fun. Before making it to Cheers where he had a recurring role as Phil, he had starred in a film directed by Danny De Vito, detailing the life of notorious gangster Jimmy Hoffa. Danny De Vito wound up marrying his daughter Rhea Perlman, who had trained to be an actor when the two met on the set of Taxi. Rhea was also in Cheers as a lead character.
Phillip Perlman – Now
Phillip Perlman went on to have a short but reasonably successful career in Hollywood after his time on Cheers and wound up acting in movies that starred the likes of George Clooney and Jim Carrey, to name a few. He continued to support his daughter who was a professional actor and wound up living a healthy and happy life until the age of 95. In April 2015, he unfortunately succumbed to an illness that had plagued him for the last two years of his life.
Rhea Perlman As Carla Tortelli – Then
Rhea Perlman started her acting career in theatre and slowly made her way into film with minor roles here and there. After having a long run in the series Taxi, Rhea Perlman eventually moved on to take on her iconic role as Carla Tortelli, the enigmatic and comically well-timed waitress in the bar. Her character was easily regarded as one of the most loved on the sitcom and her performances were always hilarious and top-notch.
Rhea Perlman – Now
Rhea’s performance as Carla Tortelli in Cheers wound up winning her six Primetime Golden Globe Nominations and four Emmy Awards – which is a seriously high amount of awards to win as one character! Since her time in Cheers, the actress has stayed married to her husband at the time, Danny De Vito, and has gone on to act in a number of movies including titles such as Matilda, Canadian Bacon, and Sing. After a bumpy period with her husband recently, the couple has agreed to stay together.
Al Rosen As Al- Then
Al Rosen was easily one of the oldest cast members on the show and had a number of appearances as a background character over the course of the series. However, there is no doubting that the show never would have been the same had he not been in it! Al was a character who was known for well-timed comical remarks and candid bar-fly antics. As the wise old-timer in the bar, audiences grew to love his ‘young-at-heart’ spirit and sense of humor.
Al Rosen – Now
Al Rosen had a long and healthy life, playing roles in a number of different movies and series. Besides his recurring performance in Cheers, he also featured in Cheers: The Motion Picture, where his character really came to life. In fact, during the motion picture, it was Al who saved Woody Boyd from giving up on his career – showing that he knew when to say the right thing at the right time. However, in 1990, Al Rosen, unfortunately, succumbed to cancer. His passing was later referenced in Fraiser during the Cheerful Goodbyes episode.
Ted Danson As Sam Malone – Then
Not many people may know this about Ted Danson, but he actually studied at the prestigious Stanford University before moving on into the world of acting. Danson had had a number of different small roles in then-popular TV series but was picked up by the producers of Cheers after a short performance in the series Taxi. After auditioning for the role, they loved his on-screen chemistry with Shelley Long so much that they gave the rold to him instead of Fred Dryer – their original choice for the role.
Ted Danson – Now
Ted Danson’s performance in Cheers wound up winning him two Golden Globes and two Emmy Awards – with over 54 nominations to his name and a total of nine awards over the span of his career. His time spent on Cheers allowed him to really create a strong and loyal fanbase. This allowed him to create his own show after Cheers, namely Becker, as well as gain a number of leading roles in a variety of popular TV shows. He has even been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Alan Koss As Alan – Then
Alan Koss was an actor who started out during the ’70s. His career revolved largely around stage acting and many of his first roles were in the theatre. He made his foray into the world of film acting with appearances in films such as The Friends of Eddie Coyle and Assualt on Precinct 13. During his time in Cheers, he played the role of Alan, a barfly who made a number of appearances on the show.
Alan Koss – Now
After his role as Alan during Cheers, his acting career started to take the back seat. While he did have one more appearance in The Rugrats, he largely dedicated his time to doing charity events with organizations such as March of Dimes, the Red Cross, and Special Olympics. Alan Koss is also a self-described golfing fanatic and spends much of his time on the links. He also appeared in shows like Golden Girls and L.A. Law during his time as an actor.