Danson in 2008
Edward Bridge Danson III|
December 29, 1947
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Carnegie Mellon University|
|Occupation||Actor, author, producer|
|Children||2 (with Coates)|
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 on the NBC sitcom Cheers and for his role as Dr. John Becker on the CBS sitcom Becker. He also starred in the CBS dramas CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Cyber as D.B. Russell. 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 2015 he starred as Hank Larsson in the second season of FX's black comedy-crime drama anthology Fargo.
In his 40-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; and one American Comedy Award and has been awarded 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, to Jessica "Jess" Danson (née MacMaster, 1916 – January 11, 2006) and Edward Bridge "Ned" Danson, Jr. (March 22, 1916 – November 30, 2000), an archaeologist and museum director. He has an older sister, Jan Haury (née Danson, born January 11, c. 1943). He was raised in Flagstaff, Arizona. His ancestry includes English and Scottish.
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 began his television career as a contract player on the daytime soap opera Somerset. He played the role of "Tom Conway" from 1975 to 1976. He then spent a few years (1977–1982) as a doctor on the daytime soap opera The Doctors. 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., Spider-Man, 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, wherein he has an 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 at that time. 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 nominations, 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 went on to star in the successful CBS sitcom Becker (produced by Paramount Television, which also produced Cheers), which ran from 1998 to 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".
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.
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 he 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.
Danson starred in the HBO sitcom Bored to Death as 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 the CBS police drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He played D.B. Russell, a new graveyard shift supervisor who previously headed a crime lab in Seattle, Washington. Tony Shalhoub, Robin Williams and John Lithgow were also considered for the role.
Following the cancellation of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, it was announced that his character D.B. Russell would make a move over to the third spinoff show CSI: Cyber in the second season. The show was cancelled after two seasons.
In 2015, Danson appeared in the second season of the TV show loosely based on the film of the same name, Fargo. He portrays sheriff Hank Larsson. Since September 2016, Danson has appeared opposite Kristen Bell and Jameela Jamil in the NBC sitcom The Good Place.
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.
Podcast and radio appearances
Danson appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor podcast on June 25, 2016.
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; they 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. They 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.
On October 7, 1995, Danson married actress Mary Steenburgen, whom he met on the set of the movie Pontiac Moon in 1993, and became the stepfather to Steenburgen's daughter Lilly and son Charlie McDowell from her previous marriage to actor Malcolm McDowell.
Relationship with Whoopi Goldberg
While a guest on the The Arsenio Hall Show in late 1988, he met actress Whoopi Goldberg, whom he described as "a sexy, funny woman". The two became friends, co-hosting Help Save Planet Earth in 1990, a video guide to saving the environment (Danson played himself, Goldberg played the role of Mother Earth). However, upon the filming of Made in America together in April 1992, the two became romantically involved—a pairing which was heavily featured in gossip tabloids such as the National Enquirer. The couple also appeared on the Rock the Vote TV special that same year, as well as being set to star in a Paramount-produced version of Neal Barrett Jr.'s Pink Vodka Blues, written by Marshall Brickman.
Danson experienced substantial negative press attention on October 8, 1993, after his appearance in blackface at a Friars Club comedy roast in honor of Goldberg. In his monologue, Danson made extensive use of offensive racial stereotypes, used the word "nigger" more than a dozen times, and ate a watermelon, angering such guests as Montel Williams and Mayor David Dinkins. Goldberg defended the sketch, explaining that she had helped write much of the material and referred Danson to the makeup artist who painted his face. Danson and Goldberg issued statements emphasizing "the Friars Club tradition of raucous and over the top humor" and describing those offended as newcomers who "were uncomfortable with what to expect". Substantial excerpts from the performance were later printed in Spy. On November 5, 1993, Danson and Goldberg issued a statement signalling the end of their relationship.
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 the 1980s, he was a contributing founder of the American Oceans Campaigns, which merged with Oceana in 2001, where Danson is a board member.
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. He attended the wedding of their daughter Chelsea on July 31, 2010. He appeared with Steenburgen at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. On October 3, 2016 he helped open the new headquarters in Lancaster at the old Queen Pharmacy on King street for Hillary Clinton.
|1979||The Onion Field||Det. Ian James Campbell|
|1981||Body Heat||Peter Lowenstein|
|1985||Little Treasure||Eugene Wilson|
|1986||Just Between Friends||Chip Davis|
|A Fine Mess||Spence Holden|
|1987||Three Men and a Baby||Jack Holden|
|1990||Three Men and a Little Lady||Jack Holden|
|1993||Made in America||Hal Jackson|
|1994||Getting Even with Dad||Raymond Gleason|
|Pontiac Moon||Washington Bellamy|
|1998||Jerry and Tom||Guy|
|Saving Private Ryan||Capt. Hamill|
|2007||Nobel Son||Harvey Parrish|
|2008||Mad Money||Don Cardigan|
|The Human Contract||E.J. Winters|
|2009||The Open Road||Coach|
|2011||Jock the Hero Dog||Pezulu||voice|
|2012||Big Miracle||J.W. McGrath|
|2014||The One I Love||Therapist|
|1975–1976||Somerset||Tim Conway #2||Unknown episodes|
|1979||The Amazing Spider-Man||Major Collings||2 episodes|
|Mrs. Columbo||Richard Dellinger||Episode: "Ladies of the Afternoon"|
|Trapper John, M.D.||Injured Man||Episode: "Love Is a Three-Way Street"|
|B. J. and the Bear||Tom Spencer||Episode: "Silent Night, Unholy Night"|
|The French Atlantic Affair||Assistant||Television film|
|1980||The Women's Room||Norman||Television film|
|Once Upon a Spy||Jack Chenault||Television film|
|Laverne & Shirley||Randy Carpenter||Episode: "Why Did the Fireman..."|
|Family||David Bartels||Episode: "Daylight Serenade"|
|Magnum, P.I.||Stewart Crane||Episode: "Don't Say Goodbye"|
|Dear Teacher||Steve Goodwin||Television film|
|Our Family Business||Gep||Television film|
|1982||Taxi||Vincenzo Senaca||Episode: "The Unkindest Cut"|
|1982–1993||Cheers||Sam Malone||275 episodes|
|1983||Allison Sydney Harrison||David Harrison||Television film|
|Cowboy||Dale Weeks||Television film|
|1984||Something About Amelia||Steven Bennett||Television film|
|1985||Little Treasure||Eugene Wilson||Television film|
|1986||When the Bough Breaks||Alex Delaware||Television film|
|1987||We Are the Children||N/A||Television film|
|1989||The Jim Henson Hour||Himself||Episode: "Aquatic Life"|
|1994||The Simpsons||Sam Malone (voice)||Episode: "Fear of Flying"|
|1995||Frasier||Sam Malone||Episode: "The Show Where Sam Shows Up"|
|1996–1997||Ink||Mike Logan||22 episodes|
|1996||Gulliver's Travels||Lemuel Gulliver||2 episodes|
|1998–2004||Becker||Dr. John Becker||129 episodes|
|1998||Thanks of a Grateful Nation||Jim Tuite||Television film|
|Veronica's Closet||Nick Vanover||Episode: "Veronica's $600,000 Pop"|
|2000–2009||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Ted Danson||13 episodes|
|2000||Search for Atlantis||Himself||Television film|
|2002||Living with the Dead||James Van Praagh||Television film|
|2004||It Must Be Love||George Gazelle||Television film|
|2005||Our Fathers||Mitchell Garabedian||Television film|
|Knights of the South Bronx||Richard||Television film|
|2006–2007||Help Me Help You||Dr. Bill Hoffman||14 episodes|
|2007–2010||Damages||Arthur Frobisher||23 episodes|
|2008||King of the Hill||Tom Hammond (voice)||Episode: "The Accidental Terrorist"|
|2009–2011||Bored to Death||George Christopher||24 episodes|
|2010||Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!||Little Danson Man||Episode: "Greene Machine"|
|2011–2015||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Director D.B. Russell||86 episodes|
|2013||CSI: NY||Episode: "Seth and Apep"|
|2015||American Dad!||Dr. Ray Petit (voice)||Episode: "The Shrink"|
|Fargo||Sheriff Hank Larsson||10 episodes|
|2015–2016||CSI: Cyber||Director D.B. Russell||18 episodes|
|2016||The Good Place||Michael||Lead role|
Awards and nominations
- Rice, Lynette; Hibberd, James (July 12, 2011). "Breaking: Ted Danson takes over 'CSI'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- McEvoy, Colin (July 13, 2011). "Ted Danson to join the cast of 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation'". The Express-Times. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- "Ted Danson Will Move Into CSI Replacing Laurence Fishburne | A&E Playground". Artsandentertainmentplayground.com. July 14, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
- "Desert Foundation.Org". Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- "Desert Foundation.Org". Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- "Desert Foundation.Org". Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- "Ted Danson Biography (1947–)". Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- "Ted Danson Biography (1947–)". Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- "Ancestry of Ted Danson". Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- Danson stated in an interview with Craig Ferguson that he has Scottish ancestry; Video on YouTube
- James Poniewozik (September 18, 2009). "TV Weekend: Private Eye-rony; Also, Curb's Return". Time.
- Franklin, Nancy (August 1, 2011). "HBO's Bored to Death review". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
- "Ted Danson moves to 'CSI'". Variety. July 12, 2011. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- "CBS RENEWS 'CSI' FOR SEASON 14". CSI Files. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Petersen & Helgenberger Return For 2-Hour 'CSI' Finale, Danson Joins 'CSI:Cyber' – CSI Files". Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- "'Fargo' ends season of bloodshed with a quieter finale". NY Post. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
- Ryan, Maureen (January 15, 2016). "Michael Schur Talks 'The Good Place,' New Kristen Bell-Ted Danson Comedy". Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- "Ted, Whoopi rumored to have split". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. November 6, 1993. p. 2A.
- Singh, Anita (April 14, 2009). "Mel Gibson to top the list of biggest celebrity payouts". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- Runkle Nathan. ""Cheers" to Ted Danson for Going Vegan", Mercy For Animals, 5 February 2012, Archive
- "Tonights Guest Ted Danson". March 27, 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- Communications, Emmis (May 1, 2000). "Orange Coast Magazine". Emmis Communications. Retrieved June 9, 2016 – via Google Books.
- "Sparks Fly As Whoopi (and Ted) Talk About Family, Race, Comedy". Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- Occult Demon Cassette (January 14, 2016). "Help Save Planet Earth [x264] [VHS] ". Retrieved June 9, 2016 – via YouTube.
- "The Paley Center for Media". Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- Archerd, Army (March 17, 1993). "Nicholson gets big offer for little job". Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- "Whoopi Goldberg Defends Ted Danson's Blackface Act At Friars Club Roast". Jet. 84 (26): 12–14, 60–61. 25 October 1993.
- Racial Jokes Spur Apology from Friars, New York Times, October 10, 1993
- New York Magazine – Google Boeken. Google Books. February 17, 1997. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
- Theroux, Louis (February 1994). "The Fine Print: Danson in the Dark". Spy: 21–26.
- "Changing Partners : People.com". Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- Chase, Alston (1995). In A Dark Wood. Houghton Mifflin. pp. xvii. ISBN 0-395-60837-6.
- 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
- Kellogg, Carolyn (April 26, 2011). "Ted Danson dives into 'Oceana'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them". goodreads. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "Danson to Hit the Road for Clinton Again". The Washington Post. February 15, 2008. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- "Chelsea Clinton Marries Marc Mezvinsky". The People. July 31, 2010. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
- Piccalo, Gina. "Ted Danson is hip again". Los Angeles Times, October 18, 2009. Web. January 5, 2012. <http://articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/18/entertainment/ca-ted-danson18>.
- "Ted Danson, On Life (And 'Death') After 'Cheers'". Fresh Air, September 17, 2009. Web. January 11, 2012. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112884242>. Interview with Ted Danson is hosted by David Bianculli.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ted Danson.|
- Ted Danson at the Internet Movie Database
- Danson receives the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University, in 2003
- Video of Danson at Oceana event on YouTube
- NYTimes March 2010 feature article