Rhea Perlman portrays the mean-spirited waitress, Carla Tortelli. Tortelli is a member of the misanthrope club – she doesn’t like people, and she isn’t afraid to show it. If Carla is serving you, you’re going to get that beer with a side of the harsh truth.
Even if Tortelli’s words sting a little at first, they always wind up doing good in the long run. That doesn’t mean that the bar’s regulars welcome the kind of sarcastic quips this waitress throws around. This is precisely why some people do all they can to avoid her – especially on a bad day.
According to those who know her, Rhea Perlman is a lovely person. Her performance as the blunt and snarky waitress may have ticked off patrons on the show, but it earned her an annual Emmy nomination throughout the entirety of her career on “Cheers.”
After her time in the bar, she moved on to make TV movies throughout the 90s. She has authored a series of children’s books called “Otto Undercover.” Her most recent role on television was her recurring part on “The Mindy Project.”
The handsome bar owner, Sam, played by Ted Danson, keeps a level-head around his establishment even when things get a little bit out of control. During the first episode, someone asks him why he owns the bar (Cheers) if he doesn’t drink. His response? He bought it while he was drinking and now, he’s attached to the people.
Malone is one of only three of the show’s characters to appear in every single episode throughout its existence. His acting won him two Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, along with two Golden Globes.
These days, your favorite funnyman is controlling the entire universe as Michael on “The Good Place.” He’s a bit more devilish than his character on the show – okay, a lot crueler, but still manages to make us laugh. He’s won several awards throughout his acting career and has been nominated for dozens.
According to recent reports, Danson accepted the lead role in the new comedy series, “Mr. Mayor,” which is set to hit living rooms between 2020-2021.
Every show has to have its know-it-all, right? Well, that’s what producers of the show thought when they added John Ratzenberger’s character, Cliff Clavin, to the script. Clavin plays the local postal worker who’s been a contestant on “Jeopardy” and sounds like a walking dictionary when he opens his mouth.
Interestingly enough, the show’s pilot script from ’82 didn’t include the character. Luckily, he stayed. In 1993, Ratzenberger sued Host International for creating a doll that looked just like his character without his permission or knowledge.
His role as Cliff on the show earned Ratzenberger two nominations for Primetime Emmys. One of the most exciting things about the actor is that Ratzenberger is the only person to voice a character in every Pixar Animation Studios movie!
Aside from his work on-screen, Ratzenberger has made some other pretty impressive accomplishments. Just take the fact he developed an environmentally friendly alternative to packing peanuts! He’s also got some production credits to his name, including three consecutive years on “The World’s Most Incredible Animal Rescues.”
One of the only characters to appear in every episode of the show, Norm Peterson, was one of the bar’s best customers. Every time he walks into the bar, he’s greeted by name.
When Norm isn’t busy drinking and talking to friends at Cheers, he’s at The Hungry Heifer, where he knows the servers by name. Wendt earned six Emmy nominations in a row for his role on the show.
After “Cheers,” George starred in his show, “The George Wendt Show,” though it didn’t last for very long. Over the years, he appeared in a long list of shows, including “Man of the House.”
He is set to appear later on in 2020 on “Stealing a Survivor.” George reportedly has a net worth of around $45 million and has been married to his wife, Bernadette, since 1978. The couple has three children together.
Dr. Frasier Crane
Dr. Frasier Crane, played by Kelsey Grammer, was first introduced to the world in 1984. The character is known for his unluckiness in love. Eventually, he gets married – and gets a spinoff show. What happened was that people loved Dr. Frasier Crane so much that they wanted to see more of him.
In the spinoff, “Frasier,” he moved back to his hometown (Seattle). Unfortunately, he was still just as unlucky when it comes to relationships, and he gets divorced from his wife. Kelsey won four Emmy Awards for his work on his show.
Grammer’s successful television career as Dr. Frasier Crane spanned over two decades and got him nominated for more than a dozen awards. But that’s far from being his only accomplishment, in Hollywood or anywhere else.
He has done some fantastic work behind-the-scenes as a producer and even won a Tony for his production work on “The Color Purple.” He most recently acted in “Guardians of the Tomb,” “Like Father,” “Grand Isle,” and “Money Plane.”
Dr. Lilith Sternin
Speaking of TV doctors, who could forget the hilariously monotoned psychiatrist, Dr. Lilith Sternin? Sternin, played by Bebe Neuwirth, first appears as one of Dr. Frasier Crane’s dates – though, it ends pretty poorly. However, things circle back around, and they wind up getting married and having a kid – though that doesn’t end well, either.
Sternin and Frasier’s marriage ends in divorce, though she remains a recurring character in his spinoff. She plays the same “type” throughout her time on both shows: the ice queen. So, where’s the ice queen nowadays?
Neuwirth won two Emmys for her role as Dr. Sternin. She has also appeared in several other shows and films, particularly throughout the ‘90s and early ‘00s. Neuwirth has been on-screen as herself, too, in an episode of “Jeopardy,” and on “Will & Grace.”
She’s taken a step back from acting and has been relaxing a lot in her time away from set, mainly doing pottery and hanging out with her cats. Neuwirth also donates to charities that help all types of animals.
Rebecca Howe – new management that came in when the bar was sold to a corporate franchise. She was a fresh addition to the show, and the first time America was introduced to Kirstie Alley. Alley appeared on more than 150 episodes of the show.
We were not disappointed – though if you ask around, you’ll realize Howe wasn’t exactly a fan favorite. Not everyone was thrilled with her character, as one columnist wrote that she was just an “annoying presence.” Surveys revealed that she was one of the least favorites on the show!
As you know, Kirstie Alley went on to be a massive success in the entertainment industry. Her decades-long career has seen her in notable films, “Look Who’s Talking,” “It Takes Two,” “Drop Dead Gorgeous.”
Throughout the years, Alley has also appeared in numerous TV shows, both in acting roles and as herself. In 2010, she also starred in her reality show, documenting her journey to lose weight. If you’re interested in Alley’s journey, you’ll see it when she appears in a film set to come out on Lifetime.
From the very first episode of “Cheers,” we knew that Shelly Long’s loveable character, Diane Chambers, would be one of our favorites. She winds up having a long and drawn out on-again, off-again relationship with Sam. They even almost get married. However, we know how that all turned out.
Diane is an intelligent and charismatic waitress who can outsmart almost everyone. Eventually, she moves away to become a successful writer for cable television. She comes back after years away, but by that point, she and Sam are not very compatible.
Long has starred in several shows and films since her time on the show, for which she won two Golden Globes and was nominated for five Emmys. She played Carol Brady in “The Brady Bunch Movie” franchise and later parodied herself by voicing the role in an episode of “Family Guy.”
She’s popped up in a ton of television shows throughout the years. Though these days, you wouldn’t know it was her if you saw her out on the street. As one recent article puts it, she is “unrecognizable.”
Serafina Tortelli was the eldest daughter of the misanthropic waitress, Carla. She’s not a significant player on the show, but it is the first time we get to see Leah Remini in a substantial appearance – and for that, we’re thankful.
In a 1993 episode of the show called “Loathe and Marriage,” 18-year old Serafina announces that she’s pregnant. We then see her trying to make it through a wedding ceremony after she decides she wants to marry the child’s father. That’s when things get complicated…
Leah Remini is perhaps most well-known for her starring role as the sweet yet sarcastic, Carrie Heffernan on CBS’ s “The King of Queens.” On the show, she plays opposite her on-screen husband, played by Kevin James.
Remini has also recently been noted for her memoir, “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.” In the book, she details her experience with growing up as a member of the church. Over the years, she has won several awards for her work, including a few Emmys.
Another famous face that found his fame on “Cheers,” Woody Harrelson played a character by the same name on the show. Boyd isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, which makes it scary when he marries someone of the same intelligence level on the show. Luckily, we later hear that their son “is of normal intelligence.”
Woody appears in an episode of Frasier, which is titled, “The Show Where Woody Shows Up.” In it, he rekindles his friendship with the Dr., and they share a drink before parting ways. His final line of the episode? “Cheers.”
Woody Harrelson has become a massive star since rising to fame on “Cheers.” He’s won a countless number of awards and been nominated for many more. Harrelson’s able to pull off a multitude of roles, and he manages to wow us whether in a drama or a comedy.
One of the bigger things he’s done over the past decade includes playing Haymitch in “Hunger Games.” In addition to his acting, he’s also done some off-screen work when he wrote, directed, and produced “Lost in London” in 2016.
Jay Thomas played Carla’s tough-guy hockey player husband, Eddie LeBec. In 1989, he was asked how he likes being on cheers, and got himself in significant trouble with producers when he responded, “it’s brutal, I have to kiss Rhea Perlman.” Ouch! After that comment, it was reportedly decided to off LeBec.
The show’s producers decided to kill Carla’s husband, which was a first in TV sitcoms of those times. The hockey player was killed in a crazy Zamboni accident. At the funeral, it was revealed that he had another wife, one who looked a lot like Carla.
Between 1987 and 1989, Thomas only appeared on the show for nine episodes. Afterward, he went on to play smaller roles in several shows and made-for-TV films. The actor passed away in 2017 after losing a battle with throat cancer.
He left behind his wife and three children, one of whom was songwriter J. T. Harding. With a tumultuous father-son relationship, Thomas and Harding appeared on an episode of “Dr. Phil” to talk about it and hash things out.
Frances Sternhagen played beloved Esther Clavlin – commonly referred to as “Ma Clavlin.” She doesn’t appear until the fifth season. She debuts in the season’s third episode and makes a couple more appearances throughout. Then, she returns in season 6 to help save the family’s home from being demolished.
When Esther hears how much developers were willing to offer her for the home, she throws in the towel. Ma Clavlin took her bundle of money and retired to Florida. Who wouldn’t?
Sternhagen’s career in entertainment began on the stage, making her Broadway debut in 1955. After her time on television, she chose to return to her roots. In 2005, she starred in Edward Albee’s “Seascape” on Broadway.
She is also credited with appearing in several films throughout the years, including “Dolphin Tale” in 2011 and “And So It Goes” in 2014. She’s been nominated for five Tonys and countless other awards for her work, both on film and stage.
Although she may not have appeared in too many episodes, it doesn’t mean her time on the show didn’t have an impact on the storyline. There was a time when a drunken Sam promised he’d either marry Jacqueline Bisset or give up his bar. Lucky for Sam, his friends did everything they could to make sure the bar stayed in his hands…
They found this woman, played by Laurie Walters, who shared a name with the famous actress. Since the bet didn’t stipulate, they told her she’d won a trip to Boston to convince her to come out and meet Sam. Though the two didn’t end up getting married, it was still a memorable part of the “Cheers” universe!
Unlike a lot of the actors and actresses on this list so far, Walters didn’t go on to become a massive name in the industry. She did, however, work in Hollywood for over two decades, from between the early ‘70s through the late ‘90s
She only made four films during her career, all of which were done in the ‘70s. She was rumored to have gotten into environmentalism after quitting cinema and has also been said to have started stage acting and directing in Southern California.
We first met Rebecca’s boyfriend, Robin Colcord, within five minutes of the show airing. Colcord was the bar’s original owner, before selling it to Sam for next to nothing. Colcord winds up embezzling from The Lillian Corporation and going to prison.
Later, he became a fugitive who was stashing money in Rebecca’s office. He wound up losing everything, including all of his money and Rebecca, who dumped him after learning about what he was up to.
Roger Rees was a force, both on stage and on the screen, which is probably why he’s won several awards for his work. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2015 at the age of 71. Before his death, he racked up a ton of acting credits, in film, on stage, and television.
Some noted roles include parts on “My So-Called Life,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Pink Panther.” Most recently, he appeared on “The Visit,” a Broadway musical. In 2012, he put on his own one-person Shakespeare show in London.
Although Loretta Tortelli wasn’t a main character on the show, she certainly had a significant effect on Carla’s life. Loretta was Carla’s husband’s second wife, whom he married after their split. And, she may not have come around all of the time, but Nick loved to bring her around to make his ex-wife jealous.
Loretta was the stereotypical ditzy blond. She’s adorable, though, and much to Nick’s dismay, his first and second wife, wind up developing a friendship. Loretta made an appearance in the show’s spinoff series, “The Tortellis.”
Loretta Tortelli was played by Jean Kasem, wife of late fellow actor, Casey Kasem. Along with her stint on the show, she also appeared in several other TV series’, including “Growing Pains,” “Family Feud,” and “My Two Dads.” And off-screen – this blonde is anything but ditzy.
Kasem holds a whopping twelve patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office. All of her designs are used in her baby crib business, Little Miss Liberty Round Crib Company. These days, she is said to live off-grid and tries to stay out of the spotlight.
Janet Eldridge is another character who made an impact on the storyline without appearing in a massive number of episodes. That being said, those who’ve seen the three-part Bedfellows season four finale will likely remember her. After all, she was yet another woman who nearly married Sam.
Kate Mulgrew plays Eldridge, a councilwoman who tried to pressure Sam into a marriage proposal. But we all know how much Sam hates commitment, so she was left out in the wind. As it turns out, however, the entire incident causes Sam to seriously question his non-committal ways and consider settling down – just not with her.
Unlike most actors and actresses on our list, Kate Mulgrew had already started to make a name for herself when she appeared on the show. For two years in the ‘70s, she played Mary Ryan on the ABC soap opera, “Ryan’s Hope.” It wasn’t until 1986 that she made her appearance as Janet Eldridge.
The actress is still going influential in her television career. Lately, she’s been noted for her role as Red on “Orange is The New Black.” Her talent on the show got her nominated for a Primetime Emmy in 2014.
Around the same time we were introduced to councilwoman Janet Eldridge, was when we met the persistent Phil Schumacher. In fact, David Paymer, who plays the role, shared the screen with a young Kate Mulgrew.
Paymer plays the part of Eldridge’s campaign manager. Not a huge role, but worth noting! It wasn’t the first time that he’d played the reporter type, either. The year before, in 1985, the actor had appeared as a reporter in “King of the Hill.” And it was all uphill from there, as the actor would go on to receive several accolades for his talent.
David Paymer has a long and impressive list of credits to his name. His career in the industry started back in the early ‘80s, just a few years before he was introduced to “Cheers.” But now, he’s made a name for himself as not only an actor but a director as well.
Since 2004, Paymer has directed dozens of television projects. His talents were put to good use on many more major TV shows. His most recent credit was listed in 2016 when he directed an episode of “Lucifer.”
Throughout his appearance on the show, Gary was played by two actors. The character is a rival bar owner, and he owns Gary’s Old Towne Tavern. A bar in Boston, not too far away from Cheers.
Gary appeared eight times in the Bar Wars series. If you remember, Sam and Gary compete multiple times to prove who has the best bar. Sam wins – every single time. Joel Polis and Robert Desiderio played the character.
Joel Polis may not have become a megastar, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t find success in the industry. Throughout his career, he has acted in over 100 programs.
Though he acted in several TV shows and films between 1982 and 2015, Polis has devoted much of his recent years working on stage, instead. The last time we saw him on screen was five years ago when he played “bad guy” in “The Return of Mike and Ike.”
Though you may not remember Polis, there’s a good chance you recognize this funnyman’s face. Christopher Lloyd played the role of Phillip Semenko on “Cheers” way back in 1984. He plays the hilarious, free-spirited artist who “makes love to everything he paints.”
Semenko reveals that he recently spent a few months in jail when we meet him near the end of season two. Why? His last painting was of a Harvard V. Yale football game – and the college types “didn’t get him.” What could he have possibly painted?
Lloyd’s successful, extensive career in acting began on Broadway. In 1975, he scored a role in the hit film, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Around that time, he started playing cabbie, Reverend Jim on “Taxi,” a part for which he won two Primetime Emmy Awards. It was all uphill from there.
In 1985, he played “Doc” Brown in “Back to the Future.” He continued that part throughout the entire franchise.
Kelly Gaines may be rich and beautiful, but she also goes to show that wealth and intelligence don’t always go hand-in-hand. On the show, she plays Woody Boyd’s main squeeze, a Lutheran, “rich girl.”
When these two decided to tie the knot, it was like the universe was doing everything it could to pull them apart. The minister dies, the chef quits, there’s a random sword fight, and plenty more chaos ensues. But, in the end, the two finally get married. By the end of the series, she’s pregnant with a son.
Before Jackie Swanson played the ditzy rich woman on “Cheers,” she first caught our attention during her work in the 1987 film, “Lethal Weapon.” It was until a few years later that she appeared on the show. She remained a recurring character from ’89 until ’93.
After the show, she kept pushing forward in her television career. She’s been retired from acting for about a decade now; her last stint was in 2007 when she played a socialite in Charlie Wilson’s “War.”
Lisa Kudrow is a legend when it comes to comedy. But long before she was a household name, she graced the screen as an actress in “Cheers.” The brunette beauty played Emily, who was starring with Boyd in a community theatre play.
Emily only appeared on one episode of the show, but Kudrow went on to become a Hollywood superstar.
Although the show ended more than fifteen years ago, Lisa Kudrow will always be best known for her role as the quirky Phoebe on “Friends.”
She has also starred and appeared in several major motion pictures over the years. The actress played in “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” “Easy A,” and “Neighbors.” She has one child with her husband, Michel Stern, whom she married in 1995.
The infamous “Jeopardy” host played himself on one episode of the show in which Cliff made it on to the show. Unfortunately, he wagered nearly all of his money on the final “Jeopardy” and answered incorrectly, losing the game.
After he lost, Cliff freaked out and yelled at Trebek. The host showed up at the bar later on, and the two made amends.
Aside from hosting “Jeopardy” since 1984, he’s also hosted a variety of other shows over the years, including “High Rollers,” “Stars on Ice,” and “Game Changers,” on which he also works as a producer.
He has been battling cancer and earlier this year announced that he was going through treatments, but has also said, “I’m not afraid of dying.”
Towards the middle of season three on the show, we meet Amanda, played by Carol Kane. Amanda is a friend that Diane met while spending some time in a mental institution, and she’s still pretty emotionally unstable.
Sam discovers this news when she becomes obsessive after he hit on her. When Sam tried to break up with her, it didn’t register with her, and he eventually had to fake his death to get away from her.
It seems like Carol Kane has been around forever. She has an extensive acting career that spans decades and reaches from the stage to the silver screen. She’s been in everything from “Annie Hall” to “The Princess Bride.”
Most recently, she played Mindy Markowitz in 10 episodes of “TV’s Hunters.” In 2019, she acted in several shows, along with the film, “The Dead Don’t Die.”
Harry Connick Jr. may have turned into quite the ladies’ man, but his character on the show when we first met him? Not so much. At age 25, Harry played Woody’s cousin, Russel.
Now, you may not think anyone could get much slower than Woody, but Russel took the cake. He fell in love with Rebecca right off of the bat – but she (understandably) didn’t feel the same way.
Harry Connick, Jr.
These days, the actor and musician has sold a whopping 28 million albums around the world. He’s also played in several movies and shows since his time on “Cheers,” including “P.S. I Love You,” and “Dolphin Tale.”
Interestingly enough, from 2009-2016, he acted as a guest judge on TV’s music reality show, “American Idol.”
You know how Sam nearly married quite a few people throughout the show? Well, in the episode where Jennifer Tilly appeared as Candi, it was Frasier’s turn to get wedding fever.
Sam set the two up on a date, and they hit it off so fast, they heard wedding bells right after the meeting.
Jennifer Tilly has appeared in several TV shows and films since getting started in the mid-’80s. She played the voice of Chucky’s bride on the “Bride of Chucky” film series.
Aside from her screen work, Tilly also plays professional poker – well – and has won many titles, including PokerListing’s Spirit of Poker Living Legend in 2014.