Ted Danson: A Long Way from “Cheers”

March 28th, 2011, byJeremy Freed

There was a time when it looked like this week’s guest, Ted Danson, was receding into the shadows of Hollywood, his best contributions to the screen behind him. Clearly, that’s no longer the case.

Following the success of Cheers, whose 1993 finale was watched by 80 million people, Ted Danson was one of the most famous actors in the world. Following up that series, however, turned out to be as tricky for him as it was for the rest of the cast (Kelsey Grammer excepted). While there was a six-year run as a TV doctor on Becker, that series failed to capture the public’s attention in the same way as Cheers had.

In the last few years, however, Danson appears to have entered a prolific second act, in which his leading man roles have been replaced by even better supporting ones. In Curb Your Enthusiasm, Danson plays himself, and a foil to series star Larry David. In Damages, Danson is powerful as a disgraced industrialist opposite Glenn Close, and in HBO’s Bored to Death, Danson proves his comic chops are in top form as a stoner New York socialite and erstwhile sidekick to Jason Schwartzman’s bumbling private eye.

Probably most surprising, however, is Danson’s latest project, a book called Oceana, which he co-wrote, about the problems facing the world’s oceans — as well as what can be done to combat them. The book addresses one of the most important issues facing humanity today, and is worth a read to anyone with an interest in preserving the oceans. Check out a preview here.

Last modified: June 12, 2011 at 10:55 pm