Ted Danson Biography

Ted Danson photo

Born: December 29, 1947

Ted Danson is probably better known to many TV fans as Sam Malone, his character on the incredibly popular television series Cheers. The show first aired in 1982 and after narrowly missing the axe because of poor ratings its first season, it eventually went on to become incredibly successful. During its 11-year run, it earned a record-breaking 111 Emmy nominations, with 28 wins, plus 31 Golden Globe nods, resulting in six wins. Danson starred as a main character throughout the entire course of the series and managed to pick up nine Emmy nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, winning the prize in 1990 and again in 1993. He also won the Golden Globe in the same category in 1989 and 1990.

Danson was first drawn to acting while attending Stanford University. In 1972, he transferred to Carnegie-Mellon University and after graduating, he scored an understudy gig for Tom Stoppard's off-Broadway production, The Real Inspector Hound. A few years later, he moved to Los Angeles and began studying at the acclaimed Actor's Institute.

Although Cheers is what put Danson on the map, he appeared in several other television shows before starting the series, like The Amazing Spiderman in 1979 and Laverne & Shirley in 1980. He also starred in films such as Just Between Friends (1986) with Mary Tyler Moore and Julie Payne and 3 Men and a Baby (1987), alongside Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg. Danson received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his role in the 1984 TV movie Something About Amelia, opposite Glenn Close. Once Cheers ended, Danson was free to take on more film roles. Some of his notable titles include Made in America (1993), Pontiac Moon (1994), and Loch Ness (1996).

In 1996, Danson returned to television to star in the series Ink, where he played a man forced to work under a new boss who also happened to be his ex-wife. The show only lasted one season but the following year, he once again found fame in TV when he was cast as the lead title role in the comedy series Becker about the day to day life of an angry, bitter doctor. The show ran for an impressive six seasons. Danson went on to do a few more recurring roles in such popular series like Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-2009), Help Me Help You (2006-2007), Damages (2007-2010), Bored to Death (2009-2011), and most recently CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2011-2012). He also starred alonside Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski in the movie Big Miracle (2012) about a news reporter and Greenpeace volunteer who fight to save a family of gray whales. The role was a perfect fit for the actor, who is a founding member of the American Oceans Campaign, an organization dedicated to addressing life-threatening hazards and abuses to our oceans.

Danson is married to second wife Mary Steenburgen and is the stepfather to her two children. He and his family are live in Los Angeles.


Big Miracle (2012)
Jock (2011)
The Open Road (2009)
The Human Contract (2008)
Mad Money (2008)
Nobel Son (2007)
The Moguls (2005)
Fronterz (2004)
Mumford (1999)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Homegrown (1998)
Jerry and Tom (1998)
Loch Ness (1996)
Pontiac Moon (1994)
Getting Even with Dad (1994)
Made in America (1993)
3 Men and a Little Lady (1990)
Dad (1989)
Cousins (1989)
3 Men and a Baby (1987)
A Fine Mess (1986)
Just Between Friends (1986)
Little Treasure (1985)
Creepshow (1982)
Body Heat (1981)

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