‘Cheers’ star Rhea Perlman looks back at sitcom’s success, marriage to Danny DeVito: ‘The glory days’
Rhea Perlman didn’t think twice about having one for the road.
The actress played head waitress Carla in the hit sitcom “Cheers,” which ran for 11 seasons from 1982 to 1993.
“I remember we were all going, ‘Should we do another year? It’s been 11 years,’” the 74-year-old recalled to People magazine on Thursday. “George [Wendt] says, ‘If someone gives you a present every year, you’re not going to take it the next year? Why not?’ So we took it for as long as they gave it.”
The sitcom chronicled the lives of the staff and patrons of a fictional bar in Boston “where everybody knows your name.” It starred Perlman and Wendt, as well as Ted Danson, John Ratzenberger, Kelsey Grammer, Woody Harrelson, Kirstie Alley and Shelley Long, among others.
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The cast of "Cheers," circa 1983.
(Photo by Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images)
Perlman credited the series for kicking off her career in Hollywood.
“It was huge,” she said. “And I wouldn’t have had the career that I – well, who knows what I’ would’ve had? Nobody knows what doesn’t happen, but it was the best job in the world.”
Today, Perlman is a proud mom to three children whom she shares with Danny DeVito: Lucy, 39, Grace, 37, and Jack, 34.
“’Cheers’ might have been everything in the beginning of my career, but family is everything – everything,” she stressed. “If my relationships with my children were strained, I would be beside myself.”
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Shelley Long, Rhea Perlman and Ted Danson, winners of the Legend Award for "Cheers."
(Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
Perlman and DeVito, 77, met on the set of “Taxi” in 1978. The pair said “I do” in 1982. They announced their separation for the first time in 2012 but never officially divorced.
“We’re still separated, but we see each other often, and we’re still a family,” the Emmy winner told the outlet. “We can do things together, we can do things separately. I’m really, really glad that Danny and I were able to navigate some rough days to be able to have this different kind of relationship. I think it’s pretty rare, but we agree on so many things that it makes sense.”
Perlman noted that it “probably worked out for the best.”
“Sometimes I wish we were still together because those were the glory days, but these are other kinds of glory days,” she added.
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Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman on the set of "Taxi."
(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)
“Cheers” earned 26 Emmy Awards and six Golden Globe Awards. Its final show was one of the most widely viewed episodes in TV history. Grammer reprised his “Cheers” character in the spinoff “Frasier,” which aired from 1993 until 2004. That series earned 37 Emmy Awards, including five consecutive wins for outstanding comedy series.