Ted Danson

Ted Danson

Infobox actor

imagesize =
caption = Ted Danson at the 2008 Emmy Awards
birthdate = birth date and age|1947|12|29
birthplace = San Diego, California
birthname = Edward Bridge Danson III
spouse = Mary Steenburgen (1995-present)
Casey Coates (1977-1993)
Randy Danson (1970-1975)
emmyawards = Outstanding Lead Actor - Comedy Series
1990 "Cheers"
1993 "Cheers"
goldenglobeawards =
1985 "Something About Amelia"

1990 "Cheers"
1991 "Cheers"

Edward Bridge “Ted” Danson III (born December 29, 1947) is an American actor best known for his role as central character, "Sam Malone," in the sitcom "Cheers", and his role as, "Dr. John Becker," on the series "Becker". He is currently a regular on Larry David's HBO sitcom, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and starred alongside Glenn Close in legal drama "Damages".

Early life

Danson was born in San Diego, California, the son of Jessica Danson (née MacMaster) (who is of Scottish descent) [ [http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/minibios/mc/macmaster_family.htm Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants - MacMaster Family ] ] and Edward Bridge Danson Jr., a Jewish archaeologist and museum director. [ [http://www.filmreference.com/film/68/Ted-Danson.html Ted Danson Biography (1947-) ] ] [ [http://www.wargs.com/other/danson.html Ancestry of Ted Danson ] ] Danson was raised near Flagstaff, Arizona. In 1961, he was sent to Kent School where he was a basketball star. He became interested in drama while attending Stanford University. He transferred to the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now known as Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drama, in 1968.



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 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" and "Magnum, P.I."

In 1982, Danson was cast in his most recognizable role, as ex-baseball player and bartender Sam Malone on the hit sitcom "Cheers". The show ran from 1982 to 1993, with Danson winning the Emmy Award for Best Actor in 1990 and 1993. 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. 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 went on to star in the successful CBS sitcom "Becker", 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".

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

In the summer of 2007, Danson began the FX Network drama "Damages" as corrupt billionaire/family man Arthur Frobisher.

On 19 September 2008, Danson appeared on Al Murray's Happy Hour on ITV1.


Danson has also been featured in numerous films. His most notable film appearance was in "Three Men and a Baby" with Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg, as well as its sequel. He also appeared in the films "The Onion Field" (his first film, as the bagpiper), "Body Heat", "Just Between Friends", "A Fine Mess", "Made in America", "Getting Even with Dad", and "Saving Private Ryan".

Other work

Danson, true to his environmental beliefs, rewards friends of the cause with his own home-brewed whiskey, "Danson's Best." He says the potion is made 100% organically and handled only by workers whom he pays a liveable wage. In "Cigar and Wine" [http://www.cigwinemagonline.com/people/690/000022624/] [ [http://television.aol.com/photos/cheers-where-are-they-now?deeplink_level0=2 Cheers Cast: Where Are They Now? - AOL Television ] ] [ [http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/JohnMcCaslin/2008/02/12/chads_return Townhall.com::Chad's Return::By John McCaslin ] ] magazine, Danson said his mix has become quite popular among his close, personal friends, and he's even considering a regional marketing plan with profits going to charity, similar to Paul Newman's "Newman's Own" brand.

Danson's image, along with that of Scott Bakula, was used as a selectable character in "", a science fiction shoot 'em up released for the Amiga home computer system in 1993. Whether or not this use was authorised is unknown.

Personal life

Danson and his first wife, Randy, were married from 1970 to 1975. Danson's second wife was Casey Coates; the couple were married in 1977. In 1979, while giving birth to their first child, Coates suffered a stroke, and Danson spent several years caring for her and helping her recuperate. The couple had two children, including a second adopted daughter. His 1993 divorce with her was one of Hollywood's dearest, costing Danson a massive $25 million.

His third and current wife is actress Mary Steenburgen whom he wed on October 7 1995. He is stepfather to her daughter, Lilly, and son, Charles, from actor Malcolm McDowell. In 2000, Danson and Steenburgen hosted actor Alexis Denisof at their home for a year. [ [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0219206/bio Biography page] at the Internet Movie Database]

On the September 27 2007 episode of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", Danson revealed that he follows a mostly vegan diet, although he does occasionally eat fish.


In 1993, while he was still legally married to Coates, Danson became romantically involved with Whoopi Goldberg, his co-star in the film "Made in America." Danson experienced substantial negative press attention after his appearance in blackface at a Friar's Club comedy roast in Goldberg's honor. [ [http://www.nndb.com/people/690/000022624/ Ted Danson ] ]

Environmental work

Danson is a longtime environmental advocate and he has donated over $500,000 of his own money to environmental causes.

In addition to knowledge gleaned from his father's academic pursuits, Danson's interest in environmental concerns was ignited when he was twelve years old. 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, or "killing", over 500 outdoor advertising signs, and illegal birdhouses. (Gaede would become further involved with this kind of activity, which would be termed "monkeywrenching".) [cite book
last = Chase
first = Alston
coauthors =
title = In A Dark Wood
publisher = Houghton Mifflin
date = 1995
pages = pp. xvii
month =
id = ISBN 0-395-60837-6

Danson's interest in environmentalism continued over the years, and he began to be concerned, in particular, with the state of the world's oceans.He has donated over 500,000 dollars of his own money to the causes.In the 1980s, he was a contributing founder of the "American Oceans Campaigns", now referred to as Oceana, and Danson is still a board member. [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1594/is_n1_v9/ai_20417682 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 ] ] In the late 1980s, he issued an urgent call that the world had ten years to "save the oceans," a proclamation that has earned him substantial criticism from skeptics of man-made global warming.

Political Activism

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 his wife campaigned for Sen. Hillary Clinton during her 2008 Presidential campaign.



*"Somerset" (cast member from 1975–1976)
*"Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge" (1979)
*"The French Atlantic Affair" (1979) (miniseries)
*"The Women's Room" (1980)
*"Once Upon a Spy" (1980)
*"Benson" (1981)
*"Dear Teacher" (1981)
*"Our Family Business" (1981)
*"Magnum, P.I." (1981)
*"Cheers" (1982–1993)
*"Cowboy" (1983)
*"Something About Amelia" (1984)
*"When the Bough Breaks" (1986)
*"We Are the Children" (1987)
*"Ink" (1996–1997) (also executive producer)
*"Gulliver's Travels" (1996) (miniseries)
*"Thanks of a Grateful Nation" (1998)
*"Queer as Folk" (2000)
*"Search for Atlantis (2000)
*"Curb Your Enthusiasm (2003-present)
*"Becker" (1998–2004)
*"Living with the Dead" (2002) (miniseries)
*"It Must Be Love" (2004)
*"Our Fathers" (2005)
*"Help Me Help You" (2006)
*"Damages" (2007-2008)


*"The Onion Field" (1979)
*"Body Heat" (1981)
*"Creepshow" (1982)
*"Little Treasure" (1985)
*"Just Between Friends" (1986)
*"A Fine Mess" (1986)
*"Three Men and a Baby" (1987)
*"She's Having a Baby" (1988) (cameo)
*"Cousins" (1989)
*"Dad" (1989)
*"Three Men and a Little Lady" (1990)
*"Made in America" (1993)
*"Getting Even with Dad" (1994)
*"Pontiac Moon" (1994) (also executive producer)
*"Loch Ness" (1996)
*"Jerry and Tom" (1998)
*"Homegrown" (1998)
*"Saving Private Ryan" (1998)
*"Mumford" (1999)
*"Scene Smoking: Cigarettes, Cinema & the Myth of Cool" (2001)
*"Talking to Heaven" (2002)
*"Surviving Love" (2003)
*"Fronterz" (2004)
*"The Moguls" (2005)
*"Knights of the South Bronx" (2005)
*"Nobel Son" (2007)
*"Mad Money" (2008)
*"The Human Contract" (2008)

Awards and Nominations


;Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
* 1990 – "Cheers"
* 1993 – "Cheers"

;Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical
* 1990 – "Cheers"
* 1991 – "Cheers"

;Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical
* 1985 – "Something About Amelia"


;Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
* 1983 – "Cheers"
* 1985 – "Cheers"
* 1986 – "Cheers"
* 1987 – "Cheers"
* 1988 – "Cheers"
* 1989 – "Cheers"
* 1991 – "Cheers"
* 1992 – "Cheers"
* 1994 – "Cheers"

;Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
* 2008 - "Damages"

;Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical
* 1984 – "Cheers"
* 1985 – "Cheers"
* 1987 – "Cheers"
* 1989 – "Cheers"
* 1990 – "Cheers"
* 1991 – "Cheers"
* 1992 – "Cheers"
* 1993 – "Cheers"
* 2001 – "Becker"

;Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor - Series/Mini Series/Television Movie
* 2008 - "Damages"


External links

* [http://www.cmu.edu/cmnews/extra/031017_tdanson.html Danson receives the Distinguished Achievement Award from his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University, in 2003]
* [http://www.oceana.org Oceana]
* [http://www.myspace.com/edwarddanson Ted Danson's Myspace]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZvCXHL6y10 Video of Ted at Oceana event]

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