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Ted Danson

Ted DansonAKA Edward Bridge Danson III

Born: 29-Dec-1947
Birthplace: San Diego, CA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Bartender on Cheers

Ted Danson is the prominent-jawed actor who played Sam Malone, the baseball star turned bartender on Cheers, from 1982-93. He was born in California, but grew up near Flagstaff, Arizona with Hopi and Navajo children as his friends. As a young actor, Danson did the usual auditions for commercials and soap operas, and met his first wife at one of weirdo Werner Erhard's EST seminars. Danson was "the Aramis Man" in ads, and in the mid-1970s he appeared on the daytime drama Somerset with Sigourney Weaver and JoBeth Williams. In his film debut, he portrayed a bagpipe-playing cop in The Onion Field.

In 1979, his second wife, Casey Coates-Danson, suffered a stroke while giving birth to their first child, and Danson abandoned his burgeoning career for six months to care for her. After her recovery, Danson landed his first notable television roles, opposite Lee Remick in The Women’s Room, and starring with Christopher Lee in Once Upon a Spy.

On Cheers, he played the skirt-chasing alcoholic bartender. The program was an immediate success, and behind the scenes the atmosphere was casual. Visitors to the set were likely to be struck by spitballs fired by the actors. Midway through the show's long run, co-star Shelley Long left to pursue a film career (which seems to have gotten away), and she was replaced by Kirstie Alley. Danson, meanwhile, won two Emmys and two Golden Globes for his Cheers work.

While filming the sperm-bank comedy Made in America, he became romantically entangled with co-star Whoopi Goldberg, which led to his 1993 divorce from Coates-Danson, and landed Danson on one magazine's list of "the ten highest divorce settlements". While dating Goldberg, Danson also endured the biggest controversy of his career when he appeared in blackface at a Friar's Club roast for Goldberg. Behind black greasepaint and huge puffy white lips, Danson delivered a risqué monologue (written by Goldberg) that angered some guests.

Since 1995, Danson has been married to actress Mary Steenburgen, and in 1996 they starred together in Ink, a short-lived TV series set at a newspaper. She had been a friend of Bill Clinton for years, and during the Clinton administration Danson and Steenburgen occasionally slept in the White House's Lincoln bedroom. Danson says that Clinton is like Steenbergen's big brother, and remembers, "The first time [Clinton] met me he embraced me up and down, it was very intimidating. There I was, about to ask Mary to marry me and he was giving me the once-over".

An outspoken environmentalist, Danson founded the American Oceans Campaign in 1986, and it has long been one of his favorite ways to change the subject while being interviewed. "We can have vibrant fisheries and healthy oceans", he explains. "But we have to manage smarter and learn to catch fish without destroying the seafloor habitat we depend on for healthy oceans".

After meeting alleged psychic James Van Praagh, Danson was so impressed that he decided to play Van Praagh in the television miniseries Living with the Dead. Danson has praised Van Praagh for re-connecting him with his late father, and has said of communication with the dead, "I think 50, 100, 200 years from now it will be Common Sense 101. It will be so mundane".

Father: Edward B. Danson (archeologist)
Mother: Jessica MacMaster
Sister: Jan Danson
Wife: Randall Lee Gosch ("Randy", m. 1970, div. 1975)
Wife: Cassandra Coates-Danson ("Casey", executive, m. 30-Jul-1977, div. Jun-1993)
Daughter: Kate Danson (b. 24-Dec-1979)
Daughter: Alexis Danson (b. 1985)
Girlfriend: Whoopi Goldberg (actress, together 1992-94)
Wife: Mary Steenburgen (actress, dated 1994-95, m. 7-Oct-1995)

    High School: Kent School, Kent, CT
    University: Stanford University (transferred to Carnegie Mellon)
    University: BA, Carnegie Mellon University

    Al Franken for Senate
    Dean for America
    John Kerry for President
    Obama for America
    Emmy 1990 for Cheers
    Emmy 1993 for Cheers
    Golden Globe 1985 for Something About Amelia
    Golden Globe 1990 for Cheers
    Golden Globe 1991 for Cheers
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 10-Nov-1999 at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
    Wedding: Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky (2010)
    Risk Factors: Toupee

    TELEVISION
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation D.B. Russell (2011-)
    Bored To Death George Christopher (2009-)
    Damages Arthur Frobisher (2007-)
    Help Me Help You Dr. Bill Hoffman (2006-07)
    Curb Your Enthusiasm Himself (2000-07)
    Becker Dr. John Becker (1998-2004)
    Ink Mike Logan (1995-97)
    Cheers Sam Malone (bartender, 1982-93)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    The One I Love (21-Jan-2014)
    Big Miracle (2-Feb-2012) · J. W. McGraw
    Jock the Hero Dog (29-Jul-2011) [VOICE]
    The End of the Line (30-May-2009) · Narrator [VOICE]
    The Open Road (7-Feb-2009) · Coach
    The Human Contract (12-Sep-2008)
    Mad Money (18-Jan-2008)
    Nobel Son (28-Apr-2007) · Harvey Parrish
    Knights of the South Bronx (6-Dec-2005)
    Our Fathers (11-May-2005)
    The Amateurs (6-Feb-2005) · Moose
    It Must Be Love (15-Feb-2004)
    Living with the Dead (28-Apr-2002)
    Mumford (11-Sep-1999)
    Saving Private Ryan (24-Jul-1998) · Capt. Hamill
    Homegrown (17-Apr-1998)
    Jerry and Tom (19-Jan-1998) · The Guy Who Loved Vicki
    Loch Ness (9-Feb-1996) · Dempsey
    Gulliver's Travels (4-Feb-1996)
    Pontiac Moon (4-Nov-1994)
    Getting Even with Dad (17-Jun-1994) · Ray
    Made in America (28-May-1993) · Hal Jackson
    3 Men and a Little Lady (21-Nov-1990) · Jack
    Dad (27-Oct-1989) · John Tremont
    Cousins (10-Feb-1989) · Larry
    Three Men and a Baby (25-Nov-1987) · Jack
    When the Bough Breaks (12-Oct-1986)
    A Fine Mess (8-Aug-1986)
    Just Between Friends (21-Mar-1986) · Chip Davis
    Little Treasure (1-May-1985)
    Something About Amelia (9-Jan-1984)
    Creepshow (12-Nov-1982) · Harry Wentworth
    Body Heat (28-Aug-1981) · Peter Lowenstein
    The Women's Room (14-Sep-1980)
    The Onion Field (7-Sep-1979) · Ian Campbell

Rotten Library Page:
Ted Danson

Author of books:
Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them (2011, non-fiction)


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