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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Who is Allen Kelsey Grammer?

Who is Allen Kelsey Grammer?  The entertainment and acting world knows him as Kelsey Grammer. Grammer is a 5-time Emmy Award-winning American actor and comedian. He is most widely known for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane in the NBC sitcoms Cheers and Frasier. He has been nominated for fourteen Emmys, including one for playing his character on three sitcoms (the third being a guest appearance on Wings), as well as portraying the part on an episode of The John Larroquette Show, and has also worked as a television producer, director, writer, and as a voice artist. He has received many accolades for his role as the voice of Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons.

Early life and family tragedies

Grammer was born February 21, 1955  in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands to Sally Grammer (née Cranmer, 1928 – July 7, 2008),[1] a singer, and Frank Allen Grammer Jr., a musician and owner of a coffee shop and a bar & grill called Greer's Place.[2][3][4] His parents divorced when Grammer was two.[5] He attended Pine Crest School, a private preparatory school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for high school. Grammer then spent two years at the Juilliard School.[6]
Grammer's family life has been plagued by tragedies. In 1968, when Grammer was thirteen years old, his father, whom he had seen only twice since his parents' divorce, was shot and killed.[3] In 1975, his younger sister Karen was abducted, raped, and murdered.[7][8][9][10][11] In 1980, his twin half-brothers died in a scuba diving accident.[12][13]

Career

Stage

After leaving Juilliard, he had a three-year internship with the Old Globe Theatre, in San Diego, in the late 1970s, before a stint in 1980 at the Guthrie Theater, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He made his Broadway debut in 1981, as "Lennox," in Macbeth, taking the lead role when Philip Anglim withdrew after receiving negative reviews. In 1983, he performed on the demo of the Stephen SondheimJames Lapine production Sunday in the Park with George, starring Mandy Patinkin. Also featured on the demo was Christine Baranski, who later starred as Mrs. Lovett to Grammer's Sweeney Todd in the 1999 LA Reprise! production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Grammer then played Michael Cassio in a Broadway revival of Othello, with James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer.
On April 18, 2010, Grammer made his Broadway musical debut playing the role of Georges in a revival of the Jerry Herman/Harvey Fierstein musical La Cage aux Folles, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.

Television

His television career began in the early 1980s when he portrayed Stephen Smith in the NBC miniseries Kennedy. Grammer came to broader public attention as Dr. Frasier Crane in the NBC sitcom Cheers. Grammer's former Juilliard classmate and Broadway co-star Patinkin suggested Grammer to the New York casting director, and he got what was supposed to be a six-episode job but ended up as a regular cast member.[14] The character became the center of the spin-off Frasier, arguably the most successful spinoff in TV history. In addition to starring, he also directed many episodes, especially during the second half of the series. In 2008, Grammer reprised his role of Dr. Frasier Crane in a commercial for Dr Pepper.
In 2001, he negotiated a US$700,000-per-episode salary for Frasier, and his 20-year run playing Dr. Frasier Crane ties a length set by James Arness in playing Marshall Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke from 1955 to 1975.[15]
In 2005, he returned to series television on Fox, by attempting to create an American adaptation of The Sketch Show, a British sketch show. The main cast consisted of Malcolm Barrett, Kaitlin Olson, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Paul F. Tompkins, as well as Lee Mack from the British version of the show. Grammer appeared in only short opening and closing segments in each episode. Many of the sketches from the British version were recreated, such as the "California Dreamin'," "English Course," and "Sign Language" sketches. Only six episodes of the show were made, and it was canceled after only four of them had aired.
In addition to being producer, he guest-starred as the Angel of Death on Medium.
In 2007, Grammer returned to the sitcom format as the central character in the American sitcom Back to You, co-starring with Patricia Heaton. It was canceled by Fox after its first season.
Grammer's ABC sitcom Hank was canceled in its first season on November 11, 2009, with Grammer saying at the end, "Honestly, it just wasn't very funny."[16]
He is currently in negotiations to host the American version of the British panel game, Quite Interesting.

Voice work

Grammer's smooth, deep voice and Mid-Atlantic accent make him popular for voiceover work. He has provided the voice of Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons, winning an Emmy for his work in the episode "The Italian Bob".[17]
  He has appeared in twelve episodes since the show's inception in 1989, the most recent being "The Bob Next Door" that aired in May 2010. Grammer supplied the voices for "Stinky Pete the Prospector" in 1999 Disney/Pixar film Toy Story 2, Vladimir in the Fox animated movie Anastasia, (Rothbart) Barbie of Swan Lake, Zozi the Bear in the subsequently produced prequel Bartok the Magnificent, and the title character in the short-lived animated series Gary the Rat. He provided the opening speech and piano in The Vandals' song "Phone Machine" from the album Fear of a Punk Planet, and sang a rewritten version of the "grinch" on an episode of Just Shoot Me!. He was the voice of the mad scientist, Dr. Frankenollie, in the Mickey Mouse short Runaway Brain.

Production work

His production company, Grammnet Productions, produces the CW sitcoms Girlfriends and The Game which is now on BET, the NBC drama Medium, and is involved in many other projects.





Other work

His film work includes the role of Dr. Hank McCoy (also known as the Beast) in X-Men: The Last Stand, and he was the voice of Snowball in the live-action film adaptation of the George Orwell book Animal Farm. Grammer co-starred in the movie Swing Vote, playing the Republican incumbent. He played General George S. Patton in An American Carol. In 2010, he starred in "The Kelsey Grammer Bill Zucker Comedy Hour".
Grammer's voice has been featured in commercials. One of the earliest was a 1998 commercial for Honey Nut Cheerios, where he played the voice of the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. He was the voice of the original GEICO gecko, a talking reptile created by The Martin Agency in 1999. In the commercial, the gecko pleads for people to stop calling him in error, mistaking gecko for GEICO. Since 2006, Grammer has provided the voice for television commercials advertising Hyundai.

Awards

He won a number of Emmys, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Golden Globes for his work on Frasier. He was the first American actor ever to be nominated for multiple Emmy awards for portraying the same character on three different television shows (Cheers, Frasier, and Wings).
Grammer has received at least 45 nominations for major awards and has won on 18 occasions.[18] He has received 14 individual Emmy Award nominations for 4 different television shows (plus an additional 2 as part of the Frasier ensemble) and has won on 5 occasions. At the Golden Globes, he has received eight nominations and twice been victorious. He has received two People's Choice Awards, and in 1999 his directorial skills were recognized with a nomination for a Directors Guild of America award for directing an episode of Frasier. He received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in X-Men: The Last Stand. On May 22, 2001, he was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for television. On April 20, 2009, Grammer was presented the inaugural Television Chairman's Award at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas.[19] In 2010, Grammer enjoyed his first Tony Award nomination for "La Cage Aux Folles" as Best Leading Actor in a Musical.
The following table gives a selection of the awards he has won.
Year↓ Award↓ Category↓
1994 Emmy Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Frasier)
1995 Emmy Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Frasier)
1995 American Comedy Award Funniest Male Performer in a TV Series (Frasier)
1996 Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series Comedy/Musical (Frasier)
1996 American Comedy Award Funniest Male Performer in a TV Series (Frasier)
1998 Emmy Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Frasier)
2001 Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series Comedy/Musical (Frasier)
2004 Emmy Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Frasier)
2006 Emmy Outstanding Voice-Over Performance (The Simpsons)

Personal life

Family

Grammer has been married four times.
Doreen Alderman
His first marriage, to dance instructor Doreen Alderman, lasted from 1982 to 1990. They had one daughter, Spencer Grammer (born October 9, 1983), an actress on the CBS Daytime soap opera As the World Turns and the ABC Family show Greek.
After this marriage, Grammer had a daughter, Greer Kandace (born February 15, 1992), with hair and makeup stylist Barrie Buckner.[20]
Leigh-Anne Csuhany
His second marriage, to stripper Leigh-Anne Csuhany in 1992, lasted one year. Grammer says that she was abusive and shot a gun at him,[21] and that, after talk of divorce, she attempted suicide, which resulted in the miscarriage of their child.[22]
Tammy Baliszewski
In 1994, he met 28-year-old Tammy Baliszewski, also known as Tammy Alexander, at a bar in Manhattan Beach, California. In December 1994, the two of them appeared on the cover of People magazine, announcing their engagement and Grammer's substance abuse problems. They broke up in 1995.
Camille Donatacci
In August 1997, Grammer married Camille Donatacci, a former Playboy model. They met on a blind date in 1996.[23] They have a daughter, Mason Olivia (born October 24, 2001), and a son, Jude Gordon (born August 28, 2004), both born to a surrogate mother.[20] Grammer and Donatacci have several homes that have been featured in InStyle magazine and Architectural Digest. Some are: Malibu, California (February 2001, InStyle magazine), Maui (May 2004, InStyle magazine), Long Island, New York (April 2008, InStyle magazine), Denver, Colorado (Architectural Digest), and Bel Air, Los Angeles (Architectural Digest). On June 14, 2010, Donatacci and Grammer appeared together at the Tony Awards. It was announced on July 1, 2010 that Donatacci had filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.[24]
On August 12, 2010, Grammer announced that he was going to be a father for the fifth time with girlfriend Kayte Walsh.[25] On October 9, 2010, Grammer announced that Walsh had miscarried six weeks earlier.[26] On December 28, 2010, Grammer announced their engagement.[27] At the beginning of February, Grammer and Walsh booked the ballroom at the Plaza Hotel on February 25, 2011 for their marriage, at a cost of more than $100,000 for the reception, despite Grammer's divorce not being finalized.[28] Grammer and Donatacci's divorce was finalized on February 10, 2011.[29] On February 25, 2011, he married Walsh. [30]

 

 

Lawsuits

Defamation lawsuit

In 1995, Grammer was sued by ex-girlfriend Cerlette Lamme for defamation of character and invasion of privacy over content he included in his autobiography So Far.[31]

Sex tape lawsuit

In 1998, Grammer filed a lawsuit against Internet Entertainment Group, which Grammer claimed had stolen from his home a videotape of him having sex with a woman. IEG countersued Grammer, denying they were in possession of such a tape, and Grammer's suit was eventually dropped.[32] IEG President Seth Warshavsky told the New York Post, "We have been presented with another Kelsey Grammer tape. But we have no plans to air it. We are still evaluating it at this time."[33] Grammer later told Maxim, "Whether or not you’re a celebrity—even if you’re just an old slob with a video camera—you don’t realize you shouldn’t do it. So you throw the tape in the back of a dark closet until your old girlfriend remembers it’s there because you’re famous now and she’s not. But if you’re not prepared to do the time, don’t do the crime."[34]

Copyright lawsuit

 In August 2008, Bradley Blakeman, a former aide to George W. Bush, filed a copyright lawsuit in federal court on Long Island over Grammer's movie Swing Vote, claiming that parts of its plot and marketing had been stolen from him. The lawsuit claimed that Blakeman had given a copyrighted screenplay called Go November to Grammer in 2006, and that Grammer agreed to develop the project and star as a Republican president but instead ended up playing a similar role in Swing Vote, which was released on August 1, 2008. Grammer's spokesman dismissed the claims as "frivolous" and a "waste of time". The lawsuit claims that Blakeman's copyrighted screenplay had the same basic plot as Swing Vote.[35]

Substance abuse and arrests

Grammer began drinking at age nine[36] and became a frequent abuser of alcohol. In 1988, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail for drunk driving and cocaine possession. He was again arrested for cocaine possession in August 1990 and was sentenced to three years' probation, fined $500, and given 300 hours of community service. In January 1991, he was given an additional two years' probation for violating his original probation through additional cocaine use. In September 1996, he flipped his Dodge Viper while intoxicated and subsequently checked into the Betty Ford Center for 30 days.[37]

Health problems

Grammer suffered a heart attack on May 31, 2008. He told Jay Leno on the July 24, 2008, airing of The Tonight Show that he had to wait one and a half hours for paramedics to arrive. He was hospitalized in Hawaii after he had symptoms while paddleboarding with his then wife, Camille.[38] He was released on June 4, 2008, and was listed as "resting comfortably" at his Hawaiian residence.[39] Seven weeks after his attack, Grammer told Entertainment Tonight that, although at the time his spokesman described the attack as mild, it was in fact more severe, almost leading to his death, as his heart had stopped.[40]
Grammer thought Fox's decision to cancel his TV sitcom Back to You contributed to his health problems, stating that "It was a very stressful time for me, and a surprise that it was cancelled. But you know, everything that doesn't kill us—which it almost did—makes us stronger!".[41]
On June 28, 2008, Grammer checked into an undisclosed New York hospital after complaints of feeling faint. His publicist said that it may have been due to a reaction to medication.[42]

Politics

Grammer is a member of the Republican Party and has expressed an interest in someday running for United States Congress.[43] Grammer was a guest at President George W. Bush's first inauguration.[44] Grammer endorsed Rudy Giuliani in the 2008 presidential primary and later campaigned for John McCain in the general election.[45][46]

Filmography

Films
Year↓ Title↓ Role↓ Notes
1992 Galaxies Are Colliding Peter
1995 Runaway Brain Dr. Frankenollie Short film
1996 Down Periscope Lieutenant Commander Thomas Dodge
1997 Anastasia Vladimir
1998 The Real Howard Spitz Howard Spitz
1999 Animal Farm Snowball
1999 New Jersey Turnpikes Unknown
1999 Standing on Fishes Verk
1999 Toy Story 2 "Stinky Pete" the Prospector
1999 Bartok the Magnificent Zozi Direct-to-video release
1999 Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Narrator Direct-to-video release
2001 15 Minutes Robert Hawkins
2001 Just Visiting Narrator Uncredited
2003 The Big Empty Agent Banks
2003 Barbie of Swan Lake Rothbart Direct-to-video release
2004 Teacher's Pet Dr. Ivan Krank
2005 The Good Humor Man Mr. Skibness Also executive producer
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand Dr. Henry 'Hank' McCoy/Beast
2007 Even Money Detective Brunner
2008 Swing Vote President Andrew Boone
2008 An American Carol General George S. Patton
2009 Fame Joel Cranston
2010 Crazy on the Outside Frank
2010 Bunyan and Babe Norm Blandsford Post-production
2010 Middle Men Frank Griffin
2010 Alligator Point[47] Director TBA
Television
Year↓ Title↓ Role↓ Notes
1982 Macbeth Ross TV film
1983 Kennedy Stephen Smith TV miniseries
1984 Kate & Allie David Hamill Episode 1.1: "Allie's First Date"
1984 George Washington Lt. Stewart TV miniseries
1984–
1985
Another World Dr. Canard Recurring role
1984–
1993
Cheers Dr. Frasier Crane Appeared in 201 episodes
1986 Crossings Craig Lawson TV miniseries
1987 Biography George Washington Episode: "Benedict Arnold"
1987 J.J. Starbuck Pierce Morgan Episode 1.3: "Murder in E Minor"
1988 Dance 'til Dawn Ed Strull TV film
1989 Top of the Hill Unknown TV film
1989 227 Mr. Anderson Episode 4.24: "For Sale"
1990 The Tracey Ullman Show Mr. Brenna Episode 4.12: "Maria and the Mister"
1990–present The Simpsons Sideshow Bob Has appeared in twelve episodes, Recurring Role.
1991 Baby Talk Russell Episode 1.7: "One Night with Elliot"
1992 Wings Dr. Frasier Crane Episode 3.16: "Planes, Trains and Visiting Cranes"
1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation Captain Bateson Episode 5.18: "Cause and Effect"
1993 Roc Detective Rush Episode 2.25: "To Love and Die on Emerson Street: Part 2"
1993 Beyond Suspicion Ron McNally TV film
1993 Mike & Spike Super Dog Episode: "Person To Sea Creature" (voice only)
1993–
2004
Frasier Dr. Frasier Crane Appeared in all 264 episodes;
also executive producer and director of 37 episodes
1994 The Innocent Det. Frank Barlow TV film
1995 The John Larroquette Show Dr. Frasier Crane Episode 3.1: "More Changes"
1996 London Suite Sydney Nichols TV film
1997 Fired Up Tom Whitman Episodes 1.3: "Who's the Boss" and 2.3: "You Don't Know Jack"; also executive producer
1998 The Pentagon Wars Major General Partridge TV film
1998 Just Shoot Me! Narrator Episode 3.10: "How the Finch Stole Christmas"
1999 Animal Farm Snowball TV film
2000 Stark Raving Mad Professor Tuttle 1.17: "The Grade"
2001 Neurotic Tendencies N/A TV film; executive producer, director and writer
2000–
2008
Girlfriends himself Executive producer
2001 The Sports Pages Howard Greene TV film
2002 Mr. St. Nick Nick St. Nicholas/Santa Claus the 21st TV film
2002–
2003
In-Laws N/A Executive producer
2003 Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor George Washington TV film
2003 Becker Rick Cooper Episode 5.13: "But I've Got Friends I Haven't Used Yet"
2003 Gary the Rat Gary "The Rat" Andrews Appeared in all 13 episodes;
also executive producer
2004 A Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge TV film
2004 The Soluna Project N/A TV film; executive producer
2005 Kelsey Grammer Presents: The Sketch Show Various characters Appeared in all four aired episodes;
also executive producer
2005 Out of Practice N/A Directed episodes 1.1 and 1.18
2006 Medium Angel of Death/Bob Episode 2.21: "Death Takes a Policy"
Also executive producer/Double Role
2006 My Ex Life N/A Director
2006–
2009
The Game N/A Executive producer
2007 Dash 4 Cash N/A TV film; executive producer
2007 Everybody Hates Chris N/A Directed episode 2.22: "Everybody Hates the Last Day"
2007–
2008
Back to You Chuck Darling Appeared in all 17 episodes
Also executive producer
2009 Hank Lead role Also executive producer[48]
2010 The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Himself Filmed during his marriage to Camille Donatacci Grammer
2010 30 Rock Himself
Video games
The Simpsons Game (2007) – Sideshow Bob

 

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