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Kelsey Grammer

Three-time Emmy Award winner Kelsey Grammer is the first actor in television history to receive multiple Emmy nominations for his performance in the same role on three different series. He received two nominations for his original portrayal of Dr. Frasier Crane on “Cheers,” another for his guest appearance in the role on NBC’s “Wings” and six nominations, which have earned him three Emmy Awards as Outstanding Lead Actor, for his work on “Frasier.” Grammer was born on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and was raised by his mother and grandfather, first in New Jersey, and then in Florida. After the death of his grandfather, the 12-year-old Grammer was drawn to the works of William Shakespeare, which fostered his love of the English language. Grammer’s first acting performance was in a high school production of “The Little Foxes,” and with the encouragement of his English and drama teachers, he decided to pursue acting as a career. After two years at the Juilliard School, he was accepted by the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, where he spent three years performing in classic works by Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw.

He later performed in regional theaters across the United States, including at the Guthrie in Minneapolis, before appearing in the off-Broadway productions of “Plenty,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “A Month in the Country” and the Obie Award-winning “Quartermaine’s Terms.” His Broadway credits include “Macbeth” and “Othello,” and one of his most recent stage appearances was in the title role of a production of “Richard II” at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

Grammer recently starred in the feature film “Fifteen Minutes” for New Line Cinema, which also starred Robert DeNiro and Edward Burns. Grammer’s additional feature-film credits include the voice of the prospector, Stinky Pete, in the critically acclaimed animated film “Toy Story 2,” and the film “Down Periscope.”

Among Grammer’s television credits are roles on the daytime dramas “Another World,” “One Life to Live” and “Guiding Light.” He also made a guest appearance in the premiere episode of “Kate & Allie” and had parts in the miniseries “Kennedy” and the NBC movies “London Suite,” “Dance ’til Dawn,” “Beyond Suspicion” and “The Innocent.” He hosted an hour-long NBC salute to Jack Benny as well as the 1998 Grammy Awards. Additionally, he starred in the cable television movies “Pentagon Wars” and “The Sports Pages” with Bob Newhart.

Grammer, who joined “Cheers” in 1984, has received two Golden Globe Awards, an American Comedy Award and a People’s Choice Award in addition to his Emmys. His autobiography, “So Far ...,” was published in the fall of 1995.

Grammer, his wife Camille( from 1997) and their 2 children live in the Los Angeles area with his four dogs and several horses. He enjoys singing, playing piano, golf, tennis and sailing on his 37-foot boat. His birthday is February 21,1955. His father was murdered in the Virgin Islands; his sister was murdered after leaving a Red Lobster in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and his brother was killed in a shark attack.

In 1993 he signed a new 2 season deal for "Frasier" and got about £1.1 million per episode. This made him the highest paid TV star ever. Is the only actor to be nominated for an Emmy for three TV shows, all for the same character (Frasier Crane in "Cheers" (1982), "Frasier" (1993) and a guest appearance on "Wings" (1990)).

His daughter, Spencer, was on the "One Hugs, The Other Doesn't" episode of "Cheers" (1982) and his wife Camille Grammer appeared, uncredited, on his sitcom "Frasier" (1993). His daughter, Mason Olivia Grammer, was delivered by a surrogate mother October 24, 2001 in Los Angeles and weighed in at 8 pounds, 5 ounces. Grammer's son, Jude Gordon Grammer, was born August 28, 2004 in Sacramento, California, via surrogate birth. His son was named after his maternal grandfather, Gordon Cranmer, who helped raise him and his sister. He passed away when Kesley was 11. Gramer's daughter, Spencer Karen,( born 1985, with Alderman Doreen, his first wife ) named after his sister, who was raped and murdered in Colorado. His other daughter, Greer, was born in 1992, with Barrie Buckner, Grammer's second wife.

In May 2000 he has filed a lawsuit against Hamptons real estate broker Bettie Wysor of Dunemere Real Estate who put him and his wife next door to a construction site. The couple rented a mansion next door to advertising executive Jay Chiat in the summer of 1998. Kelsey was uninformed of Chiat's extensive renovation, and is suing Wyson for $100,000 for failing to warn him but Wysor says that work on Chiat's house was finished by the time the Grammers moved in. She claims the couple only used their place for three of the four weeks they'd rented it for, and never complained to her about anything. In August 2000 he filed suit against his former talent agency, Artists Agency, in order to recover $1.8 million in commissions. The current lawsuit comes on the heels of a Screen Actors Guild arbitration that has ordered him to pay the agency commissions withheld since 1998. Artists Agency is claiming that it has a right to claim ongoing profit participation in "Frasier" (1993), which means several million dollars in commissions with the show in syndication. He is charging that Artists Agency, which has represented him since the '80s, didn't win him the role of Frasier Crane on either "Cheers" (1982) or "Frasier" (1993). In 1996, He switched agencies but continued to play commission up to 1998, after which Artist Agency began arbitration. The arbitrator's ruling, which was handed down August 4 2000, upholds a renewal agreement he says he was forced into signing and orders him to pay withheld commissions.

Kesley Grammer played Frasier Crane for 18+ years continously (9 seasons on Cheers and in his 10th on Frasier). This is a record for continously playing the same character on a nighttime show. At the end of the 11th and final series of 'Frasier', Kelsey Grammer will have matched the record for longest role (Frasier Crane) portrayed by at single actor on prime-time television ('Cheers' and 'Frasier'), at 20 years (1984-2004). The record is currently held by James Arness for Marshall Matt Dillon on 'Gunsmoke' (1955-1975).

On the Fox News debate show "Hannity and Colmes", he said that he would like to run for public office someday, perhaps U.S. Senator from California.


Grammer, Manheim Attach Selves to Pilots

"Frasier" star Kelsey Grammer is reuniting -- behind the camera -- with two of the show's former writers for a CBS pilot, and former "Practice" star Camryn Manheim will take a crack at a sitcom with The WB.

FOX and UPN have also each added to their comedy development slates, with the former ordering a pilot called "Dirtbags" and UPN picking up a show called "Wingwoman."

Grammer will direct the pilot for CBS' untitled Keenan/Lloyd comedy about a family of doctors, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Writers Joe Keenan and Christopher Lloyd were with "Frasier" in its mid- and late-'90s heyday and returned to the show for its final season last year.
Grammer directed a number of times on "Frasier," earning a Directors Guild Awards nomination for the 1998 episode "Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz."

At The WB, Emmy winner Manheim will play a single mom who moves to a new neighborhood in an untitled pilot from "It's All Relative" creators Anne Flett-Giordano and Chuck Ranberg. It's her first regular role in a sitcom, although she has guest-starred on "Will & Grace" and "Two and a Half Men" in recent years.

There was talk a year or so ago of Manheim continuing her "Practice" character, Ellenor Frutt, in a comedy after the ABC series ended, but that project apparently never got off the ground.

Kelsy Grammer presents ''The Sketch Show''

KELSEY GRAMMER PRESENTS: THE SKETCH SHOW joins the stellar Sunday night comedy lineup beginning Sunday, March 13 (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

A comedy series that combines the fast-paced entertainment of "Laugh-In" and the innovative, sardonic humor of "Monty Python's Flying Circus," KELSEY GRAMMER PRESENTS: THE SKETCH SHOW is packed with laughs every minute … literally! The series' signature quick-fire puns, gags and sketches will showcase the comedic talents of five distinctive performers: Kaitlin Olsen, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Paul F. Tompkins, Malcolm Barrett and original UK cast member Lee Mack.

The unpredictable and swift-moving sketches sometimes last mere seconds as they deliver popular one-liners. Featuring a remarkable average of 30 vignettes per half hour, THE SKETCH SHOW is a refreshing change - irreverent, smart and silly, and never slow. Shot both on location and in front of a studio audience, it provides limitless possibilities of satire and style.

Following its critically and commercially successful second year on British TV and continued success around the world, THE SKETCH SHOW is being imported by Avalon Television Ltd., the original UK producers of the award-winning series, together with Kelsey Grammer's Grammnet Productions, Angst Productions, Baby Cow Productions and Fox 21.

Richard Allen-Turner, Jon Thoday, Dan Patterson, Henry Normal, Kelsey Grammer and Steve Stark serve as executive producers.

Kelsey Grammer is a better man now

It was in 1984 that Kelsey Grammer was hired to star as the neurotic, anal-retentive and ever-pompous shrink Dr. Frasier Crane on "Cheers." The plan was for a seven-segment arc. That was nearly 450 episodes ago, not to mention a dozen Emmy nominations (and three wins), eight Golden Globe nominations (two wins), a $1.6 million-per-episode salary and a choice spot amongst the most-beloved characters in TV history. There have surely been few more endearing and enduring presences on television over the past two decades than Dr. Crane. With "Frasier" leaving the air tonight, Grammer matches the record for the longest-running single role in primetime annals -- at 20 years, equaling James Arness and his portrayal of Marshall Matt Dillon on "Gunsmoke." He's also the only actor to have received Emmy nods for the same role on three different series ("Cheers," a guest spot on "Wings" and, of course, "Frasier"). As "Frasier" fades to black after 11 memorable seasons, Grammer spoke recently with Ray Richmond for The Hollywood Reporter about what being Frasier Crane all these years has meant to him and his fondest memories of a comedy that hit the ground running in 1993 and has scarcely slowed down since.

The Hollywood Reporter: Could you have anticipated that Dr. Frasier Crane would become this icon of the medium?
Kelsey Grammer: Certainly not. Not in my wildest dreams. When I took the jump out of high school into New York City (to become an actor), I thought, Gosh, I just hope I get to be a working actor, somebody who gets to make a memorable character, create a memorable experience for an audience. And I've been given that in spades.

THR: Why has "Frasier" been able to creatively sustain and flourish as long as the show it was spun from?
Grammer: We worked very hard to always play up to the audience rather than down. We were blessed with an extraordinary cast and magnificent writing from the very beginning; that made it easier. But in the end, you need a few things in your favor to work over the long haul, namely true collaboration and more than a bit of luck. We were thankfully blessed with both.

THR: Do you have any favorite "Frasier" episodes that spring to mind?
Grammer: Yes. Many. My favorite, I guess, is the two-parter where Frasier jumped on the bed and was trying to seduce JoBeth Williams. There was also one last year about Martin (John Mahoney), where David Ogden Stiers played his wife's former lab assistant, and Martin thought that he was possibly the father of his sons.

THR: Is there a part of you that wanted the show to continue on past year 11?
Grammer: No, it actually felt about right to end it now. We spent a long time bucking the whole reality trend, and it's getting tougher with the way the audience is going to cable. As for our show, creatively and in every way, this was the time to go out.

THR: What will you remember as the high point of your experience on the show?
Grammer: The night in 1998 when the show won its fifth-straight best series Emmy, and I won my third. It was the 50th anniversary of the Emmys themselves. It was just a wonderful banner day for everyone involved. It was nice to be celebrated by our profession in a way that was so meaningful.

THR: In what ways has Frasier Crane matured -- or not -- from the first season through the last?
Grammer: On the simplest level, I'd say that Frasier is a better man than he was when he started -- and so is Kelsey.


Grammer Nursing His Wife

Actor Kelsey Grammer is nursing his wife Camille back to full health after the former model was attacked by an intestinal parasite while they holidayed in Italy.
The former "Frasier" star, who turns 50 later this month, reveals his wife is still seriously ill after a romantic trip to Italy turned sour last summer.

He says, "She picked up a really terrible bug... and it almost killed her. We're still recouping her health."

Frasier's apartment voted best on-screen home

Frasier's stylish Seattle apartment has been voted the most desirable on-screen home.

The fictional pad, used in the in long-running TV series which ended its ten year run last year, topped the poll by readers of Britain's BBC Good Homes magazine.

The city penthouse beat off competition from 'Sex and The City' character Charlotte York's exclusive Park Avenue home, which came second, and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne's mock-Tudor Los Angeles mansion, which was voted third.

The survey also listed the least popular interiors on British TV, led by the rubbish-strewn hovel inhabited by father and son comedy duo, Steptoe and Son.
The rag-and-bone yard house was followed in second place by the Young Ones student digs and British soap star Pauline Fowler's 'EastEnders' home, which came third.

BBC Good Homes Editor, Lisa Allen said the list highlighted people's interior aspirations and had helped inspire a style that has been replicated throughout the country.

She said: "The clean, modern lines of Frasier's apartment are a popular look for the nation. Although the 'shabby chic' look can make a real statement in the home, Steptoe and Son take it to a whole new, disastrous level.

"The public's choices of TV homes from heaven and hell offer a great guide of style 'do's and don'ts' - and the looks that top the lists speak volumes about what inspires homeowners for decorating schemes."

Best screen homes
1. Frasier's apartment
2. Charlotte's Park Avenue palace in Sex and the City
3. The Osbournes manor
4. The Carringtons' Dynasty mansion
5. Edina's Absolutely Fabulous pad 6. Monica and Chandler's apartment in
6. Friends
7. Miss Ellie's Dallas palace
8. Inspector Morse's home
9. Hyacinth Bucket's abode in Keeping Up Appearances
10. Jerry and Margot Leadbetter's house in The Good Life
Worst screen homes:
1. Steptoe and Son's home
2. The Young Ones' student hovel
3. Del Boy's Peckham pad
4. Pauline Fowler's East-End dwelling
5. The Royle Family's residence
6. Alan Partridge's caravan
7. Hilda Ogden's Coronation Street home
8. Men Behaving Badly's bachelor pad
9. The Big Brother abode
10. The Simpsons' Springfield home

Kelsey Grammer's life is an open book now

Kelsey Grammer has played Frasier Crane now for almost 2 decades, first in "Cheers," followed by the multi-award winning "Frasier." Though a major star, the actor's road to fame has not been easy. Once plagued with alcohol and drug addiction, the actor has finally settled down to a life of tranquillity thanks to his latest marriage. Ironically, as a man often on the receiving end of tabloid journalism, the Emmy Award-winning actor plays an irresponsible tabloid journalist in the new thriller, 15 Minutes.

There is something ironic about Kelsey Grammer playing a sleazy TV journalist in the movie 15 Minutes, a savage comment on the power of media manipulation in America. Kelsey agrees. "The poetic irony of playing this character did strike me, but I didn't take the part with some axe to grind", the actor explains with that familiar rich voice that has become his trademark. "I just did it because I thought I could play the guy and I thought it would be interesting to explore a man who is so focused on getting a story and in getting that story out that he might actually obscure the lines of ethics. I mean he does go too far, but he probably has been going too far for a long time. But I'd like to think that there's a kernel of most journalists in that character."

15 Minutes revolves around superstar and media whore cop Eddie Flemming (Robert de Niro) who allows a young and talented Arson Investigator, Jordy Warsaw (Ed Burns) to team up with him to track down a pair of Eastern European killers on a rampage through the city. Ferocious, unpredictable and clever, the immigrants quickly learn how to use the celebrity of their pursuers to spin their own stardom into an explosion of media and judicial madness with Grammer as the sleazy and manipulative TV anchorman who has a unique relationship with Eddie. Getting past Frasier to play this character was not difficult, Grammer insists. "I'm an actor and I've created a lasting and memorable character named Frasier, who is not me, but who most people think is. So when I have a chance to play something that's different, I embrace it because it's fun; also in this case, he's a memorable character. He's got a real focus, he's playable, he's interesting, he has impact and that's what appealed to me about it."

It would be relatively easy for Grammer to also relate to the film’s somewhat acerbic comment on the nature of celebrity and fame and poses that unanswerable of questions: Why is society so obsessed with it? "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." It took this celebrity, he says, "a couple of decades" to finally deal with his own celebrity but concedes that "it takes a very strange person to enjoy fame, with all the by-products that come with it. It's not necessarily a thrill."

After years of having his once tortured life scrutinised by a perpetually hungry media, Grammer says that he is now comfortable with his celebrity. "Now I'm just comfortable with it, because I have nothing to hide anymore; I have nothing left. It's all been done, so there's a wonderful feeling about it, having been through a public cleansing, basically, all these years, so I am free from guilt, free from sin, I am open and just a genuine presence in the world. You can ask me any question and I will tell you the right answer, maybe even the correct answer. But it took me years to get there, because I was ashamed of myself years ago and I was drinking a lot." Grammar’s success was initiated when he joined the cast of 'Cheers,' a show that became larger than life. Grammar happily concedes that his alcoholism was a by-product of the celebrityism that emerged so quickly. "became an actor, and because I had success as an actor, I became famous. I was acting for quite a while before I got famous; television made me famous. I guess that it's television that is responsible for everybody's desire to be famous."

Yet ironically, the actor further muses, while it took him some time to come to terms with his celebrity and give up his drinking, the actor also feels that the press, in some twisted way, did him a favour when analysing his past behaviour. "I've also been given a great gift, because that 'celebrity' has been a forge for me, as a human being. I've been forced because of the scrutiny of the press, for instance, to deal with things that I might have been able to skirt, had I not been forced to look at it in the face, deal with it and the press has made me accountable for many things [even some things I don't do]", he adds laughingly.

Grammer has played Frasier now for 17 years, and here in the US, "Frasier" is still one of the country’s top-rating shows, and still wins awards. Grammer might well have become sick of the character had it not been for the fact that, much like his real-life creator, Frasier has grown since first sitting on that bar stool back in Boston. "I think we've grown together. He of course is a fantasy and I'm me. The paths are not the same path, but what keeps the character interesting is that he does grow, which I think is what kept him interesting in 'Cheers' as well. So what became interesting about keeping Frasier alive at the end of "Cheers" was that he was always on this path of evolving into a different human being, every year basically, and I think that's still going on. He has a willingness to embrace change and to confront the world with a fresh set of eyes every morning, and that's one of the things I like about him." In its eight year, Grammar still relishes doing the show. "It's a great, great job. I can't imagine making a better living."

Getting rid of the TV stigma, however, remains a problem. Though convincing as the sleazy TV reporter in 15 Minutes, when the actor returned to the New York stage last year in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the critics were cruel and audiences stayed away. "It was a great experience and it was sobering to realise that you can't go home again, because I was from New York, but I was definitely an outsider. But some of the criticisms were absurd. I mean one guy actually said that we wrote new lines. I think that's probably a testament to the production because it's probably the first time he ever heard them, as we didn't write any new lines; I'm not that arrogant."

Kelsey Grammer has finally been able to lay to rest a trouble and much publicised past. Blissfully happy in his marriage, Grammar says he is less nervous about the press and about life in general. After all, his life is an open book and "besides they don't have the power to harm me anymore. I used to believe that maybe they did, but I'm still here."

As for that most eloquent of psychiatrists, Dr. Frasier Crane, will he ever get the girl one asks? "We're addressing the girl thing at the end of this current season. At the moment, Frasier has won this Lifetime Achievement Award (I do tend to borrow from my own life, somewhat), and that has given him pause in terms of thinking about who he really is. Am I this guy who won this Lifetime Achievement Award? And for what, basically? So now he's just identified the fact that he's just an 8-year old who hasn't really been working on himself for a long time but rather been working on him being a psychiatrist. And now he's stuck exploring himself. And that's the launching point for the next several years actually." Perhaps there is more of Frasier in the actor, than he cares to admit. "I do borrow liberally from my own life and feed it in there. But it's really my impressions about things and Frasier is the mouthpiece."

As for Kelsey’s future plans, he concludes laughingly that they may well include revisiting that elusive New York stage. "I'm going to go back and do Macbeth again, for no other reason than to beat it down their throats!"

Kelsey Grammer is ''World Cup Comedy'' executive producer

PAX TV announced the pick-up of 13 additional episodes of its primetime original series, “World Cup Comedy” (Mondays, 9-10p.m. ET/PT). Emmy winner and star of NBC’s movie musical, “A Christmas Carol,” Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier”) executive produces, along with Emmy winner and the series show runner Wayne Nelson Page. “World Cup Comedy” was created by Page and the show’s host, Dan O’Connor.

“‘World Cup Comedy’ is pure entertainment,” said Grammer. “Those comics are some of the best and the brightest in the business, and I’m delighted that we’ve provided them with a national stage to showcase their talent.”

In each episode, two teams featuring America’s best improv comedians compete against one another in short scenes based on unscripted real-life scenarios. They perform all the scenes on a variety of sets, including home, office or restaurant, and in specific styles of movies, television shows and music, such as “a first date…done as a Kung Fu movie” or “an office party…done as an episode of Survivor.”

The show’s clever crew of camera, audio and lighting technicians, along with a live band, improvise each scene in the chosen movie, television or musical style. Each episode features six rounds of competition voted on by the audience, with the winning team facing a new challenger in the next episode. The show features a mix of talented newcomers as well as improv pros, including Dan Castellaneta (“The Simpsons”), Melissa Peterman (“Reba”), Phil Lamarr (“Mad TV”), Ben Falcone (“Joey”), Mindy Sterling (“Austin Powers”) and Fred Willard (“Best In Show”).

Hosts Dan O’Connor (“Wayne Brady Show,” “Seinfeld”) and Mary Gallagher (“Friends,” “Mad About You”) fuel the laughter with play-by-play commentary, while backstage reporter Steve Kearin (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) offers his own amusing highlights. The series is co-produced by Grammnet Productions and Nelson Page Entertainment with Kelsey Grammer and Wayne Nelson Page (“Martha Stewart Living”) as executive producers, and Dan O’Connor, Steve Stark (“In-Laws”) and Adam Peck (“Holy Joe”) as co-executive producers.

Paxson Communications Corporation owns and operates the nation’s largest broadcast television distribution system and the PAX TV network. PAX TV reaches 87% of U.S. television households via nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. PAX TV’s original programming slate for the 2004-2005 broadcast season features three new unscripted series, “Cold Turkey,” “Model Citizens” and “Second Verdict”; a new scripted drama, “Young Blades”; two entertaining variety programs, “America’s Most Talented Kids” and “World Cup Comedy,” executive produced by Kelsey Grammer; and two fast-paced game shows, “On the Cover” and “Balderdash.” Returning series include all-new episodes of PAX’s top-rated dramas, “Doc” and “Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye.” For more information, visit PAX TV’s website at www.pax.tv.

Kelsey Grammer is ready to have some fun

Kelsey Grammer had to practice scowling in front of a mirror to appear convincing as Ebenezer Scrooge. When first approached about the project four years ago, Grammer was lukewarm about tackling the classic part. "I'm so prone to just opening up my face — I have a very open, available face and Scrooge is so closed off," says the actor best known as Dr. Frasier Crane in the NBC comedy classics Cheers and Frasier.

Sitting in his office on the Paramount lot, where for two decades he played the neurotically needy psychiatrist, Grammer briefly illustrates the mean, scrunched visage required for Scrooge, Charles Dickens' famous miser in A Christmas Carol.

Then he immediately snaps back to himself, laughing, eyes wide, head thrown slightly back in his natural effusive manner. It was Grammer's wife, Camille, who told him to keep his face "constricted." He knew he had to follow her advice to avoid his "own sense of compassion bleeding through" prematurely before Scrooge becomes a nicer person. "What I enjoyed most about Kelsey was the relish with which he attacks his work," says Arthur Allan Seidelman, who directed this musical version of the seasonal classic airing 9 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC.

The two-hour movie is based on the Madison Square Garden stage production, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Also showcasing their musical talents are other TV stars: Jason Alexander (of Seinfeld and now Listen Up ) is Scrooge's business partner, Marley, one of several ghosts who pay a visit to the miser on Christmas Eve; Jane Krakowski (from Ally McBeal ) floats in as the luminous Ghost of Christmas Past; Jesse L. Martin (Detective Green on Law & Order) is the highly theatrical Ghost of Christmas Present; Jennifer Love Hewitt (Party of Five ) plays Scrooge's lost love, Emily.

Additionally, Geraldine Chaplin is the foreboding Ghost of Christmas Future, who leads Scrooge to his own grave — at which no one mourns.

When first approached about the project some four years ago, Grammer was lukewarm about tackling the classic part played by so many others on stage and screen since Dickens penned his self-described "ghostly little book" in 1843.

But with his 20-year stint as Frasier Crane coming to a close earlier this year, he reconsidered. Grammer says his favorite version of the Scrooge tale is the highly comedic 1962 cartoon Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, starring the nearsighted bumbler voiced by Jim Backus. Seidelman's favorite is the 1951 British film version starring Alastair Sim. More recently, George C. Scott played Scrooge in a 1984 TV movie and Patrick Stewart took a turn in 1999.

Both star and director believe the newest adaptation reveals the good heart that still beats within the cold curmudgeon, even at his flintiest moments.

"You really get under the skin, you really see the hurt and the pain and the horrible circumstances of his earlier life that caused his heart to close," says Seidelman. "I don't know if Dickens would herald the story as his greatest achievement, but it turned out to be," says Grammer. "It's the most simply human story that he wrote. It's about the power of love."

Grammer, 49, says his own natural tendency as "a vocal guy" keeps his singing voice fresh. An early voice teacher had hopes he might become an opera singer, but Grammer felt otherwise. "I thought I don't quite have all the notes that those guys have. I don't have the discipline and it's so specifically focused that I thought to myself, 'I am always going to be a better actor than I am a singer.'" He was in a workshop production of the musical Sunday in the Park with George when he read for the guest role of Crane in Cheers.

"It was a fairly utility role to break apart Sam and Diane, but I thought I could breathe some life into it. I got a couple of extra laughs that they weren't expecting. I think writers in television delight when they have a gift of an actor's imagination on top of their own. They go, 'My goodness that's something I hadn't thought of.'"

Kelsey Grammer's new project for NBC

• There is life after Frasier for Kelsey Grammer, and it's in Brooklyn. According to Variety, K.G. has teamed up with comic DJ Nash to develop a pilot for NBC called My Other Life in Brooklyn, based on Nash's real-life job as a writer for Whoopi Goldberg's moribund sitcom. Nash had much angst, many laughs, and presumably enormously entertaining conversations and observations commuting from New York, where Whoopi was shot, to his wife in Los Angeles. The pair are banking on the idea that Nash's experience will make interesting sitcom material.


Kelsey Grammer for President

Cynical Brits reckon the best President of the United States would be Homer Simpson.

The doughnut-loving cartoon duffer topped a Radio Times poll of 2,000 readers to find which US TV character should be the next proud inhabitant of the Oval office. Other damning choices showed they thought any twit would do better than Washington's finest.

At No3 came Dr Frasier Crane, the radio psychiatrist played by Kelsey Grammer.

And Frasier pipped an even more legendary bungler - Sergeant Bilko.

But Josiah Bartlet, the president played by Martin Sheen in drama series The West Wing, was an appropriate choice for second place.

Meanwhile, Simpsons producer Al Jean revealed they are trying to get Bill Clinton to make a guest appearance on the show.TOP 10Homer Simpson (The Simpsons) Josiah Bartlet (The West Wing) Dr Frasier Crane (Frasier) Sgt Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) Gil Grissom (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) Jack Bauer (24) Dr Cliff Huxtable (The Cosby Show) Phoebe Buffay (Friends) Tony Soprano (The Sopranos) Roseanne Conner (Roseanne)

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