About Edward Bridge Danson, III
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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; Magnum,P.I.; and Tucker's Witch.
Career breakthrough: Cheers
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 Awards, 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.
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 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".
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 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".
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 Shaloub, Robin Williams and John Lithgow were also considered for the role.
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.
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; the couple 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. The couple later adopted a second daughter Alexis. Danson's affair with actress Whoopi Goldberg led to their divorce in 1993. It was one of Hollywood's costliest divorces, reportedly costing Danson $30 million.
Danson later married actress Mary Steenburgen, on October 7, 1995. He is stepfather to her daughter, Lilly, and son, Charles, who are the children of Steenburgen's ex-husband actor Malcolm McDowell.
Danson adheres to a vegan diet for both health and ethical reasons.
Danson experienced substantial negative press attention in the fall of 1993 after his appearance in blackface at a Friar's Club comedy roast in honor of then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg. Guests were said to be angered by the monologue he delivered, which included many "nigger" references. Goldberg later admitted to writing the sketch with him.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. Such is his closeness to the Clintons, he attended the wedding of their daughter Chelsea on July 31, 2010.
Awards and nominations
Ted Danson's Timeline
December 29, 1947
San Diego, CA, USA
Stanford, California, United States
Pittsburg, PA, United States