Who can believe it’s been 18 years since “Frasier” ended? All those years, and it’s still one of the best sitcoms we’ve ever watched (and still watch!). The show had eleven seasons and 264 episodes, but we’ll never get tired of binge-watching the life of Dr. Frasier Crane.
But you can’t binge-watch your way into learning some incredible facts about the show. The producers may not want you to know some of them! Don’t worry! We’ve got them all here. Plus, we’ll look at what the “Frasier” cast has been up to in the almost two decades since the show ended, including a revival! Yayyy!
Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane – Then
Dr. Frasier Crane is a Seattle-based radio psychiatrist who is nice and intelligent but sometimes comes across as uppity and arrogant. And it made him more fun to watch. He grew up with an educated mother and an “average Joe” father. We’ll never forget the humor of average Joe…
…and his canine best friend who lived with Frasier. In 1984, Grammer played a love interest for Diane and a pain in the neck for Sam in season three of “Cheers.” Originally intended to be a six-episode storyline, Grammer’s role in “Cheers” grew to 202 episodes and laid the foundation for the fantastic “Frasier” spin-off.
What Has Our Favorite Psychiatrist Been Up To?
Grammer has remained a familiar face and voice on TV since the end of “Frasier,” as he voiced Sideshow Bob on “The Simpsons” from 1990 to 2019. He’s appeared in “The Last Tycoon,” “Hank,” “Proven Innocent,” and “You’re Not a Monster,” among others. He’s presently partnering with Alec Baldwin.
They’re working on a TV comedy from Chris Lloyd, the “Modern Family” co-creator/executive producer, meaning we should expect the “Frasier” revival series in 2022, per Deadline. Since a spin-off show brought us this amazing sitcom in the first place, we advise you to wait before jumping on the reboot hate train!
A Record on the Horizon
Grammer could set a record for the most years spent playing one character on prime-time television. In 1984, he made his debut on NBC’s “Cheers,” and after the show ended in 1993, he was handed his own spinoff. He’s been playing the role of “Frasier” for 20 years.
He’ll surpass James Arness’ 20-year record as Marshall Matt Dillon on the western “Gunsmoke” by reviving Frasier Crane. We’re rooting for you, Doc! With four marriages (another personal record, we presume), seven children, and one grandchild, the actor has also kept himself active in his personal life.
The Original Idea Didn’t Involve Frasier Crane
Have you ever stopped to imagine what the show would look like without Frasier Crane? Yes, he was almost not in the show, or at least not as we came to know him. Initially, Grammer and the “Frasier” creative team feared that using the Dr. Crane character would lead to unfair comparisons to “Cheers.”
So, they envisioned Grammer as a paralyzed media tycoon in a Manhattan penthouse being cared for by a street-smart nurse. The studio despised the proposal (THANKFULLY!) and persuaded everyone involved that it would be silly not to take advantage of the built-in “Cheers” audience. We’re glad they changed their minds.
Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon – Then
Daphne Moon ended the show as Mrs. Niles Crane. She plays the role of Martin’s therapist and live-in assistant. She offers a more polished perspective to the show, but she is still the household’s eccentric character. Niles and Daphne enjoy a genuinely charming love story despite their contrasting upbringing.
Jane Leeves’ career began in the heavens. Well, it was quite a fitting way to get started considering she was, and still is, a beautiful woman. She acted as one of Benny’s Angels on the outlandish “Benny Hill Show,” an entertaining show from someone who had a tumultuous life.
Leeves Needs to Sound Convincing
Leeves grew up in the London suburbs, but because her character was from Manchester, she adopted a faux Mancunian accent (which was heavily criticized by fans in the UK). Well, we quite understand the fans’ displeasure over the accent. So, Leeves worked with a vocal coach.
This was to ensure that audiences in the US could understand her accent. John Mahoney, who died in 2018, was born in Manchester and moved to the US when he was 19 years old. Soon after landing in Illinois, he focused on eliminating his accent to “blend in.”
Leeves Remains Evergreen in the Industry
After her time on “Frasier,” Leeves got a hit role as Joy Scroggs on TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland,” starring with Valerie Bertinelli, Wendy Malick, and Betty White. We’ve heard her distinct British voice in the animations “Mickey and the Roadster Racers” and “Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures.”
Leeves is presently acting as Dr. Kit Voss, Head of Orthopedic Surgery at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital, on Fox’s medical drama “The Resident.” She is in her early 60s and has been married to Marshall Coben, a CBS television executive, since 1996. They have two children together.
I Don’t Like My Brother’s Wife
Did you know Kelsey Grammer wanted someone else to play Jane Leeves’ role? Rosie Perez came extremely close to playing Daphne Moon, a psychic home health care worker. Grammer wanted the character to be a Latina, and the producers wanted Leeves to play her. Why didn’t he want her?
Grammer’s primary criticism of the British Leeves was that it reminded him too much of “Nanny and the Professor,” a 1970s family sitcom starring Juliet Mills as an English nanny with psychic powers. Grammer decided to go with her when his first table reading with Leeves went particularly well.
David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane – Then
Niles Crane is Frasier’s younger brother, who is a private practice psychiatrist. He is well-educated, but don’t be fooled by his directness; he loves his family. But, we can’t stress it enough, Pierce was the show’s outstanding star. He was hysterically funny, which was evident every time he entered a scene.
You could see he just made things tick all the time. Pierce made his television debut in Norman Lear’s 1992 political comedy, “The Powers That Be.” Some of his other prominent roles include Oliver Stone’s “Nixon,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and the 2003 cult film “Down With Love.”
Piercing the Rules for David Hyde Pierce
Just like his brother, we almost wouldn’t have seen Niles Crane on our screen. There was no plan for Frasier to have a brother, and it was the casting director who made it happen. “Doesn’t he look like Kelsey did ten years ago?” she remarked, holding a photo of Pierce.
The creative team was so taken aback by the striking resemblance that they dug out videos of Pierce’s role as the shy, suicidal Congressman on the short-lived Norman Lear-produced political sitcom, “The Powers That Be.” After a brief interview, the actor was offered the freshly created role of Niles Crane.
The 21st-Century David Hyde Pierce
So, what has the standout performer in “Frasier” been up to these days? He’s currently working on “Julia,” an unreleased series, as Julia Childs’ husband, Paul. Sixty-two-year-old Pierce married Brian Hargrove in 2008 and has worked for years with the Alzheimer’s Association, even speaking in DC for increased funding.
Pierce received four Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Fraiser’s younger brother and fellow psychiatrist, Dr. Niles Crane. His quick, clever humor mirrors Grammer’s character, so much so that they seemed like such real siblings. According to Deadline, Pierce has been approached about reprising his role in the revival.
Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle – Then
Peri Gilpin plays Frasier’s long-suffering radio program producer Roz Doyle. She’s the focus of sarcastic remarks and jokes, especially from Niles, yet she’s such a wonderful character, almost like a member of the family. Gilpin worked as a makeup artist before meeting Blythe Danner, her biggest supporter.
Gilpin quickly landed a regular role on “Flesh n Blood,” a promising but short-lived sitcom. She appeared in a season 11 episode of “Cheers,” so it was easy to place her in “Frasier” the following year. But, it didn’t come easy because she had stiff competition.
Lisa Kudrow Almost Took Her Role
The role of Roz Doyle, Frasier’s producer, was initially offered to Lisa Kudrow. But, on the third day of rehearsals before filming the pilot, the producers decided that, while Kudrow was clearly funny (and even funnier than Gilpin), she lacked the force to meet Grammer when he went all out.
The producers wanted a female “alpha dog” for the role, so Kudrow was passed up in favor of Gilpin. Roz Doyle, one of the “Wings” producers who died of breast cancer in 1991 at the age of 49, was the inspiration for the character.
What Comes Next for Gilpin After “Frasier”?
Since the show ended, Gilpin has been in several TV movies, including the Hallmark Channel’s “Crossroads: A Story of Forgiveness” and Lifetime’s “For the Love of a Child.” In 2011, she appeared as a guest on Jane Leeves’ “Hot in Cleveland.” This reunited the two “Frasier” actresses.
Now 60, Gilpin still works on TV series. From 2012 to 2013, she played Barbara Russell, Ted Danson’s ex-wife, on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” From 2015 through 2016, Gilpin played Deputy Director of Homeland Security Katherine Cooper on another CBS series, “Scorpion.” Not bad for Frasier’s radio producer.
John Mahoney as Martin Crane
Martin Crane was the blue-collar dad, loud but relaxed. Martin is a former Seattle detective who had to retire due to a gunshot wound to his hip. So, we get to see him, his chair, his dog, and his assistant thoroughly ruffle Frasier’s feathers. Who recalls his “Cheers” episode?
That’s right, he and Frasier had met before, in Season 11, Episode 5 of the show. If you remembered that, then you’re a real fan! Sadly, the revival will not have Mahoney’s retired cop father back to be with his sons Fraiser and Niles because he sadly passed away in 2018.
A Fighter TV Dad and Hero
He had a great Season Two arc on HBO’s “In Treatment” after “Frasier” ended, but his career was nearing its end. Mahoney had fought cancer twice before, once in the 1980s and again in 2014. He attributes his perseverance to his acting career, stating, “I refused to yield to it….”
“…because I love what I’m doing so much.” His final film role was in “Mariette in Ecstasy,” which was released posthumously in 2019. He died in a Chicago hospice on February 4, 2018, from throat cancer. He was 77. We’re glad to have seen you work your magic, John.
Mahoney’s Career After “Frasier”
After years of showcasing his comedic abilities on “Frasier,” Mahoney took a significant turn in 2009 as Walter Barnett on the Emmy-winning HBO series “In Treatment.” In seasons two, three, and five of “Hot in Cleveland,” Mahoney reunited with his “Frasier” co-star, Jane Leeves, in guest appearances. He played the role of Roy.
Roy, a waiter, had a crush on Betty White’s Elka and began dating her. He made one final appearance in the show’s last season, where they temporarily reunited following their breakup. Aside from a guest appearance in the British drama “Foyle’s War” in 2015, it was his final TV appearance.
Dan Butler as Bob “Bulldog” Briscoe – Then
Dan Butler played Bob “Bulldog” Briscoe, the arrogant sports-fanatic radio show presenter in “Frasier.” Butler began his acting career in 1982, appearing in “The Long Walk Home” (1990) and “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991). Bulldog is his most well-known role; he was featured in every season except the eighth.
Butler kept his sexuality hidden, like David Hyde Pierce, until his one-man cross-country production of “The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me…” Butler has become a vocal advocate for the LGBT community since coming out.
He Has Always Been on Our Screens
Butler left “Frasier” in the same year that he quit his long-running voice performances on the animated series “Hey Arnold!.” He left the show to prepare for his Broadway debut in a 2004 production of “Twentieth Century.” Butler spent the next few years as a guest star on other shows, including “Supernatural” and “House.”
He also appeared in “Monk” before making his directorial and producing debut in 2007 with the political comedy “Karl Rove, I Love You.” Butler got the character of Trey in an off-Broadway production of “Olive and the Bitter Herbs” in 2011, a year after he married producer Richard Waterhouse.
The Bulldog Has Been Busy
The same year, he played Cal’s boss in the big-screen romantic dramedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” 2013 saw Butler once again on the theatrical stage with an off-Broadway production of “Weir.” Since then, he’s appeared on several hit TV shows, including “The Mysteries of Laura,” “Blindspot,” and “Blue Bloods.”
In 2017, Butler landed a recurring role as Father Romanov on the horror series “The Mist.” More recently, he returned to Broadway for a 2018 production of “Travesties.” Today Dan is 67 years old and lives in Vermont with his husband, producer Richard Waterhouse. They’re happily married.
Edward Hibbert as Gil Chesterton – Then
Gil Chesterton, played by Edward Hibbert, is an arrogant and uptight food critic who, despite his multiple references to his ‘wife’ Deb, is commonly suspected of being gay. Gil has a phony English accent that Frasier thinks is artificial, but he gets on well with his coworkers despite his arrogance.
He’s also seen frequently conspiring with Butler (Bulldog) against Frasier. Before appearing in “Frasier,” Hibbert starred in BBC’s production of “The Life and Death of King John” as Faulconbridge. He also won an Obie Award in 1993 for his co-starring role as Sterling in Paul Rudnick’s “Jeffery.”
Edward Hibbert as Gil Chesterton – Now
Unlike most other actors and actresses from the show, Hibbert hasn’t been able to land another recurring role on a major show since the finale of “Frasier.” Instead, he has made numerous guest appearances on shows, including “Gilmore Girls” and “Grace and Frankie.”
Hibbert is also a literary agent, having represented Fight Club’s film rights and journalist and author Chuck Palahniuk. Hibbert is openly gay. He claims he’s never come out of the closet because he was never forced to. “I think in England, it’s not the same. It’s unspoken but understood,” he said.
Bill Gates’ Best Friend: Patrick Kerr as Noel Shempsky – Then
Patrick Kerr played the role of Noel Shempsky, the humorous character at the KACL station. He is the embodiment of a Star Trek fanatic, speaking Klingon, Hebrew, and Spanish. Noel has an undying love for Roz, and we sometimes get the feeling that he lives for her rejection of him.
Noel is incredibly smart and hardworking, and it is claimed in one episode that he is best friends with Bill Gates. Kerr performed in Paul Rudnick’s Off-Broadway play “Jeffrey” in 1993 when “Frasier” debuted on television. So what has the intelligent Kerr done since then?
Patrick Kerr as Noel Shempsky – Now
Kerr is a well-known comic actor who has made memorable appearances on television shows like “Friends” and “Will & Grace.” But “Frasier” is his most notable one. He hasn’t appeared on many TV series recently, although he did play Zazu in a Las Vegas version of “The Lion King.”
He has also appeared in performances at California Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley Rep, and South Coast Repertory, among others. In 2007, Kerr appeared in “Die Hardly Working,” “Random Acts of Kindness,” “Anklebiters,” “Girl Trouble,” “Time Upon A Once,” “Goldfish,” and “The Losers,” all during the reality show “On the Lot.”
Tom McGowan as Kenny Daly – Then
Kenny Daly, played by Tom McGowan, dedicated his life to radio. After a brief professional slump that saw him slinging pizzas, Daly was appointed as the KACL station manager. Kenny got along with all his employees, but he needed Frasier’s help after his wife divorced him.
Kenny later quit as the manager to pursue a career as a DJ again, leaving Roz in charge of KACL. Daly has continuously performed the role of “The Wonderful Wizard of OZ” since 2009. He is married to Cathay. The couple has a son named Mark and a daughter, Mary.
Marsha Mason as Sherry Dempsey – Then
Marsha Mason plays Sherry Dempsey in Seasons 4 to 5 of “Frasier.” She is Martin’s extravagant girlfriend, whose preferences and sentiments regularly cause conflict with the rest of the family. Mason was already a sensation before appearing on “Frasier.” Her film début was in the 1966 movie “Hot Rod Hullabaloo.”
Some other films she appeared in before “Frasier” include “Blume in Love” (1973), “Max Dugan Returns” (1983), “The Cheap Detective” (1978), “Stella” (1990), “Heartbreak Ridge” (1986), and “Drop Dead Fred” (1991). She also appeared in the soap opera “Love of Life” between 1971 and 1972.
Marsha Mason as Sherry Dempsey – Now
The flamboyant girl we saw for a brief period has had an extensive career! Mason has appeared in numerous movies and TV shows since she left ”Frasier.” She has been married twice, first to actor Gary Campbell (1965 – 1970) and then to playwright Neil Simon (1973-1983).
Mason teaches at HB Studio (Herbert Berghof Studio) in New York City. She has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. She is now based in New York City after she finished building a home on a hayfield in Litchfield County, Connecticut, in 2018, where she now lives.
Harriet Sansom Harris as Bebe Glazer – Then
Harriet Sansom Harris plays the role of Bebe Glazer from Seasons 1 through 11. She is Frasier’s flirty and deceitful agent. Niles describes her as “Lady Macbeth without the sincerity,” and Bebe will go to any length to gain the greatest deal for herself or her clients.
Harris worked extensively on and off-broadway before and during her appearances on “Frasier.” She was even nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 1992, one year before “Frasier” started airing on TV. The year the show debuted, she got a second Drama Desk nomination for her performance in “Jeffrey.”
Harriet Sansom Harris as Bebe Glazer – Now
Now 67, Harris has done quite well for herself in the years since “Frasier” ended. If you were a fan of the ABC drama series “Desperate Housewives,” you’ll remember Harris as Felicia Tilman, Martha Huber’s sister. She appeared on the show in 2004.
In 2018, she had a guest appearance in the “American Horror Story: Apocalypse.” Harris also played Adriana in an episode of “Dynasty.” In 2020, she appeared in multiple TV shows, including the Netflix drama series “Ratched” as Ingrid and “Atlantic Crossing” as Eleanor Roosevelt.
Millicent Martin as Mrs. Moon – Then
Millicent Martin played Mrs. Moon, Daphne’s mother, between Seasons 9 and 10 of “Frasier.” She also had guest appearances in Seasons 7 and 11. Do you remember her? Of course, you do. Although she had a recurring role in “Frasier,” she also had a recurring role on other shows during that same period.
She had a recurring role as Carol in Season 1 of “That’s Life” in 2000. Then, in 2004, she had a short stint on the ABC TV sitcom “The Drew Carey Show” as Helen. She appeared in “Will & Grace” and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” among others.
Millicent Martin as Mrs. Moon – Now
We’ve not seen Martin in many recurring roles since “Frasier” ended. But she hasn’t done badly either. She had a guest appearance in the 2005 film “Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont.” In 2011, she guest-starred alongside her former “Frasier” daughter, Jane Leeves, in the TV series “Hot in Cleveland.”
Martin appeared in the fourth season of “Chuck” as the mother of Hartley Winterbottom, who was given the first Intersect prototype and became Alexei Volkoff; Martin also guest-starred on one episode in the fourth season of “Castle.” She has appeared in “Grace and Frankie” as Joan-Margaret since 2017.
Brian Klugman as Kirby – Then
We got to see Brian Klugman play Kirby for a short time in Season 9. But, he already appeared as a guest in Season 8. Kirby was the son of Bob and Lana. He was also a part-timer at KACL.
Klugman was born in the Philadelphia suburbs of Pennsylvania. Gerald, his father, is a real estate broker, and Helen, his mother, is a schoolteacher. Klugman has three siblings, including Jeffrey, his older brother, and Laurie and Michael, his younger sister and brother, respectively. He attended Carnegie Mellon University for two years after graduating from Germantown Academy.
Brian Klugman as Kirby – Now
We’ve not really seen Klugman on our screens since the end of “Frasier.” You’ve got to be a huge movie fan to have even noticed him. His most recent role was Dr. Oliver Wells in “Bones.” He has also appeared in “The Bogus Witch Project,” “Cloverfield,” and “Dreamland.”
Others are the “National Lampoon’s Adam & Eve” and “Joan of Arcadia.” In 2009, Klugman appeared as Reece in the horror/thriller “Vacancy 2: The First Cut.” Klugman is also credited with “Tron: Legacy,” which he co-wrote with Lee Sternthal, Edward Kitsis, and Adam Horowitz.
Ashley Thomas as Alice – Then
Alice May Doyle is a recurring character that is played by Ashley Thomas. Alice, Roz Doyle’s only child, was born after Roz went into labor at a party at Niles Crane’s home. You’ll remember it was a one-night stand with a 20-year-old college student that resulted in Alice’s birth.
Her father was only 20 at the time of her conception, and rather than ruining his life, Roz decided to raise Alice herself rather than burdening him with the responsibility. She has a strained relationship with Daphne’s mother, Gertrude, but has a deep friendship with Roz’s ex-boyfriend, Roger.
Ashley Thomas as Alice – Now
It’s safe to say Thomas hasn’t been busy in her career as an actress. Ever since “Frasier” ended, she has only appeared in a handful of movies. Some of them included “Sky Kids” in 2008, “All of My Children” in 2007, “Hairless” in 2004, and “The Schedule” in 1997.
As Thomas was just a kid during the show, there hasn’t been much focus on her. And her performance wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything spectacular either. We’ve not seen much of her since playing Katie McIntyre in the 2008 movie “The Flyboys,” which was released internationally as “Sky Kids.”
Kelsey Grammer Has Struggled With Alcoholism
Grammer has battled alcoholism since he was about 20 years old. It all started when he had to identify the body of his little sister, who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered in 1975. No one should have to go through such a traumatic experience.
Spencer Karen, his daughter, was named after his late sister, Karen. Grammer’s love life is, to put it mildly, chaotic. He has seven children and has been married four times. Grammer is in his late sixties, and his present wife, who is 25 years younger, is a flight attendant.
Not Your Regular Psychiatrist
Do you remember the conversation between Frasier and his father Martin in the pilot episode when they talked about his apartment? Frasier mentioned that everything in his apartment had been carefully chosen with care. Well, he wasn’t wrong. The show’s set designers gave Frasier’s apartment an “eclectic” aesthetic.
They spent over $500,000 on it. A total of 24 yards of Italian suede were used to cover the Coco Chanel reproduction sofa, which cost over $15,000. The Eames chair was rented, however, and the Pastoe curved sideboard and Wassily chair were purchased for $3200 and $1395, respectively.
The Fans’ Favorite Character Isn’t Who You’d Expect
Do you know the cast member that got the most emails? Eddie, the dog. Eddie was the only member of the cast to appear on the cover of Entertainment Weekly when “Frasier” was featured as the cover story in 1993. Moose, a Jack Russell Terrier, played Eddie.
He had been adopted by a family who had no idea of the breed’s rowdy behavior. Moose was a feisty creature who dug holes in the backyard, chased anything that moved, chewed furniture, and even climbed trees to get out of his confinement. And the fans loved him!
And the Son Shall Be the Father…
Some parents dream that their children take on their legacy. Maybe even dogs too. After Moose retired at the age of ten (at the end of Season 7), his son Enzo took over the role of Eddie. The producers soon knew that “Frasier” would have a long run.
So, Moose was bred to produce a look-alike replacement. Enzo had two siblings: a younger sister named Miko, who was too small to play Eddie, and Moosie, who had distinctive marks. Roz, played by Peri Gilpin, loved Moosie and adopted him. Moosie and Moose have since passed away.
Grammer’s Substance Abuse Almost Ended His Career
Grammer became addicted to drugs and alcohol in the two decades that followed his sister’s murder. He also had legal problems. After joining the cast of “Cheers” in 1984, the actor admitted in an E! Celebrity Profile (via the New York Post) that his addiction was aggravated by his popularity.
Grammer was busted for DUI in 1987, according to People. He was detained the following year again for cocaine possession. “The best, most restful 11 days I’ve had in years,” the actor said of his subsequent time behind bars. We hope he’s doing significantly better now.