Kelsey Grammer won her first Emmy for “Fraiser”

Few actors have played a character for longer than Kelsey Grammer played his high-end alter ego, Dr. Frasier Crane. The refined but often self-sabotaging psychologist first appeared in a certain neighborhood bar in Boston 40 years ago, during the third season of Cheersand remained a staple when the NBC sitcom ended in 1993.

It was just the beginning of a role that would earn Grammer his first Emmy in 1994, for the inaugural season of Spawn. THRCritics at the time praised his “understated acerbic bite” in the spinoff that traced Frasier’s return to his hometown of Seattle, where he enjoyed local celebrity status as host of a call-in radio show and regularly dealt with the frustration caused by his former police officer father, Martin (John Mahoney), and his neurotic brother, Niles (David Hyde Pierce). Spawn ran until 2004, with Grammer winning four Emmys and 14 acting nominations for his portrayal. (His Emmy Gold isn’t limited to the sherry-sipping shrink; he also won in 2006 as another erudite jester: The simpsons‘Sideshow Bob.)

Grammer is now back in the Paramount+ incarnation of Spawn — which sees the psychologist in Boston, teaching at Harvard and struggling to connect with his firefighter son, Freddy (Jack Cutmore-Scott). Lest Grammer tire of the role after 40 years of wearing three-piece suits, the actor reassured THR in December that Dr. Crane is still evolving: “He’s probably a little more mature, maybe still a little bit of the same kind of weirdo, but he’s grown up a little… For a man to spend 30 years of his life [since Frasier began] and not having an age would have been ridiculous… We thought it was important to give him some sort of new set of clothes.

This story first appeared in a June standalone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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