Ted Danson

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Ted Danson
Ted Danson 2008 number 2.jpg
Danson in 2008
Born Edward Bridge Danson III
(1947-12-29) December 29, 1947 (age 66)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, author, producer
Years active 1975–present
Spouse(s) Randall Danson (1970–1975; divorced)
Cassandra Coates (1977–1993; divorced)
Mary Steenburgen (m. 1995)
Children 2 (with Coates)

Edward Bridge "Ted" Danson III (born December 29, 1947) is an American actor, author, and producer, well known for his role as lead character Sam Malone in the sitcom Cheers, and his role as Dr. John Becker on the series Becker. He is currently starring in the CBS drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as D.B. Russell.[1][2] He also plays a recurring role on Larry David's HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm, starred alongside Glenn Close in legal drama Damages and was a regular on the HBO comedy series Bored to Death.

In his 30-year career, Danson has been nominated for 15 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning two; ten Golden Globe Awards nominations, winning three; one Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination; one American Comedy Award and a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. He was ranked second in TV Guide's list of the top 25 television stars.[3] Danson has also been a longtime activist in ocean conservation. In March 2011, he published his first book, Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them, written with journalist Michael D'Orso.

Early life[edit]

Danson was born in San Diego, California, the son of Jess Danson (née MacMaster) and Edward Bridge Danson, Jr., an archaeologist and museum director and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona.[4]

In 1961, he enrolled in the Kent School, where he was a basketball star. He became interested in drama while attending Stanford University. He transferred to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drama, in 1972.

Danson stated in an interview with Craig Ferguson that he is of Scottish descent.[5]

Career[edit]

Television[edit]

Early career[edit]

Danson began his television career as a contract player on daytime soap opera, Somerset. He played the role of "Tom Conway" from 1975 to 1976. He then spent a few years (1977-1982) as a doctor on the daytime soap opera The Doctors. He was also in a number of commercials, most recognizably as the "Aramis man".

He made a number of guest appearances in episodic television in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including spots on Laverne and Shirley; B.J. and the Bear; Family; Benson; Taxi; Magnum P.I.; and Tucker's Witch.

Career breakthrough: Cheers[edit]

Danson at the 42nd Emmy Awards, September 1990

In 1982, Danson was cast, in his most recognizable role, as the womanizing former baseball player and bartender Sam Malone on the NBC sitcom Cheers, who has on-and-off relationship with college-educated, sophisticated Diane Chambers. Though the show finished last in the ratings in the first season, it was well received by critics and ratings slowly but surely improved in 1983 and by 1986, Cheers was one of the top ten shows on TV. The show had a run of 11 seasons and its finale (May 20, 1993) was watched by 80 million people, becoming the second most watched finale in television history. It won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and a Golden Globe for Best Series – Musical or Comedy. The show ran from 1982 to 1993, with Danson receiving 11 consecutive Emmy nominations and nine Golden Globe nominations, ultimately winning two Emmys and two Golden Globes. In 2002, TV Guide named Cheers the 18th Greatest Show of All Time. It was also included in Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Shows of All Time.

Danson also appeared as Sam Malone in guest-starring roles on other sitcoms, such as Frasier (a Cheers spin-off), The Jim Henson Hour, and The Simpsons.

Later career[edit]

Danson went on to star in the successful CBS sitcom Becker (produced by Paramount Television, which also produced Cheers), which ran from 1998–2004. Danson also plays himself on Curb Your Enthusiasm. He reprised his role of "Sam Malone" in a second season episode of Frasier and voiced him in The Simpsons episode "Fear of Flying".

Although he was best known for his work in comedy, he also appeared in an acclaimed drama, Something About Amelia, about a family devastated by the repercussions of incest, which co-starred his later co-star on Damages, Glenn Close. He won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie and was nominated for an Emmy Award. In 1996, three years after Cheers concluded, Danson starred in the short-lived CBS sitcom Ink with his real-life wife Mary Steenburgen. In the same year, they starred as Lemuel Gulliver and his wife in an acclaimed television miniseries of Gulliver's Travels.

Danson returned to series television in the fall of 2006, playing a psychiatrist in the ABC sitcom Help Me Help You, which was canceled at midseason due to low ratings.

In 2006, Danson received a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries for his role in Knights of the South Bronx.

In 2007, Danson starred in the FX Network drama Damages as a corrupt billionaire, Arthur Frobisher. The role earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, but lost to co-star Željko Ivanek. In the second season, Danson became a recurring character instead of one of the principal cast. Nevertheless, Danson received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, but lost to Michael J. Fox for his guest appearance in Rescue Me.

In 1999, Danson was presented a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

In 2011, Danson appeared in the music video for "Make Some Noise" by the Beastie Boys. He is also mentioned in the song's lyrics.

Danson starred in the HBO comedy series, Bored to Death, playing George Christopher, the laconic, salubrious and sometime downright infantile editor of Edition magazine. Critics often praised Danson as being the highlight of the program, calling his character a "scene-stealer".[6][7]

In July 2011, it was announced that Danson would star in CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He plays D.B. Russell, a new graveyard shift supervisor who previously headed a crime lab in Seattle, Washington. Tony Shalhoub, Robin Williams and John Lithgow were also considered for the role.[1][2][8]

In March 2013 it was confirmed that Danson had signed a deal extending his stay on the crime drama for two more years.[9]

Film[edit]

Danson has also been featured in numerous films. His most notable film appearances were in Three Men and a Baby with Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg, its sequel Three Men and a Little Lady, and Cousins with Isabella Rossellini. He also appeared in The Onion Field (his first film, as the bagpipe playing Officer Ian Campbell), Creepshow, Body Heat, Little Treasure, Just Between Friends, A Fine Mess, Dad, Made in America, Getting Even with Dad, and Saving Private Ryan.

Personal life[edit]

Danson with wife Mary Steenburgen in December 2009

Danson and his first wife, actress Randall "Randy" Gosch (now professionally known as Randy Danson), were married in 1970 and divorced in 1975. Danson's second wife was producer Cassandra "Casey" Coates; they were married in 1977. On December 24, 1979, while giving birth to their first daughter Kate, Coates suffered a stroke, and Danson spent several years caring for her and helping her recuperate. They later adopted a second daughter Alexis. Danson's affair with actress Whoopi Goldberg led to their divorce in 1993.[10] It was one of Hollywood's costliest divorces, reportedly costing Danson $30 million.[11]

On October 7, 1995, Danson married actress Mary Steenburgen, whom he met on the set of the movie Pontiac Moon in 1993, and became the stepfather to Steenburgen's daughter Lilly and son Charles from her previous marriage to actor Malcolm McDowell.

Danson adheres to a vegan diet for both health and ethical reasons.[12]

Roast of Whoopi Goldberg[edit]

Danson experienced substantial negative press attention on October 8, 1993 after his appearance in blackface at a Friars Club comedy roast in honor of then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg. In his monologue, Danson made extensive use of offensive racial stereotypes, used the word "nigger" more than a dozen times, and ate a watermelon, angering such guests as Montel Williams and Mayor David Dinkins.[13][14] Goldberg defended the sketch, explaining that she had helped write much of the material and referred Danson to the makeup artist who painted his face.[13][15] Danson and Goldberg issued statements emphasizing "the Friars Club tradition of raucous and over the top humor" and describing those offended as newcomers who "were uncomfortable with what to expect."[13] Substantial excerpts from the performance were later printed in Spy.[16]

Environmentalism[edit]

Danson's interest in environmental concerns was ignited when he was twelve years old and Bill Breed, then a curator at the Museum of Northern Arizona, introduced Danson and friend Marc Gaede to a game he referred to as "billboarding". Armed with an axe and saw, Breed, Gaede, and Danson ended up destroying over 300 outdoor advertising signs.[17]

Danson's interest in environmentalism continued over the years, and he began to be concerned with the state of the world's oceans. In 1988, he said we had 10 years to save the oceans or we would pay the consequences, which would be death.[citation needed] In the 1980s, he was a contributing founder of the American Oceans Campaigns, which merged with Oceana in 2001, where Danson is a board member.[18]

In March 2011, Danson published his first book, Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans And What We Can Do To Save Them, written with journalist Michael D'Orso.

Political activism[edit]

Danson is a friend of former United States President Bill Clinton, who attended Danson and Mary Steenburgen's wedding. Danson has donated more than $85,000 to Democratic candidates, including Al Gore, John Edwards, Barbara Boxer, Bill Clinton, Al Franken, and John Kerry. He has also donated to the Democratic Party of Arkansas and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Danson and Steenburgen campaigned for Sen. Hillary Clinton during her 2008 Presidential campaign.[19] He attended the wedding of their daughter Chelsea on July 31, 2010.[20]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1979 The Onion Field Det. Ian James Campbell
1979 The French Atlantic Affair Assistant Television film
1980 The Women's Room Norman Television film
1980 Once Upon a Spy Jack Chenault Television film
1981 Body Heat Peter Lowenstein
1981 Dear Teacher Steve Goodwin Television film
1981 Our Family Business Gep Television film
1982 Creepshow Harry Wentworth
1983 Cowboy Dale Weeks Television film
1984 Something About Amelia Steven Bennett Television film
1985 Little Treasure Eugene Wilson
1986 Just Between Friends Chip Davis
1986 When the Bough Breaks Alex Television film
1986 A Fine Mess Spence Holden
1987 Three Men and a Baby Jack Holden
1987 We Are the Children N/A Television film
1989 Cousins Larry
1989 Dad John Tremont
1990 Three Men and a Little Lady Jack Holden
1993 Made in America Hal Jackson
1994 Getting Even with Dad Raymond Gleason
1994 Pontiac Moon Washington Bellamy
1996 Loch Ness Dempsey
1996 Gulliver's Travels Lemuel Gulliver Television movie
1998 Jerry and Tom Guy
1998 Thanks of a Grateful Nation Jim Tuite Television film
1998 Homegrown Gianni Saletzzo
1998 Saving Private Ryan Capt. Hamill
1999 Mumford Jeremy Brockett
2000 Search for Atlantis Himself Television film
2002 Living with the Dead James Van Praagh Television film
2004 Fronterz N/A
2004 It Must Be Love George Gazelle Television film
2005 Our Fathers Mitchell Garabedian Television film
2005 Knights of the South Bronx Richard Television film
2007 Nobel Son Harvey Parrish
2007 The Amateurs Moose
2008 Mad Money Don Cardigan
2008 The Human Contract E.J. Winters
2009 The Open Road Coach
2012 Big Miracle J.W. McGrath
2012 Ted Himself Uncredited

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1975–1976 Somerset Tim Conway #2 Unknown episodes
1979 The Amazing Spider-Man Major Collings 2 episodes
1979 Columbo Richard Dellinger Episode: "Ladies of the Afternoon"
1979 Trapper John, M.D. Injured Man Episode: "Love Is a Three-Way Street"
1979 B. J. and the Bear Tom Spencer Episode: "Silent Night, Unholy Night"
1980 Laverne & Shirley Randy Carpenter Episode: "Why Did the Fireman..."
1980 Family David Bartels Episode: "Daylight Serenade"
1981 Benson Dan 2 episodes
1981 Magnum, P.I. Stewart Crane Episode: "Don't Say Goodbye"
1982 Taxi Vincenzo Senaca Episode: "The Unkindest Cut"
1982–1993 Cheers Sam Malone 275 episodes
1989 The Jim Henson Hour Himself Episode: "Aquatic Life"
1990 The Earth Day Special Sam Malone
1994 The Simpsons Sam Malone Episode: "Fear of Flying"
1995 Frasier Sam Malone Episode: "The Show Where Sam Shows Up"
1996–1997 Ink Mike Logan 22 episodes
1998–2004 Becker Dr. John Becker 129 episodes
1998 Veronica's Closet Nick Vanover Episode: "Veronica's $600,000 Pop"
2000–2009 Curb Your Enthusiasm Ted Danson 13 episodes
2006–2007 Help Me Help You Dr. Bill Hoffman 14 episodes
2006 Heist Tom 2 episodes
2007–2010 Damages Arthur Frobisher 23 episodes
2008 King of the Hill Tom Hammond Episode: "The Accidental Terrorist"
2009–2011 Bored to Death George Christopher 24 episodes
2010 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Little Danson Man Episode: "Greene Machine"
2011–present CSI: Crime Scene Investigation D.B. Russell 66 episodes
2013 CSI: NY D.B. Russell Episode: "Seth and Apep"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1983 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Cheers Nominated
1984 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Something About Amelia Nominated
1985 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Won
Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Cheers Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Male TV Performer Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
1986 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
1987 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
1988 People's Choice Awards Favorite Male TV Performer Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
1989 American Comedy Awards Funniest Male Performer in a Television Series Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Male TV Performer Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
1990 American Comedy Awards Funniest Male Performer in a Television Series Nominated
Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Dad Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Cheers Won
People's Choice Awards Favorite Male TV Performer Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Won
Viewers for Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series Nominated
1991 American Comedy Awards Funniest Male Performer in a Television Series Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Won
People's Choice Awards Favorite Male TV Performer Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series Nominated
1992 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Male TV Performer Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
1993 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Male TV Performer Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Won
1997 Satellite Awards Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Gulliver's Travels Nominated
2000 Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Becker Nominated
2001 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
2003 Satellite Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Living with the Dead Nominated
2005 Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Our Fathers Nominated
2006 Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Help Me Help You Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Knights of the South Bronx Nominated
2008 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Damages Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2009 Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2010 Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rice, Lynette; Hibberd, James (July 12, 2011). "Breaking: Ted Danson takes over 'CSI'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b McEvoy, Colin (July 13, 2011). "Ted Danson to join the cast of 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation'". The Express-Times. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Ted Danson Will Move Into CSI Replacing Laurence Fishburne | A&E Playground". Artsandentertainmentplayground.com. July 14, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ Ted Danson Biography
  5. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJiLZrOPsOc
  6. ^ Time. September 18, 2009 http://tunedin.blogs.time.com/2009/09/18/tv-weekend-private-eye-rony-also-curbs-return/ |url= missing title (help). 
  7. ^ Franklin, Nancy (August 1, 2011). "HBO’s Bored to Death review". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Ted Danson moves to 'CSI'". Variety. July 12, 2011. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  9. ^ "CBS RENEWS ‘CSI’ FOR SEASON 14". CSI Files. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Ted, Whoopi rumored to have split". The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon). November 6, 1993. p. 2A. 
  11. ^ Singh, Anita (April 14, 2009). "Mel Gibson to top the list of biggest celebrity payouts". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved July 10, 2010. 
  12. ^ Runkle Nathan. ""Cheers" to Ted Danson for Going Vegan", Mercy For Animals, 5 February 2012, Archive
  13. ^ a b c "Whoopi Goldberg Defends Ted Danson's Blackface Act At Friars Club Roast". Jet 84 (26): 12–14, 60–61. 25 October 1993. 
  14. ^ Racial Jokes Spur Apology from Friars New York Times, October 10, 1993
  15. ^ New York Magazine – Google Boeken. Google Books. February 17, 1997. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  16. ^ Theroux, Louis (February 1994). "The Fine Print: Danson in the Dark". Spy: 21–26. 
  17. ^ Chase, Alston (1995). In A Dark Wood. Houghton Mifflin. pp. xvii. ISBN 0-395-60837-6. 
  18. ^ Ted Danson: acting for the oceans – interview with actor and American Oceans Campaign co-founder Ted Danson | E: The Environmental Magazine | Find Articles at BNET.com
  19. ^ "Danson to Hit the Road for Clinton Again". The Washington Post. February 15, 2008. Retrieved July 10, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Chelsea Clinton Marries Marc Mezvinsky". The People. July 31, 2010. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]