A drama school graduate and a passionate environmental activist, Ted Danson is an award-winning television and film actor. Ranked number two on TV guide’s list of top 25 television stars, his claim to fame was his portrayal of ‘Sam Malone’ on the TV sitcom ‘Cheers’; a role that bagged him two Golden Globe Awards. In a career spanning across 30 years, he has received 15 Primetime Emmy nominations, winning two of them, ten Golden Globe Award nominations, winning three of them and he also holds a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. Some of his well-known films include: ‘Three Men and a Baby’, ‘Three Men and a Little Lady’, ‘Body Heat’, ‘Made in America’ and the television film, ‘Something About Amelia’, for which he won a Golden Globe Award. Few TV actors have been able to play as many versatile characters on screen as Ted Danson has. From a misanthropic doctor to a flirty bartender and a corrupt billionaire, he has played a range of iconic roles and is regarded as one among the best character actors on television. To learn more interesting facts about his personal life and professional achievements, scroll down and continue to read this biography.
Childhood & Early Life
Ted Danson was born to Edward Bridge Danson, archaeologist and museum director, and Jess Danson in California, USA.
He attended the Kent School, Connecticut and later attended Stanford University where he developed a passion for drama.
In 1972, he graduated from Carnegie Mellon University , Pennsylvania, with a Fine Arts degree in drama.
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In 1975, he began his career on television with the NBC daytime soap opera, ‘Somerset’, where he played the role of a contract player. He also appeared in a number of commercials as ‘Aramis Man’.
In 1979, he made his debut in films as a cop in the movie ‘The Onion Field’, an American drama film directed by Harold Becker. The following year, he bagged one of his major roles on the NBC sitcom, ‘Cheers’, where he played the part of ‘Sam Malone’, a former basketball player and bartender.
Till the early 80s he made a number of guest appearances on shows like ‘Laverne and Shirley’, ‘B.J and the Bear’, ‘Family’, ‘Benson’, ‘Taxi’, ‘Magnum P.I’ and ‘Tucker's Witch’.
In 1981, he was cast in the movie ‘Body Heat’, a neo-noir film directed and written by Lawrence Kasdan. He played the role of ‘Peter Lowenstein, a prosecutor.
He starred in the television movie ‘Something About Amelia’, in 1984. This was a story about a family devastated by incest, directed by Randa Haines.
In 1987, he starred in the American box office hit, ‘Three Men and a Baby’; a movie directed by Leonard Nimoy.
In 1996, he starred in the short-lived CBS comedy sitcom ‘Ink’, the show was cancelled after one season. The same year he also appeared in ‘Gulliver's Travels’, a TV show.
In 1998, he was cast in the title role as ‘John Becker’ in the CBS sitcom ‘Becker’, which ran successfully until 2004.
In 2005, he starred as ‘Mr Richard Manson’ in the TV film ‘Knights of the South Bronx’, which earned him immense critical acclaim and a Screen Actors Guild Award-nomination.
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In 2006, he appeared in the American sit-com, ‘Help Me Help You’, an unsuccessful show that ran for only one season. The following year, he received an Emmy nomination for his role as a corrupt billionaire, ‘Arthur Frobisher’, in the FX Network drama, ‘Damages’.
In 2011, he appeared in the music video ‘make Some Noise’, by the Beastie Boys. The same year, he also starred in the HBO series, ‘Bored to Death’.
Currently, he stars in the CBS drama ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’.
His 1987 film, ‘Three Men and a Baby’, was a huge American box office hit and earned a whopping $ 167.78 million. The movie also won the ‘People’s Choice award’ for Best Comedy Motion Picture. The film was remade in Indian languages including Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi.
He starred in ‘Cheers’, the highly acclaimed television show in United States that earned the top ten rating for 8 of its 11 seasons. The show was placed at the number one position for two seasons and it was ranked no. 18 on TV Guides’, ‘50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time’.
Awards & Achievements
In 1985, he received the Golden Globe Award in the category, ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV’ for ‘Something about Amelia’.
In 1990 and 1991, he won the Golden Globe Award for ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical’ for ‘Cheers’. He also bagged two Prime Time Emmy Awards, in 1990 and 1993 for ‘Cheers’, in the category, ‘Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series’.
In 1999, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1970, he married actress Randall ‘Randy’ Gosch and the couple got divorced in 1975.
In 1975, he married Cassandra Coates, a producer. She suffered from a stroke in 1979 during childbirth, but survived. The couple also adopted Alexis, their second daughter. In 1993, their marriage ended in divorce due to a speculation of an affair between Danson and Whoopi Goldberg.
He is currently married to actress Mary Steenburgen; the couple tied the knot in 1995.
He has donated over $85,000 to Democratic candidates and also campaigned for Hilary Clinton during the 2008 Presidential campaign.
As a keen environmentalist, he co-authored the book ‘Our Endangered Oceans And What We Can Do To Save Them’, which was published in 2011.