For anyone wishing that they could hear the blues a-callin’ again, apparently, Kelsey Grammer has been working to make that happen with a revival of his smash hit NBC sitcom reportedly in development. However, at the moment, there is no telling when a Frasier revival will see the light from the Seattle skyline having already been put on pause due to Covid-19 and with no confirmation that the rest of the main Frasier cast is officially returning to their iconic roles. That being said, what have these beloved performers been up to lately?
It started as a simple spin-off from NBC’s long-running, Boston-set hit comedy Cheers following the titular bar’s psychiatrist patron adopting a new broadcasting career in Seattle. What Frasier would become is one of the network’s most popular and acclaimed successes of the 1990s, lasting an impressive total of 11 seasons that, consecutively, never failed to win an Emmy for something. Many of those awards were given to the cast for their stellar portrayals of the sitcom’s winning characters.
There are still plenty of other notable credits from the main cast’s filmography and beyond to honor them for, even recently. In case you need a refresher on what the stars of, arguably, television’s greatest spin-off (or, perhaps more agreeably, the funniest) have been up to since the 2004 finale, we hope you are listening. Before they (potentially) return to their defining roles, the following is a quick reference to what else most memorable actors from Frasier are best known for, starting with the versatile talent behind its titular character.
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier Crane)
Before his final curtain call as Dr. Frasier Crane, Kelsey Grammer already had a decent run in film, such as voicing The Prospector in Toy Story 2, and as a behind-the-scenes presence in television, like UPN’s Girlfriends or NBC’s crime thriller Medium. He has also executive produced many of his own series, including his many sitcom returns, award-winning political drama Boss, the animated IMDb TV original You’re Not a Monster, and Frasier as well.
Of course, Kelsey Grammer’s later movie career has not gone unnoticed with him popping up in big franchises like Transformers and The Expendables and an upcoming feature-length sequel to Netflix’s animated Trollhunters series. Until his Frasier revival becomes a reality, he continues to make memorable big screen and small screen appearances (voicing The Simpsons’ Sideshow Bob) and, even at 65, I don’t think anyone would mind seeing him playing Beast in another X-Men installment.
Jane Leeves (Daphne Moon)
Before playing Frasier’s live-in housekeeper, English actress Jane Leeves made her uncredited feature-film debut in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life and had a more prominent appearance in 1985’s To Live and Die in L.A. - both of which exhibited her dancing skills. She also made an impression on British TV, such as on The Benny Hill Show, before recurring roles on Murphy Brown and Seinfeld earned her pre-Frasier acclaim in the States.
Post-Frasier, the 60-year-old actress has found further success as a therapist on Desperate Housewives, one of the central characters of TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland, and, currently, on the Fox medical drama The Resident as a regular. Jane Leeves has has also lent her unmistakable voice to many animated projects for Disney, like James and the Giant Peach in 1996, the hit Disney Channel series Phineas and Ferb, and most recently on Mickey and the Roadster Racers as the Queen of England.
David Hyde Pierce (Niles Crane)
You may also recognize David Hyde Pierce’s voice from Disney projects (A Bug’s Life and Treasure Planet, specifically) and elsewhere (Abe Sapien in the first Hellboy film, which he went uncredited for out of respect for Doug Jones’s physical portrayal). Yet, most audiences should surely know his face from his multi-Emmy-winning role as Frasier Crane’s fellow psychiatrist brother and Daphne’s eventual husband, Niles.
More recently, the Tony-winning actor exceeded expectations in the 2010 dark comedy The Perfect Host, played disapproving father of gay rights activist Cleve Jones (despite being gay in real life) in the 2017 miniseries When We Rise, and reprised his Wet Hot American Summer role in Netflix’s prequel and sequel series to the 2001 cult comedy film. David Hyde Pierce will next appear in the thriller The Georgetown Project (expected to release in 2021) and will play Julia Child’s husband, Paul, in an HBO Max series based on the celebrity chef’s life.
Peri Gilpin (Roz Doyle)
Fun fact about Peri Gilpin: she played a reporter named Holly Matheson on the final season of Cheers, just months before she was cast as Frasier’s radio producer, Roz Doyle - a role originally given to Lisa Kudrow before Friends came up. She would go on to reunite with some of her Frasier co-stars through an appearance on the Kelsey Grammer-produced Medium and guest starring on Hot in Cleveland with Jane Leeves.
Additionally, the 59-year-old Texan later played the mother of young gymnast on Make It or Break It, a school principal on Craig Robinson’s short-lived Mr. Robinson, earned recurring roles on CBS procedurals CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Scorpion, among other TV guest appearances of a large variety. In 2020, Peri Gilpin starred in a low-budget drama about college hazing called Rushed and 2021 will reportedly see her play opposite The Boys’ Aya Cash and Midsommar’s William Jackson Harper in the comedy We Broke Up.
Dan Butler (Bulldog Briscoe)
While never inducted into the main cast, Dan Butler was a distinguished presence on all 11 seasons of Frasier as fellow radio personality Bob Briscoe, who earned the nickname “Bulldog” for his shameless womanizing ways and political incorrectness. At the same time, the actor and acclaimed playwright appeared in several films (like Will Smith’s Enemy of the State), made guest appearances on series like Star Trek: Voyager and King of the Hill, and lent his voice to Nickelodeon’s Hey Arnold! for, arguably, his other best known role as teacher Mr. Simmons.
These days, Dan Butler keeps busy in many of the same ways he did while on Frasier (but without a steady a recurring role like he had with Bulldog), having since earned small parts on shows like Supernatural and Banshee, movies like Crazy Stupid Love and Chu and Blossom, and a starring role on the Stephen King-inspired miniseries The Mist. He appeared in the fact-based romantic drama All My Life in 2020 and has a role in Ana de Armas’ Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde, which is now in post-production.
Tom McGowan (Kenny Daly)
Frasier’s other most prominent non-series regular was Tom McGowan, who first appeared in Season 5 as Kenny Daly - who manages the station that broadcasts Frasier’s show while exhibiting personality traits that would readily earn him a guest spot. He had previously appeared in major motion pictures like The Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day-Lewis and The Birdcage with Robin Williams, landed another lasting recurring spot on Everybody Loves Raymond, and, coincidentally, appeared alongside future Frasier co-stars in 1992’s Captain Ron (with Dan Butler) and Sleepless in Seattle (with David Hyde Pierce) in 1993.
After Frasier, the now 61-year-old would also cross paths with Jane Leeves on Hot in Cleveland and Kelsey Grammer’s daughter, Spencer, on Greek in his many following guest appearances. More recently, Tom McGowan played Rose Leslie’s onscreen uncle on The Good Fight and was featured in the Hallmark Channel’s 2020 Christmas movie lineup with One Royal Holiday.
Bebe Neuwirth (Dr. Lilith Sternin)
We first met psychiatrist Lilith Sternin on Season 4 of Cheers while on a disastrous date with Frasier Crane that eventually resulted in a disastrous marriage. After earning two Emmys for the role, Bebe Neuwirth would reprise the character (now Frasier’s ex-wife and mother of his estranged son) in 12 episodes of the spin-off.
Afterward, the now 62-year-old actress led a spin-off of her own - the short-lived Law & Order: Trial by Jury - which you could say led to her recurring roles as a judge on The Good Wife, a lawyer on Blue Bloods, and starring role as a law student turned White House Chief of Staff on Madam Secretary. More recently, Bebe Neuwirth appeared in Jumanji: The Next Level as her character from the 1995 original and guest starred on The Flight Attendant for HBO Max, on which she will also appear opposite her onscreen ex-brother-in-law, David Hyde Pierce, for its Julia Child bio-series.
John Mahoney (Martin Crane)
Bebe Neuwirth’s onscreen ex-father-in-law, John Mahoney, also appeared on Cheers before he was cast in the entirely different role of Frasier and Niles’ father, Martin - for which he earned two Emmy nominations. The actor, originally born in England in 1940, was previously best known for the historical baseball film Eight Men Out and the iconic 1989 rom-com Say Anything - both of which starred John Cusack.
John Mahoney followed Frasier by, once again, playing Kelsey Grammer’s father on The Simpsons as Sideshow Bob’s dad, crossing paths with Jane Leeves as Betty White’s boyfriend on Hot in Cleveland, and even returning to Broadway in 2007’s revival of Prelude to a Kiss. His final acting credit, Polish drama Mariette in Ecstasy, was filmed in 1995, but released in 2019 - a year after his passing due to brain disease and lung cancer, at the age of 77.
A retrospective on the cast of Frasier would feel incomplete with mentioning Moose. The Jack Russell Terrier played Martin Crane’s dog, Eddie, and was famously mentioned in Kelsey Grammer’s acceptance speech at the 1994 Emmys despite the actor’s genuine dislike of the furry “diva” behind the scenes.
Moose was otherwise known from the title role of the family film My Dog Skip, which he also appeared in with his own son, Enzo, as the same character in 2000. That same year, Enzo who was actually cast as Eddie on Frasier when his father passed at the age of 16.
What do you think? Despite Kelsey Grammer receiving top billing, was Moose the real star of Frasier? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on the potential future of this beloved sitcom, as well as even more inside looks at actors from your favorite movies and TV shows, here on CinemaBlend.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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