Born on this day on the Island of St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands and raised in New Jersey, Allen Kelsey Grammer (1955-) is best known for his portrayal of stuffy psychiatrist Frasier Crane on the hit NBC TV comedy Frasier.
"I've created a lasting and memorable character named Frasier, who is not me, but who most people think is," the actor explained.
Grammer introduced the character on Cheers (w/ Ted Danson) in 1984. He played the role until the 2004 series end, tying James Arness (Gunsmoke) for the 20-season record of playing the longest-running character in TV history.
With a life-long passion for comedy, he said, “I always had a predisposition toward seeing the comical in any situation. It was a place where I felt alive. It gave me something to focus on and a sense of being useful.”
Frasier won a record 31 Emmy awards, with each episode arguably as stellar as the next. "Simply the best comedy, year after year," praised USA Today.
About his success, Grammer philosophized, "Fame obviously has become a premium in everybody's life. Everybody thinks they deserve it, everybody thinks they want it and most people really don't enjoy it once they get it. You really learn how to live with fame to really enjoy it."
Grammer loved the role and was amply rewarded for it. According to Variety, in June 2001, he became the highest paid actor in television history, when he agreed to stay on the show for the 2002 and 2003 seasons for a record $1.6 million per episode.
"I guess Frasier and I have always looked for the same thing in life: being happy and making an honest living, trying to do some good in the world and changing a few minds if we can. Or at least lifting somebody's burden for a time."
When the going gets tough, the tough lighten up.