Name at birth: Edward Bridge Danson III
Tall, angular leading man Ted Danson is known best for his television roles, including his star-making turn as Sam Malone, the owner of the bar in the series Cheers (1982-93). Danson was raised in Arizona and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1972. After a decade of small roles, he landed the lead in Cheers, and during its eleven-year run he was nominated for an Emmy every year (he won twice). Danson's roles on the big screen have been few and far between, but he's had great success on television, including four seasons as a cranky doctor in Becker (1998-2004), three seasons as a villain in Damages (2007-10) and three seasons as a womanizing editor on Bored to Death (2009-11). He's also played a version of himself off and on, irritating Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm throughout the 2000s. Danson also won an Emmy for a dramatic role, in the 1984 TV movie Something About Amelia, and earned three nominations for his turn in Damages (both also starred Glenn Close). He's been married to actress Mary Steenburgen since 1995, and the couple is known for being involved in liberal politics and for being personal friends with Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Danson's films include Body Heat (1981, starring William Hurt), Three Men and a Baby (1987), SavingPrivate Ryan (1998, starring Tom Hanks) and Mumford (1999).
Ted Danson had a two-year romance with comedian Whoopi Goldberg (his co-star in Made in America) in the early 1990s, which led to Danson’s (reportedly expensive) divorce from his second wife, Casey Coates, in 1993.