Ted Danson with his current wife Mary Steenburgen in 2009.
Ted Danson with his current wife Mary Steenburgen in 2009.

Famous Birthdays this week: Ted Danson

29/12/1947 - current (70 years old)

"If you actively do something, it will stop making you feel like a victim and you'll start feeling like part of the solution, which is just a huge benefit to your body and your psyche".

1947: Edward Bridge 'Ted' Danson III was born in San Diego, California and is an American actor, activist, author and producer. He attended Stanford University and then transferred to Carnegie Mellon University, where he received his BFA in Drama.

1961: He enrolled in the Kent School where he was a star player on the basketball team. He became interested in drama while attending Stanford University and transferred to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drama in 1972.

1970: Danson and his first wife, actress Randall "Randy" Gosch (now professionally known as Randy Danson), were married and divorced in 1975.

1977: Danson married second wife, producer Cassandra "Casey" Coates.

1979: On December 24, while giving birth to their first daughter Kate, Coates suffered a stroke, and Danson spent several years caring for her and helping her recuperate. They later adopted a second daughter, Alexis.

1980's: Danson's interest in environmentalism continued over the years, and he began to be concerned with the state of the world's oceans. He was a contributing founder of the American Oceans Campaigns, which merged with Oceana in 2001, where Danson is a board member. Danson has been a longtime activist in ocean conservation.

1982: Danson was cast as the womanising former baseball player and bartender Sam Malone on the NBC sitcom Cheers, wherein he has an on-and-off relationship with college-educated, sophisticated Diane Chambers. Though the show finished last in the ratings in the first season, it was well received by critics. Ratings slowly but surely improved in 1983 and by 1986 Cheers was one of the top ten shows on TV. The show ran from 1982 to 1993, with Danson receiving 11 consecutive Emmy nominations and nine Golden Globe nominations, ultimately winning two Emmys and two Golden Globes. Danson also appeared as Sam Malone in guest-starring roles on other sitcoms, such as Frasier (a Cheers spin-off), The Jim Henson Hour and The Simpsons.

Cheers cast poster, signed by Ted Danson and other actors from the show.
Cheers cast poster, signed by Ted Danson and other actors from the show.

1988: While a guest on The Arsenio Hall Show, he met actress Whoopi Goldberg, whom he described as "a sexy, funny woman". The two became friends, co-hosting Help Save Planet Earth in 1990, a video guide to saving the environment (Danson played himself, Goldberg played the role of Mother Earth).

1992: While making Made in America in April this year, Danson and Goldberg became romantically involved.

1993: Danson's affair with actress Whoopi Goldberg led to his divorce with Coates. It was one of Hollywood's costliest divorces, reportedly costing Danson $30 million.

1995: Danson married actress Mary Steenburgen, whom he met on the set of the movie Pontiac Moon in 1993, and became the stepfather to Steenburgen's daughter Lilly and son Charlie McDowell from her previous marriage to actor Malcolm McDowell.

1999: Danson was presented with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

2002: This year, US TV Guide named Cheers the 18th Greatest Show of All Time. It was also included in Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Shows of All Time.

2006: Danson returned to series television, playing a psychiatrist in the ABC sitcom Help Me Help You, which was cancelled at mid-season due to low ratings. He also received a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries for his role in Knights of the South Bronx.

2007: He became vegan and is an activist for multiple causes.

2011: In March of this year, he published his first book, Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them, written with journalist Michael D'Orso. Danson appeared in the music video for Make Some Noise by the Beastie Boys. He is also mentioned in the song's lyrics.

2013: In March of this year, it was confirmed that Danson had signed a deal extending his stay on CSI for two more years. Following the cancellation of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, it was announced that his character D.B. Russell would make a move over to the third spinoff show CSI: Cyber in the second season. The show was cancelled after two seasons.

2015: Danson starred as Hank Larsson in the second season of FX's black comedy-crime drama anthology.

2016: He began a starring role on the NBC comedy The Good Place.

2017: Nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Awards - Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for Curb Your Enthusiasm.

2018: Starring as Dave in Hearts Beat Loud - currently in Post-production.


Danson has also been featured in numerous films. His most notable film appearances were in Three Men and a Baby with Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg, its sequel Three Men and a Little Lady and Cousins with Isabella Rossellini. He also appeared in The Onion Field (his first film, as the bagpipe playing Officer Ian Campbell), Creepshow, Body Heat, Little Treasure, Just Between Friends, A Fine Mess, Dad, Made in America, Getting Even with Dad and Saving Private Ryan.


During his career Danson has been nominated for 15 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning two; ten Golden Globe Awards nominations, winning three; one Screen Actors Guild Award; and one American Comedy Award and has been awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

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