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Ted Danson's Journey: Emmy-Winning Actor and Passionate Environmentalist
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Ted Danson, an Emmy and Golden Globe-winning American actor, is best known for his iconic portrayal of Sam Malone on the beloved sitcom "Cheers" and has since starred in numerous acclaimed television series and films while also being a passionate environmental activist.

 

Danson's Early Life and Education

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Ted Danson was born on December 29, 1947, in San Diego, California, to Edward Bridge Danson Jr., an archaeologist and museum director, and Jessica MacMaster. He grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona, where his father worked as an anthropology professor and museum director. Danson attended the Kent School in Connecticut, where he excelled as a basketball player. He initially enrolled at Stanford University, where he developed an interest in drama during his sophomore year. Seeking a more robust acting program, he transferred to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama in 1972.
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Ted Danson's First Television Roles

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Ted Danson began his television career in the mid-1970s as a contract player on daytime soap operas. He played Tom Conway on "Somerset" from 1975 to 1976 and had roles as Dr. Mitchell Pierson and Dr. Chuck Weldon on "The Doctors" in 1975 and 1977. During this period, Danson also appeared in numerous commercials, most notably as the "Aramis man". His early guest appearances in the late 1970s and early 1980s included roles on popular shows such as "Laverne & Shirley," "Taxi," "Magnum, P.I.," and "Tucker's Witch". These early television roles helped establish Danson's presence in the industry and paved the way for his breakout role as Sam Malone on "Cheers" in 1982.
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How Ted Danson Became a Star: Playing Sam Malone on 'Cheers'

Ted Danson's breakthrough role came with his portrayal of Sam Malone on the NBC sitcom "Cheers" from 1982 to 1993. Sam Malone, a former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox turned bartender and owner of the bar Cheers, is a charming womanizer whose on-again, off-again relationship with Diane Chambers, played by Shelley Long, became a central plotline of the show. Danson's performance earned him critical acclaim, including two Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. The character of Sam Malone was originally conceived as a former football player, but the role was reimagined to fit Danson's physique and persona. "Cheers" became a cultural phenomenon, running for 11 seasons and becoming one of the most beloved sitcoms in television history, with Danson's portrayal of Sam Malone being a significant factor in its success.
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Ted Danson (Photos)

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Ted Danson's Filmography

Ted Danson's filmography spans several decades and includes a variety of roles in both television and film. Below is a summary of some of his notable works:
YearTitleRole
1979The Onion FieldOfficer Ian Campbell
1981Body HeatPeter Lowenstein
1987Three Men and a BabyJack Holden
1990Three Men and a Little LadyJack Holden
1993Made in AmericaHal Jackson
1998Saving Private RyanCaptain Fred Hamill
1999MumfordJeremy Brockett
2000CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationD.B. Russell
2016The Good PlaceMichael
2017The OrvilleAdmiral Perry
2021Mr. MayorMayor Neil Bremer
Danson's diverse roles showcase his versatility as an actor, contributing to his enduring presence in the entertainment industry.
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Ted Danson's Awards

Ted Danson has received numerous awards and honors throughout his illustrious career, reflecting his versatility and talent as an actor. Below is a summary of his major accolades:
AwardDetails
Primetime Emmy Awards2 wins, 14 nominations. Wins: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for "Cheers" (1990, 1993).
Golden Globe Awards3 wins, 10 nominations. Wins: Best Actor in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical for "Cheers" (1991), Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie for "Something About Amelia" (1984).
American Comedy Awards1 win, 4 nominations. Win: Funniest Male Performer in a TV Series (1991).
Critics Choice Awards1 win, 3 nominations. Win: Best Actor in a Comedy Series for "The Good Place" (2018).
Screen Actors Guild Awards1 nomination. Nomination: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries for "Knights of the South Bronx" (2006).
Walk of FameStar on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1999).
TV Land Awards2 wins, 2 nominations. Wins: Break Up That Was So Bad It Was Good (2007), Legend Award (2006).
Online Film & Television Association2 wins, 5 nominations. Wins: Best Actor in a Comedy Series for "The Good Place" (2020), TV Hall of Fame (2017).
Danson's achievements highlight his significant impact on television and film, earning him a place among the most respected actors in the industry.
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Ted Danson (Interviews)

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Ted Danson's Personal Life

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Ted Danson's personal life has been marked by several significant relationships and family milestones. He married his first wife, actress Randall "Randy" Gosch, in 1970, but they divorced in 1975. In 1977, Danson married producer Cassandra "Casey" Coates, and they had two daughters, Kate and Alexis. Coates suffered a stroke during the birth of their first daughter, leading Danson to spend several years caring for her. Their marriage ended in 1993, partly due to Danson's affair with actress Whoopi Goldberg, which was highly publicized and resulted in a costly divorce. Danson met actress Mary Steenburgen on the set of "Pontiac Moon" in 1993, and they married in 1995, blending their families from previous marriages. Danson has also been known for his dietary choices, having followed a plant-based diet at times and currently adhering to a pescetarian diet as of 2016.
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Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen: A Hollywood Love Story

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Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen's love story is a testament to finding true love later in life. The couple first met in 1983 during an audition, but their romantic relationship didn't blossom until a decade later when they co-starred in the 1994 film "Pontiac Moon". Despite both having sworn off relationships at the time, they fell in love during filming. Danson and Steenburgen married on October 7, 1995, and have since built a strong, enduring partnership. Their relationship is characterized by mutual admiration, humor, and support, with Steenburgen describing Danson as a "remarkable human being" and Danson expressing his deep love for his wife. After nearly three decades of marriage, the couple continues to inspire with their commitment, often speaking publicly about their love and admiration for each other.
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Danson's Ocean Advocacy

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Ted Danson founded the American Oceans Campaign (AOC) in 1987 to address the increasing threats to the world's oceans and coastal regions, such as oil spills, offshore development, toxic wastes, and sewage pollution. The organization aimed to promote sustainable, ocean-friendly fishing practices and protect the public from polluted beach water. In 2001, AOC merged with Oceana, a global nonprofit dedicated exclusively to ocean conservation, significantly expanding the scope and impact of its efforts. As a board member of Oceana, Danson has been a prominent advocate for ocean conservation, focusing on issues like sustainable fishing, pollution reduction, and climate change mitigation. He has actively participated in public service announcements, donor appeals, and government testimonies to raise awareness about the critical state of the oceans. Danson's advocacy work includes the launch of campaigns such as "OceansAtRisk.com," which aims to end the massive waste of marine life caused by bycatch in U.S. fishing operations. In 2011, Danson published "Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them," a book that highlights the crisis facing the world's oceans and offers solutions for their preservation. The book underscores his commitment to ocean conservation and serves as a call to action for individuals and policymakers to protect marine ecosystems.
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