Sam Malone and Diane Chambers may have had their fair share of tension as an on-again off-again couple on "Cheers," but 30 years later, Ted Danson (Malone) thinks Shelley Long (Chambers) has everything to do with the show's success.
"You really put us on the map," Danson told Long at the "Cheers" 30th Anniversary Reunion Dinner, according to "Entertainment Tonight." "And this is not my opinion. This is everybody's. We hadn't seen a character like Diane Chambers for years ... You really put 'Cheers' on the map with your astounding performance."
Long took home an Emmy for her performance on the sitcom, with the series earning a total of 28 Emmys over the course of its 11 seasons. 'Entertainment Tonight" had exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the "Cheers" Reunion Dinner, which took place on Sat., Oct. 6. and was hosted by the show’s creators, James Burrows, Glen Charles and Les Charles. Danson, Long and their "Cheers" co-stars Kirstie Alley, Shelley Long, George Wendt, John Ratzenberger, Bebe Neuwirth and Rhea Perlman were in attendance.
Interestingly enough, Long wasn't looking for a small screen role when she first read the "Cheers" script.
"I was not looking for a sitcom, because the philosophy at that point was that you had to make a choice: Were you going to do movies or TV? You couldn't cross over," Long told GQ according to the magazine's "Cheers" oral history. "Then this script came along, and it was the best TV script I'd ever read."
Ted Danson (Sam Malone)
Though he made appearances in numerous TV shows and commercials throughout the '70s and '80s, the role of gruff but lovable Sam Malone was truly Ted Danson's breakthrough role. The womanizing former baseball player-turned-bartender was part of one of TV's most iconic on-again-off-again couples with Shelley Long's Diane, and the character won Danson two Emmys and two Golden Globes throughout the show's 11 season run. After "Cheers" ended in 1993, Danson would go on to reprise the role in cameos for spinoff "Fraiser," "The Jim Henson Hour" and "The Simpsons." In 1996, he and wife Mary Steenburgen co-starred in CBS' short-lived sitcom "Ink" and an adaptation of Gulliver's Travels, before Danson went on to find success in the titular role on CBS' "Becker" in 1998. Danson has made multiple appearances on Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" since it began in 2000, and after "Becker" ended, his next major role came in Season 1 of legal thriller "Damages," where he played Arthur Frobisher, a corrupt billionaire and foil for Glenn Close's Patty Hewes. Danson then joined HBO's "Bored To Death" as scene-stealing George Christopher. When that show ended in 2011, Danson joined "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," where he can currently be seen playing D.B. Russell, the new night-shift supervisor since Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) stepped down.
Kirstie Alley (Rebecca Howe)
Poor Rebecca was so insecure, neurotic, unlucky at love and sexually frustrated, she essentially became the poster woman for intelligent single ladies looking for stable relationships. The female foil for bar owner Sam Malone (Ted Danson), bar manager Rebecca seemed to be in love with every wealthy man in Boston -- to no relationship success. Today, Kirstie Alley is best-known for her stints on "Dancing With the Stars," including the current all-stars season, her very public battle with weight loss and her association with the Church of Scientology.
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier Crane)
After "Cheers," Kelsey Grammer took Dr. Frasier Crane to Seattle in the successful spinoff "Frasier." The series lasted for 11 seasons and netted Grammer four Emmys. Grammer has also lent his voice to "The Simpsons" as Sideshow Bob over the series' lengthy run. He even took home another Emmy for his voice work. Not limited to the small screen, Grammer appeared in several films including "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "Down Periscope." His stage work includes Broadway productions of "Othello," "Macbeth" and "La Cage aux Folles." Grammer went on to star in two failed sitcoms, "Back to You" and "Hank," before landing the dramatic lead role in Starz's "Boss." He took home a Golden Globe for his role as the corrupt mayor of Chicago. The series is currently in Season 2.
Bebe Neuwirth (Lilith Sternin)
Bebe Neuwirth is known for her stage work, winning multiple Tonys, but she's also appeared in several TV shows and films. After "Cheers," Neuwirth recurred on the spinoff "Frasier" as Dr. Lilith Sternin, Frasier's ex-wife. She's also made appearances on "Law & Order: SVU," "The Good Wife," "Bored to Death" and starred in "Law & Order: Trial By Jury." Neuwirth won Tony Awards for "Sweet Charity" and "Chicago" and starred in the Broadway production of "The Addams Family" opposite Nathan Lane.
John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin)
This "Cheers" bar know-it-all is eternally single, lives with his mother and slings mail for a living. If you answered who is Cliff Clavin, you'd have a shot at beating the man himself on "Jeopardy!" Ratzenberger played his classic TV stool-sitter for several TV roles, post-"Cheers," including episodes of "Wings" and "Frasier" and voicing an episode of "The Simpsons," but it's that voice that's kept him busy in Hollywood ever since. Ratzenberger has voiced characters in every single Pixar animation movie to date, with Hamm the Piggy Bank from the "Toy Story" movies -- also a know-it-all -- being the most iconic.
George Wendt (Norm Peterson)
Norm became such an iconic character on "Cheers" with his call-and-response "Afternoon, everybody" ... <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPqPAKqzx7M" target="_hplink">"Norm!!" entrances</a> and sardonic retorts that George Wendt has been making TV cameos playing versions of the character for years. He briefly starred on his own show based on the NPR show "Car Talk," and has made appearances on "Seinfeld," Ted Danson's "Becker," "Family Guy," and "The Simpsons." Wendt played Santa in "A Colbert Christmas," and most recently appeared on "Hot In Cleveland." Did you know he is Jason Sudeikis' uncle?
Rhea Perlman (Carla Tortelli)
Although Rhea Perlman had been steadily acting for 10 years when "Cheers" premiered, the role of wise-cracking cocktail waitress Carla Tortelli was truly a breakout performance. With 10 Emmy nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, four of those wins, over the show's 11-season run, it's still her most memorable role. Although we've loved seeing her pop up in movies ("Matilda" is a favorite) and TV roles (she played the title role in "Pearl," but the sitcom was canceled after just one season), some of her best post-"Cheers" work reunited her with the gang from the bar. She guested on Ted Danson's "Becker," reprised the role of Carla for an episode of Kelsey Grammer's spinoff "Frasier" and even voiced "Carla Tortelli" on a "Simpsons" episode. She and husband Danny DeVito have been married since 1982, and we're still waiting for the day when she'll pop up on his "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" ... that bar could use some new help.
Shelley Long (Diane Chambers)
Dianne Chambers went on to star in several films and TV movies after she left "Cheers" midway through its run, including "Troop Beverly Hills" and "The Brady Bunch Movie." But most recently, she's returned to TV on "Modern Family" as DeDe Pritchett, Jay's ex-wife and Mitch and Claire's manipulative mother.
Nicholas Colasanto (Ernie "Coach" Pantusso)
Colasanto was much loved for his portrayal of the slow-witted but lovable Coach, who may not have been the sharpest guy around but was a great listener (the key quality a good bartender must possess). Colasanto had quit a career as an accountant to pursue acting in his 30s, and he not only worked on Broadway and scored a role in "Raging Bull," he also worked as a director for shows such as "Bonanza," "Columbo" and "Hawaii Five-0." Colasanto's heart disease worsened during Season 3 of "Cheers," causing him to appear less frequently, and he passed away Feb. 12, 1985, at age 61. There were "a lot of tears" when the cast learned of <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/1985-02-13/news/mn-4540_1_heart-ailment" target="_hplink">his death</a>.
Woody Harrelson (Woody Boyd)
Woody first showed up on Cheers' doorstep to meet his "pen pal" Coach, but upon discovering he had passed away, applied for the bartender position. Always misunderstanding everything, Woody was the king of stupid comments -- he couldn't even grasp the simplest jokes. Eventually a staple behind the bar, Woody married longtime love Kelly Gaines and the couple was expecting their first child when the series ended. Today, Harrelson's career is still red-hot, though he's transitioned away from TV for the most part. He appears in movies on the regular, including "The Hunger Games," "Seven Psychopaths," "Zombieland" and "Friends With Benefits," just to name a few recent ones.
Roger Rees (Robin Colcord)
After his stint on "Cheers," Roger Rees went on to play Lord John Marbury on "The West Wing." He later moved into the theater world, holding the position of artistic director for the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2004, and played Gomez in "The Addams Family" on Broadway in 2011, reuniting him with fellow "Cheers" alumna Bebe Neuwirth.
Dan Hedaya (Nick Tortelli)
After getting his start on the small screen in the '70s and '80s on "Ryan's Hope" and "Hill Street Blues," Dan Hedaya landed his next recurring role on "Cheers" as Nick Tortelli, Carla's (Rhea Pealman) scumbag, deadbeat first husband who attempted to win her back. Though that didn't work, the character eventually got his own -- albeit short-lived -- sitcom, "The Tortellis." The NBC show, which lasted one season, followed Nick and his second partner, trophy wife Loretta (Jean Kasem) and their move to Las Vegas. After "The Tortelli and was typecast as a sleazy, wisecracking guy long after "Cheers" came to an end. He's made multiple TV appearances in shows from "Family Ties" to "Monk" to "ER" and has some iconic film roles on his resume as well. Hedaya played Cher's lawyer father in "Clueless" and Richard Nixon in the cult hit "Dick." He recently appeared on CBS' "Person of Interest" and has a few projects in the works, including the James Franco' directed and penned film "Black Dog, Red Dog."
Tom Skerritt (Evan Drake)
Already an established film and television actor when he joined "Cheers" -- thanks to parts in "Gunsmoke," "Bonanza," "Top Gun" and "Alien" -- Skerritt continued working steadily in both mediums after his stint on the comedy. As well as notable roles in movies as diverse as "Contact," "Steel Magnolias," "Poltergeist III" and this year's "Ted," Skerritt kept up his TV appearances. He appeared in "Brothers & Sisters" between 2006 and 2008, and recently performed guest spots on TNT's "Leverage" and USA's "White Collar."
Jay Thomas (Eddie LeBec)
After playing Carla's (Rhea Perlman) ice-skating second husband on "Cheers," Eddie LeBec went on to be an available-via-skype "expert" on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and guest star on multiple series including "Celebrity Ghost Stories," "Law and Order: SVU," "Cold Case" and more. He most recently starred in Woody Allen's play "Writer's Block." Thomas currently lives in Southern California, has three kids and hosts a Sirius radio show.
Harry Anderson (Harry 'The Hat' Gittes)
Though he's best known for his pre-"Cheers" role as Judge Harry Stone on "Night Court," Harry Anderson had a recurring stint as con man Harry "The Hat" Gittes on "Cheers." After the series ended, he starred in the successful television adaptation of Stephen King's "It" in 1990. Then, from 1993 to 1997, Anderson starred on "Dave's World." Anderson toured extensively as a magician and appeared with Criss Angel in a TV special called "The Science of Magic." In November 2008, the actor appeared as himself on an episode of "30 Rock" with fellow "Night Court" alumni Markie Post and Charles Robinson. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Anderson and his wife, who owned a magic shop and nightclub in the Louisiana city, left for Asheville, N.C.
Jean Kasem (Loretta Tortelli)
After Jean Kasem married TV personality Casey Kasem in 1980, she played Nick Tortelli's (Dan Hedaya) dim-witted second wife Loretta on "Cheers." Their characters eventually got their own -- albeit short-lived -- sitcom, "The Tortellis." The NBC show, which lasted one season, followed Nick and Loretta's move to Las Vegas. After "The Tortellis" was canceled, Kasem did some more small screen work in the 1990s, including "Malcolm & Eddie," "Johnhy Bravo" and "Good vs. Evil." Kasem has been away from the spotlight for nearly 15 yeas now, but is still married to Kasem and the couple have one daughter, Liberty, who is now 22 years old.