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Frasier is Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer), a divorced psychiatrist who returns to his hometown of Seattle, Washington after many years of living in Boston, Massachusetts (a period shown in the television show Cheers).
His expectations of life as a care-free bachelor are quickly frustrated when his father, Martin Crane (John Mahoney), moves in with him. A retired Seattle Police Department detective, Martin was shot in the line of duty and now has mobility issues. Frasier hires a live-in physical therapist named Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves) to help care for his father. His brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce), also a psychiatrist, is a frequent visitor – not least because he carries a torch for Daphne. The final resident of Frasier’s intended bachelor pad is his father’s beloved dog, Eddie, (Moose) a Jack Russell terrier whom Frasier thoroughly dislikes.
Frasier is now the host of “The Doctor Frasier Crane” show on talk radio station KACL. The show’s producer, Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin), is the polar opposite of Frasier in opinions and temperament, but they work well together and soon become friends. Both Frasier and Niles are snobby intellectuals, intent on gaining admittance to Seattle’s cultural elite, but whilst they’re each other’s biggest rivals they get on remarkably well – something that isn’t always the case with their down-to-earth, blue-collar father. The brothers can frequently be found at the local coffee shop, appropriately named “Café Nervosa”.
Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) – Recently divorced psychiatrist Frasier has moved back to his hometown, leaving behind his old life in Boston. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he is both intelligent and at times very insecure. He has a son, Frederick, who lives in Boston with his ex-wife Dr. Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth). Close to his brother Niles, the two men are also very competitive, and though Frasier loves his father, they don’t always get along. Frasier’s days of enjoying beer and karaoke in Boston’s Cheers bar seem long gone, and nowadays he’s more likely to be found at the ballet or opera.
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Niles Crane (David Hyde Pierce) – Niles is the younger brother of Dr. Frasier Crane and also a psychiatrist. He is unhappily married to Maris, who is never seen, and has no children. Like his brother, he is haughty, fastidious and snobby, and enjoys classical music, the opera, French wine and gourmet food, which he cooks himself. He went to Yale University and the University of Cambridge and describes his choice of profession as “the saving grace of my life”. His specialty is in marriage and family therapy, and he is well respected in his field. Unlike Frasier, Niles is a hypochondriac with a list of conditions and phobias as long as your arm, the most conspicuous of which is his fear of germs, which sees him wiping his hands after any human contact.
Martin Crane (John Mahoney) – Martin is the father of Frasier and Niles and a retired police detective. Born in Seattle, Washington, he is a lifelong resident of the city, leaving it only during his time in the U.S. Army when he fought in the Korean War. On his return, he joined the police department and remained in the same career until forced to retire after being shot in the line of duty. Martin was married to Hester, Niles’s and Frasier’s mother, for thirty-five years until her death, which occurred only a few years before he moved in with Frasier. Martin and the boys do not always see eye to eye, but he is undeniably proud of them both. Over time, he grows close to Daphne, his physical therapist, and Roz, Frasier’s producer, and through them his relationship with his sons begins to deepen. Martin is a man of simple tastes, loving nothing more than watching sports from his battered old recliner, a beer in his hand.
Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves) – Daphne is hired by Frasier as a live-in housekeeper and physical therapist for his father, and gets on well with Martin. She grew up in Manchester, England with eight brothers, and while close to her father her relationship with her domineering mother is more difficult. Her dysfunctional family was the main reason for her move to the United States, and she regularly regales the Crane men with stories about them. Daphne believes herself to be psychic, is a terrible cook and has a series of unsuccessful relationships with men. She is oblivious to Niles’s love for her until a tranquilized Frasier lets it slip.
Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin) – Roz is the producer of Frasier’s radio program, the “Dr. Frasier Crane Show”. An attractive woman with a colorful love life, she at first does not get on with Frasier. Soon, however, they overcome their differences and forge a strong friendship. She and Daphne become best friends, and Roz is also close to Frasier’s father, Martin. Her relationship with Niles is more fraught, with frequent bickering and snide remarks from both sides, although over time they mellow towards one another. Known as “one of the guys” at Martin’s poker games, Roz is a female version of Sam Malone of Cheers, like Sam even keeping a “black book” of her past conquests.
Eddie the dog (Moose and Enzo) – Eddie is Martin’s Jack Russell terrier. He understands both Martin and Daphne very well, but seems to taunt Frasier. The only person Eddie is scared of is Frasier’s ex-wife, Lilith, and when she’s around he is the model of obedience.
Photo Courtesy of NBC
|Frasier Crane||Kelsey Grammer|
|Niles Crane||David Hyde Pierce|
|Martin Crane||John Mahoney|
|Daphne Moon||Jane Leeves|
|Roz Doyle||Peri Gilpin|
|Eddie the dog||Moose (later played by Moose’s son, Enzo)|
Photo Courtesy of NBC
|Bulldog Briscoe||Dan Butler|
|Kenny Daly||Tom McGowan|
|Gil Chesterton||Edward Hibbert|
|Noel Shempsky||Patrick Kerr|
|Gertrude Moon||Millicent Martin|
|Donny Douglas||Saul Rubinek|
|Dr. Lilith Sternin||Bebe Neuwirth|
|James the Barista||James Oliver|
|Bebe Glazer||Harriet Sansom Harris|
|Dr. Mel Karnofsky||Jane Adams|
|Ronee Lawrence||Wendie Malick|
|Alice May Doyle||Ashley Thomas|
|Julia Wilcox||Felicity Huffman|
|Frederick Gaylord Crane||Trevor Einhorn|
|Simon Moon||Anthony LaPaglia|
|Lana Gardner||Jean Smart|
|Sherry Dempsey||Marsha Mason|
|Kate Costas||Mercedes Ruehl|
|Mrs. Richman||Brooks Almy|
|Faye Moskowitz||Amy Brenneman|
|Diane Chambers||Shelley Long|
|Marta||Irene Olga Lopez|
|Claire French||Patricia Clarkson|
|Cassandra Stone||Virginia Madsen|
|Bandleader||Michael G. Hawkins|
Photo Courtesy of NBC
Kelsey Grammer violated his probation on a D.U.I. and spent 30 days in jail as a result.
Jane Leeves was a former roommate and co-star of Faith Ford. Both appeared on the popular series Murphy Brown.
After many years of media speculation about his sexuality, David Hyde Pierce came out as gay in 2007. He lives with his long-time partner, Brian Hargrove, and they have two dogs, Wheaton terriers named Maude and Mabel.
John Mahoney was born in England in the seaside resort of Blackpool, Lancashire. His family had been evacuated there to evade the Nazi bombing of their home city, Manchester. His older sister was a war bride, and he decided to emigrate to the United States whilst visiting her there. He was sponsored by his sister and won his citizenship by serving in the United States Army.
Peri Gilpin is named after the Disney cartoon character Perri the squirrel.
In the first episode of season six, Frasier is auditioning for a new job after being fired from his radio show. His audition speech references the fact that the series had just taken over the slot previously occupied by Seinfeld, which had ended. He said, “Before we begin, I’d like to say how honored I am to be taking over this slot. Obviously, I have some rather big shoes to fill – my predecessor here was much beloved. But I have never been one to shrink from a challenge and I’m sure we’ll enjoy many happy years here together in my new home.”
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At one point in the series Daphne (Jane Leeves) gains a lot of weight, a storyline developed to allow Leeves to continue to work during her pregnancy. After she gave birth, the show had Daphne heading to a health spa where she apparently succeeds in shedding 9lbs. 12oz. Her stay at the spa coincided with Leeves’s maternity leave and her weight loss was actually the birth weight of her new baby girl, Isabella.
In 1996, Kelsey Grammer was in a car accident as a result of being drunk at the wheel. Afterwards, the cast and crew persuaded him to enter the Betty Ford Clinic to receive treatment for his alcoholism. To accommodate his absence, one of the episodes in the fourth season, “Head Game”, focused on Niles (David Hyde Pierce), with Grammer appearing on screen for only a few minutes.
Before Frasier, David Hyde Pierce didn’t have a strong interest in either wine or opera, unlike his character. It was John Mahoney who introduced him to both – ironic considering that Mahoney’s character, Martin, had no interest in either.
John Mahoney is the uncle of Illinois State Senator John Sullivan.
Peri Gilpin worked as a radio show sound engineer in real life.
In 2004, in season 11, Laurie Metcalf guest-starred on the show playing Frasier’s first wife, Nanette, a children’s entertainer. At one point Nanette says to Frasier, “Do you know what it’s like to play the same character for twenty years?” The line was a reference to Kelsey Grammer’s twenty years as Frasier, one of the longest periods any actor had played the same character. His achievement was equaled only by James Arness, who played Marshal Dillon on the series Gunsmoke for twenty years.
Frasier holds the record for the most Emmy wins for a drama or comedy TV series, with 37 in all.
According to John Mahoney, Moose (Eddie) received more fan mail than any of the other cast members.
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Tragically, Kelsey Grammer has seen a number of his friends and family die in horrific circumstances. His father was shot and killed when Grammer was only 13 years old; his sister was raped by four men and brutally murdered after working a shift at a Red Lobster restaurant in Colorado Springs; and his two stepbrothers from his father’s second marriage were killed in a scuba diving accident.
John Mahoney quit his job as editor of a medical journal when he was 37 and started acting.
By the time Frasier ended, Jane Leeves had become the highest-paid British actress in Hollywood.
Lisa Kudrow and Peri Gilpin were shortlisted for the role of Roz Doyle. Kudrow was originally cast because her line readings were funnier, but once in rehearsals the show’s creators felt that she did not have the necessary forcefulness for the part and she was replaced with Gilpin. The decision turned out to be a lucky break for Kudrow, who was instead free to take the role of Phoebe Buffay in Friends.
David Hyde Pierce has been nominated a record 11 times for the Emmy award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Dr. Niles Crane.
In the show’s pilot episode, a deliveryman (Cleto Augusto) drops off Martin’s (John Mahoney) easy chair. In the final episode the same deliveryman takes it away.
Kelsey Grammer has been nominated for an Emmy award for playing the same character on three different shows: in the series Wings, in Cheers and, of course, in Frasier.
In the pilot episode, Frasier keeps telling Martin that he just wants to hear the words “thank you” for letting him move in. In the finale of the series, just before Martin hugs Frasier good-bye, he says, “Thank you, Frasier”.
Peri Gilpin was the only one of the five main Frasier cast members never to have been nominated for an Emmy award.
Kelsey Grammer has starred in three different series with Ted Danson, Cheers, Frasier and Becker.
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John Mahoney and David Hyde Pierce are both godfathers to co-star Jane Leeve’s son Finn, while her co-star Peri Gilpin is godmother to her daughter Isabella. Gilpin was also in the delivery room with Leeves during Isabella’s birth.
On one occasion when David Hyde Pierce was performing in the international comedy festival Just for Laughs he arrived at the hotel in Montreal looking tired and bedraggled, and commented to one of the festival workers that he was looking forward to resting in his room. The worker agreed, saying how exhausted they all were from working overtime with hardly any breaks, tying up loose ends, and trying to assist the performers before their routines. A few minutes later, Pierce returned with pastries and fresh coffee for everyone working at the festival’s check-in.
David Angell, the talented writer, co-producer and co-creator of both Wings and Frasier and producer and writer of Cheers, died in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. He and his wife Lynn Angell were returning home from a family wedding in Massachusetts on American Airlines flight #11, which was hijacked and flown into the World Trade Tower.
The character of Daphne Moon hailed from Manchester, England, where John Mahoney grew up.
David Hyde Pierce’s alma mater is Yale University, just like his character Niles Crane.
The soundstage at Paramount Studios used for Frasier’s apartment was the same one that had contained the set for Cheers.
In 2008, Kelsey Grammer suffered from what he thought was a mild heart attack while in Hawaii. He later learned that his heart had stopped and the attack could easily have led to his death.
The character of Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin) was named in honor of the Wings TV producer of the same name. Gilpin had once worked with the real Doyle, who died of breast cancer in 1991.
All but two of the regular cast members from Cheers have appeared on Frasier at least once, the exceptions being Kirstie Alley (Rebecca Howe) and Nicholas Colasanto (Coach). Colasanto had sadly died years earlier while starring in Cheers, but Alley refused to appear because she said the show’s apparent endorsement of psychiatry went against her beliefs as a practicing Scientologist.
David Hyde Pierce’s father and grandfather both suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, and he is a strong supporter of efforts to find a cure. He has testified in Washington, D.C. to support expanded funding for treatment of the disease, and campaigned for the National Alzheimer’s Project Act.
John Mahoney has appeared in three separate series with actor Ted Danson, Cheers, Frasier and Becker.
One of Kelsey Grammer’s favorite Frasier episodes is “The Show Where Diane Comes Back”. He and Shelley Long (Diane Chambers) had not got along whilst shooting Cheers, with Long disliking the character of Frasier Crane and trying hard to get him written out of the show. Grammer said that her appearance on Frasier gave them an opportunity to make peace with one another.
Jane Leeves is a friend of Valerie Bertinelli and co-starred with her in the sitcom Hot in Cleveland. Wendie Malick, who appeared in the final season of Frasier, also starred in the show.
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The series is set in Seattle, Washington and its 100th episode was actually filmed on its streets. It had originally been supposed to be based in Denver, Colorado, but in 1992 Colorado passed an amendment repealing anti-gay discrimination laws. The creators moved the setting in protest at the change.
Peri Gilpin’s father Jim O’Brien was a weatherman and radio disc jockey. He died in 1983 during a skydiving accident while saving the life of another skydiver.
Bebe Neuwirth was offered a regular role on Frasier as Lilith but preferred to appear as a guest star, allowing her to return to the Broadway stage.
Kelsey Grammer has been married four times and has five children, Spencer, Kandace, Mason and Jude (both born to a surrogate mother) and Faith (who was a twin but whose brother died in utero).
Frasier ranks #34 in Empire magazine’s list of “50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time”.
John Mahoney’s face was covered in liver pate to get Eddie (Moose) to lick it.
To ensure that viewers did not see Frasier Crane as a man who deserted his family, the first episode has him repeatedly saying how much he misses his son, Frederick.
Frasier, spawned by the popular Cheers, was one of the most successful spin-off series in television history, as well as one of the most critically acclaimed comedy series ever to be produced.
Jane Leeves played the part of a tourist in David Lee Roth’s video of California Girls.
John Mahoney said, “People say there’s no trace of an accent anymore, and there isn’t because I worked very hard to lose it…And the reason I did that is a British accent in America is a real status symbol.”
Although the original concept of the show had Frasier as an only child, a casting director saw a headshot of David Hyde Pierce and noted his resemblance to Kelsey Grammer. The creators were “blown away” by Hyde’s acting talent and decided to create a role for him.
Peri Gilpin tried for years to have a baby, but repeated attempts at in vitro fertilization were unsuccessful. Happily, she and her artist husband Christian Vincent finally became parents to twin daughters Stella May and Ava on May 7, 2004. The children were born to a surrogate mother.
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