(written from a Production point of view)
- "Hello, Seattle. I'm listening."
Allen Kelsey Grammer (born 21 February 1955; age 67) is the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor who appeared in the role of Captain Morgan Bateson in the Star Trek: The Next Generation fifth season episode "Cause and Effect". He filmed his scenes for this episode on Thursday 23 January 1992 on Paramount Stage 9. Grammer is most widely known for playing the character Dr. Frasier Crane on NBC's television comedy series Cheers and Frasier over a span of twenty years. Like the Star Trek series, Cheers and Frasier were produced by Paramount Television.
Grammer was born on Saint Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, and partly raised in New Jersey. He attended Julliard where he was a roommate and classmate of future Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager guest star Leigh J. McCloskey. In the late 1970s, after leaving Julliard, Grammer had a three-year internship at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, California.
Grammer's life has been marked by tragedy, including the 1968 murder of his father Francis Allen Grammer and in 1975, the murder of his sister. Grammer's sister Karen was an 18 year old server at the Red Lobster in Fort Carson, Colorado. Upon closing, Karen Grammer was kidnapped by Freddie Glenn and Winfred Proffit, after which both men proceeded to rape her until finally, after repeatedly assaulting and drugging her, Glenn slit her throat. Her body remained unidentified until her brother arrived on scene to confirm that the victim was his sister. Glenn later murdered Proffit but was soon after arrested. Kelsey Grammer has appeared at almost every parole hearing that Glenn has had, leaving Glenn to be denied every time. For the times Grammer was unable to be present at a hearing, he sent a written statement to the Colorado Parole Board describing Glenn as a butcher and a monster. In a letter sent to the board in 2009, Grammer wrote of his murdered sibling, "She was so smart and good and decent. She wrote poetry... We could laugh for hours together." Grammer also wrote "I was supposed to protect her – I could not. It very nearly destroyed me... When we heard this man might be paroled, the suffering began anew". Glenn was denied as he was in every instance, and the same was true at his last hearing in 2014. At that hearing Grammer testified via teleconference.
Early stage work
In 1981, he made his Broadway debut in a revival of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, with Grammer playing Lennox and DS9 guest star Philip Anglim playing the title role. Ivar Brogger and John Vickery were part of the cast, as well. Grammer later assumed the role of Ross in the same production. He also understudied for the role of Macbeth and ultimately took over that role when Anglim abruptly withdrew from the show due to negative criticism. (Grammer again played Macbeth on Broadway in 2000.)
While both Grammer (as Ross) and Anglim (as Macbeth) were working on Macbeth, one of the show's performances was filmed for broadcast on television in 1982, marking Grammer's first appearance in that medium. Grammer returned to Broadway that same year, playing Cassio in a revival of Shakespeare's Othello. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country actor Christopher Plummer starred as Iago in the same production.
Early television work
Grammer's first actual television production was the 1983 mini-series Kennedy, in which he co-starred with John Glover. The following year, Grammer and Glover appeared in another mini-series based on a former US President, George Washington. This production also featured Ron Canada, Megan Gallagher, Harry Groener, Richard Kiley, Stephen Macht, Clive Revill, and Anthony Zerbe.
In 1984, Grammer began portraying his most famous role, Dr. Frasier Crane, on the soon-to-be-hit sitcom Cheers. At around the same time, he became a regular on the NBC soap opera Another World, playing the role of Dr. Canard, but he left this series after one year.
Cheers and Frasier
Grammer played psychiatrist Frasier Crane on Cheers for nine years (1984-1993), during which time he worked alongside Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan actress Kirstie Alley, who starred as Rebecca Howe. During the course of the show, Grammer's character married fellow psychiatrist Lilith Sternin, played by Bebe Neuwirth, who, like Grammer, would later make an appearance on TNG. Paul Willson was another actor who appeared frequently on the show.
After Cheers ended its run, Kelsey reprised his role as Dr. Crane in his own hit spin-off series, Frasier, which ran from 1993 through 2004, ultimately equaling the length of Cheers' run. Bebe Neuwirth made several recurring appearances on this show as Lilith, who was now divorced from Frasier. Other actors with recurring guest roles on Frasier included Dan Butler, Patrick Kerr, and Saul Rubinek. Paul Willson also reprised his Cheers role in one episode. The stars of Frasier also did a spoof sketch of Star Trek: Voyager alongside Kate Mulgrew for the television special Star Trek: 30 Years and Beyond. Grammer himself was ironically not available at the time, but David Hyde Pierce (Niles Crane), John Mahoney (Martin Crane), Jane Leeves (Daphne Moon) and Peri Gilpin (Roz Doyle) all featured as their characters.
Star Trek regulars who made appearances on Frasier include Rene Auberjonois (as Frasier's mentor from Harvard), Robert Picardo, Brent Spiner, Patrick Stewart and Nana Visitor. Other Trek actors who have appeared on the show include Vaughn Armstrong, Kevin Brief, William O. Campbell, Timothy Carhart, Shannon Cochran, Brian Cousins, Daniel Davis, Robertson Dean, Victor Garber, John Glover, Wayne Grace, James Harper, Rachael Harris, Penny Johnson, Kay E. Kuter, Scott MacDonald, Ann Magnuson, Virginia Madsen, Anthony Montgomery, Morgan Nagler, Natalia Nogulich, Jim Norton, Richard Poe, Harve Presnell, John Rubinstein, David Ogden Stiers, Musetta Vander, John Vickery, Neil C. Vipond, Fritz Weaver, Michael Welch, Jane Wiedlin, Harris Yulin, and Anthony Zerbe.
Grammer was also executive producer on Frasier and directed a number of episodes for the show. He even sang the show's theme song. Outside of Cheers and Frasier, Grammer guest-starred as Frasier Crane in episodes of Wings (starring Steven Weber) and The John Larroquette Show.
In 2008, Kelsey Grammer starred as Dr. Frasier Crane in a commercial for Dr. Pepper with Bebe Neuwirth as the voice of Lilith.
Grammer's portrayal of Dr. Crane has earned him numerous awards, including three Emmys and two Golden Globes. He has the distinction of winning Emmys for the same character on three different series (Cheers, Frasier, and a guest appearance on Wings, starring Steven Weber). Along with Gunsmoke actor James Arness, Grammer is one of only two actors to portray the same live-action prime-time series character for twenty years (albeit on two different shows in Grammer's case).
The set of Cheers and later Frasier were next to the sets of Star Trek: The Next Generation on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood.
A running subplot on Frasier dealt with Frasier's loathing for his blue-collar father, Martin's (John Mahoney) vintage recliner. In the eighth season episode "Bla-Z-Boy," Frasier accidentally destroys the chair and commissions an identical replacement. The upholstery of the chair was in fact taken from an interior design used on Star Trek: The Original Series.
Other television projects
Grammer has starred in such TV movies as Dance 'Til Dawn (1988, with Cliff DeYoung), Beyond Suspicion (1993, with Corbin Bernsen and John Putch), The Innocent (1994, with Jeff Kober), The Pentagon Wars (1998, with Sam Anderson, Bruce French, Randy Oglesby, Richard Riehle, and Tom Wright), The Sports Pages (2001, with Brian Markinson), and Mr. St. Nick (with Wallace Shawn). He also played Ebenezer Scrooge opposite Jason Alexander's Jacob Marley in the 2004 TV adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
Grammer is an executive producer on the Paramount Television Network/CBS drama series Medium and made a guest appearance on the show as the "Angel of Death". Another show Grammer executive produced for Paramount Television was the short-lived sitcom Fired Up (1997-98), which starred Jonathan Banks and Sharon Lawrence; Grammer had a brief recurring role on this series, as well. He also produced UPN's Girlfriends, which starred Golden Brooks.
The success of Frasier netted Grammer two appearances as host of Saturday Night Live, with the first, in April 1994, coming when Michael McKean and Sarah Silverman were part of the cast. He had previously made a cameo appearance, along with Cheers co-stars Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, and George Wendt, when Alley hosted in 1991.
Grammer recently worked alongside Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton in the FOX series Back to You, which ran from September 2007 through May 2008. He more recently starred in a pilot called Roman's Empire.
In addition to his television work, Grammer has acted in a number of films. His first was the 1992 independent comedy Galaxies Are Colliding. In 1996 he starred as the brash and cocky Lt. Commander Tom Dodge in the submarine comedy Down Periscope. He later co-starred with Avery Brooks and Kim Cattrall in the 2001 movie 15 Minutes (also featuring an appearance by Anton Yelchin).
In 2006 Grammer played Beast (aka Dr. Henry "Hank" McCoy) in X-Men: The Last Stand alongside his TNG co-star Patrick Stewart and fellow TNG guest star Famke Janssen. He more recently played US President Andrew Boone in the 2008 comic drama Swing Vote, which also featured Charles Esten, Mark Moses, and Nana Visitor.
Recently, he worked with Christopher McDonald in the comic drama Middle Men. He also had a role as an orchestra maestro in the 2009 remake of the 1980 musical Fame, along with his Cheers co-star and fellow TNG guest performer Bebe Neuwirth.
Grammer is also a prolific voice actor, with perhaps his most recognizable voice role being Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons. He voiced Sideshow Bob for 2007's The Simpsons Movie, but his scenes were cut from the final film. In the fifth season episode "Cape Feare", Bob is lured into a trap by Bart who buys himself time by asking Bob to perform the HMS Pinafore as a last request before his latest attempt to murder the subject of his failed repeated acts of revenge.
He has supplied voices for such animated films as Anastasia (along with Christopher Lloyd, Kirsten Dunst, and Andrea Martin), Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 2 (with Wallace Shawn), and Teacher's Pet (also with Shawn, as well as David Ogden Stiers). In the 1999 TV movie version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, Grammer supplied the voice of Snowball the Pig, while Patrick Stewart voiced the hog Napoleon. Additionally, Grammer voiced the title character of the short-lived Spike TV series Gary the Rat. He also provided the voice of Dr. Frankenollie in the 1995 Mickey Mouse short "Runaway Brain". In 1999, he narrated Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas.
Later stage work
In June of 2000, Grammer portrayed the title role in a one-week Broadway production of Macbeth. In April of 2010, he began performances as Georges in La Cage aux Folles at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway.