|First seen||Rebound - Part 1 - Cheers|
|Last seen||Goodnight, Seattle - Part 2 - Frasier|
|Date of birth||11 March 1952|
|Family||Martin Crane (father)
Hester Crane (mother; deceased) Ronee Lawrence (stepmother) Niles Crane (brother) Maris Crane (sister-in-law) Mel Karnofsky (sister-in-law) Daphne Moon (sister-in-law) David Crane (nephew) Frederick Crane (son by Lilith Sternin)
Dr. Frasier W. Crane, M.D, Ph.D., A.P.A. is a fictional character on the American television sitcoms Frasier and Cheers. He was played by Kelsey Grammer for 20 years, tying the record for the longest-running character on prime-time American television, which was set by James Arness, who played Marshal Matt Dillon on the show Gunsmoke. Grammer received Emmy Award nominations for portraying Crane on three different NBC shows, including a 1992 guest appearance on Wings. He made 203 appearances on Cheers and all 264 episode appearances on his spin off show Frasier.
Many of the details of his early life are introduced and elaborated on in the Cheers spin off, Frasier.
It is established in Frasier that Frasier W. Crane was born in Seattle to Hester Rose Crane (née Palmer) Nancy Marchand in Cheers, Rita Wilson in Frasier), a psychiatrist, and Martin Crane (John Mahoney), a police detective. The Crane family background is Russian, British German, and French.
The details of Frasier's birth are erratic and changing.
- In Cheers episode "It's a Wonderful Wife", the bar celebrates Fraser's birthday in late February.
- In one episode, it is established he was born in March 1952.
- In the episode "Back Talk" it is revealed that Fraser's birthday is the day after one of Queen Elizabeth's children. As Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (born March 10, 1964) is the only one of Queen Elizabeth's children born in March, Fraser's birthday would be March 11, 1952. However, the episode "The Fight Before Christmas" takes place a few days after "Back Talk" (according to the storyline) which contradicts a March birthday. Also, this date is established by Daphne reading a newspaper from the day Frasier was born and assuming it was a current newspaper. This would suggest Frasier was born in 1964, but he is clearly older than this (mentioning being in his 40s consistently before this). Other children of Queen Elizabeth include Anne, Princess Royal (born August 15, 1950) and Prince Andrew, Duke of York (born February 19, 1960). Charles, Prince of Wales was born November 14, 1948, but this was before Elizabeth ascended the throne. If Frasier was born prior to 1952, then the "Queen Elizabeth" referred to in the paper could be Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, wife of King George VI and the queen-mother of Elizabeth II (although her last child was born in 1930). Alternatively, a third "Queen Elizabeth" might have been intended, or the joke from "Back Talk" was simply historically inaccurate.
- In the episode "The Late Dr. Crane" a local Seattle news station incorrectly reports that Frasier died of a heart attack. Frasier's picture is shown on the screen with the dates 1952-1999.
- In the episode "Are You Being Served?" it is revealed that he was named after one of his mother's lab rats. In the same episode, a second birthday contradiction appears: His mother's journal indicates that as of April, she was pregnant with Frasier, making a March birthday impossible. Frasier has one younger brother, Niles (David Hyde Pierce), who, like Frasier, was also named after one of his deceased mother's lab rats.
- The episode "Party, Party" suggests a May birthday.
- In a trailer made for the British television network Channel Four, Frasier says that he was born on the 4th day of the 4th month.
As a child, Frasier was unusually intelligent and sensitive, and as such was a frequent target for bullies, often the Kriezel siblings. His closest companion when growing up was his even more sensitive brother, with whom he was intensely close yet fiercely competitive. Frasier's interest in human behavior began at the age of eight, when his mother helped him understand why an older boy had bullied him. He attended a private school, where he earned the unfortunate nickname "The Bryce Academy Crier", and later said that "the only people who knew me debated, recited, or were on a six-month visit from Abu Dhabi. Frasier was also an actor throughout his school years, playing such roles as Conrad Birdie in Bye, Bye Birdie, Dr. Armstrong in Ten Little Indians Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, and The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance. He and Niles also pulled the fire alarm and blamed it on the school bully, John Rajeski, resulting in his expulsion and the start of a life of crime. Fraser graduated as the Salutatorian and was named "Most Likely To Be" by the Existential Club.
While the rest of the family stayed in Seattle, Frasier settled in Boston, Massachusetts], because of his attendance at Harvard. His first wife, whom he married while a first-year medical student, was Nanette Guzman (Emma Thompson on Cheers; Laurie Metcalf and Dina Spybey on Frasier), a popular children's entertainer. The marriage lasted nine months. (This marriage contradicts Frasier's statement in a fourth-season episode that Diane was his "first love".)
Soon after Frasier debuts on Cheers, he dates Diane Chambers (Shelley Long). They get engaged, but the relationship ends when Diane abandons him at the altar. Frasier nevertheless visits the bar often and eventually marries Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth), a fellow psychiatrist. Together, they have a son, Frederick, but Lilith cheats on Frasier with a colleague. The couple reconciles briefly, but between the end of Cheers and the start of Frasier, they separate permanently and divorce. During his separation with Lilith, Frasier publicly attempts suicide to gain Lilith's attention and win her back, but the thought of his son stops him from doing so. Lilith gains custody of Frederick.
Life on Frasier
Frasier's divorce from Lilith and the negative effect his public suicide attempt had upon his practice led him to seek a new life in his hometown of Seattle. The strained relationship with his father and brother continues on his return. In the episode "You Can Go Home Again", which depicts Frasier's recent arrival in Seattle, his father bitterly comments that his son's visits became remarkably infrequent following his mother's death, and neither Martin nor Niles seem particularly welcoming to him. Frasier gets a job at KACL as a radio psychiatrist; The Dr. Frasier Crane Show debuts on May 21, 1993 (the day after the Cheers finale aired). The show, with its tagline "Wishing you good mental health, becomes popular enough for the mayor to proclaim a "Frasier Crane Day" and award him the key to the city to honor its 1,000th broadcast in 1997, and people often ask Frasier for autographs or tell him that they enjoy the show.
Soon after his return to Seattle, Frasier invites his father, who has become unable to live alone, to live with him in apartment 1901 of the Elliott Bay Towers condominiums, on the Counterbalance. To help out, he hires his father a physical therapist, Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves). Although they frequently argue and remain drastically different personalities, the two men grow very close over the next 11 years. Frasier also develops a much closer relationship with his brother, as well as with Daphne and with the producer of his radio show, Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin).
During this period, although Frasier's radio career, intellectual pursuits and reputation are quite strong, his romantic life is frequently disastrous. The final episode ends with Frasier flying to Chicago to pursue a relationship with Charlotte, forgoing a new career in San Francisco.
Frasier, when driving or in scenes with his vehicle, has had three BMWs - a BMW 540i E34, a later version of the 540i E39kiuj which was black with grey leather interior, and then later in the series a BMW 745i which was dark blue.
Fraser's second ex-wife Lilith maintains contact with him in the second series, with at least one guest appearance per season. Their relationship is tense and uneasy at first, but as the series progresses they grow warmer and more loving. Lilith frequently seeks out Frasier for help and moral support in times of difficulty (divorce from her second husband, her desire for another child), and Frasier reciprocates by seeking advice from her with his chronic relationship troubles. Her drunken one-night stand with Niles leads to fraternal turmoil, which soon passes. In their final appearance together ("Guns N' Neuroses"), the two characters part with silent regret at their marital incompatibility.
Frasier's relationship with his pre-teenage son Frederick, who infrequently visits Seattle, is not well developed in the second series (a conscious decision of the show's creative staff to focus on adult characters). However, Frasier and his Seattle family's relationship with Frederick is portrayed as loving and close, with involvement in Frederick's schooling, youthful romances, and attempts at rebellion. They also participate in his bar mitzvah, and support his "gift" at spelling bee competition.
Frasier's lifestyle as depicted on Cheers differs, sometimes greatly, from what is seen of him on Frasier. While on the former he is a member of the upper middle class who sees no issue with brushing shoulders with the blue collar patrons of Cheers, on the latter (while certainly more down-to-earth than Niles) he steadily becomes more of an upper middle class snob. However, his (and his brother's) aspirations to join the elite of Seattle society consistently meet with disaster. On Cheers Frasier often watches professional sports and drinks beer, activities he often looks down upon on his own series. (Frasier, however, does get emotionally involved with NHL pro hockey, to the point at which he is jailed for fighting with other fans and starts callously mocking hard fouls as "ticky tack.") On the reverse, on Frasier the character has many stereotypically upper class interests, such as wine collecting and opera, he almost never shows such inclinations on the former series. Even his abodes are vastly different: in Boston he lived in a rather plain, sparsely decorated brownstone while in Seattle he has a lavishly decorated condominium filled with pricey art and furniture. All of this could be attributed to his interests and views changing with age.
Indeed, the changes in his character may not be so great as is sometimes perceived. In the few Cheers episodes that focus on his life outside of Cheers, he is shown to have tastes and interests (opera for instance) that are the same as on his own show. A good example is "I Kid You Not" when Frasier and Lilith take Carla's son Ludlow to the opera and teach him about art. Frasier may simply be skilled at adapting to circumstances, watching sports and drinking beer at Cheers mostly as a way of fitting in. He also drinks beer when he's invited to his father's bar, "McGinty's," in Frasier and when old Cheers pal Woody visits him. Frasier was shown to be clueless about sports in season 3 and early season 4 of Cheers, before he became "one of the gang". In fact, in episode 76, while filling in for Bulldog on his sports-themed radio show, Frasier referred to the Cleveland Indians as the "Cleveland Independents." It should also be noted that he befriends Roz Doyle on his own show, an ordinary and down to earth woman. Many Frasier episodes also center on Frasier's inability to make new friends like the ones he had in Boston, an inability that sometimes seems to trouble him.
In addition to this, the Frasier episode "You Can Go Home Again" from season 3 attempts to bridge any remaining differences. The episode follows Frasier having recently returned to Seattle and portrays him closer to his Cheers persona than he usually is on Frasier. The fact that this persona is contrasted with the family history he and Niles often describe (where both brothers are mercilessly persecuted by their peers because of the pretentious nature they have maintained, apparently, since consciousness) indicates that the Frasier we see when he returns to Seattle is true to his roots, and the more down-to-earth Frasier depicted on Cheers arose as a result of being removed from the influence of his family. Niles's personality would also support this; and, in fact, David Hyde Pierce (who portrayed Niles Crane) has described Niles as "Frasier if he never went to Boston."
Yet another theory could be that Frasier is genuinely more relaxed and comfortable around the gang at Cheers than any other group of people. Indeed, in the various episodes of Frasier that characters from Cheers appear, Frasier is noticeably more easygoing than he normally would be. In the episode where Woody visits, he and Fraser immediately resume their close friendship, and Frasier is more at ease around Woody than he generally is when in the company of the down-to-earth people he encounters on a regular basis in his new life. He even eschews sherry for beer, which elicits a shocked reaction from Martin and Daphne. Another example is when Sam Malone visits Frasier. Upon seeing Sam, Frasier responds "Well blow me down!" a phrase he would never normally use. While Sam visits, Frasier falls into old habits; covering for Sam, and talks to Sam not like an intellectual, but rather as a friend to another friend. The duo share a close heart to heart when Frasier drives Sam to the airport. Another example is when Frasier returns to Boston, and attends Cliff's retirement party. Frasier immediately falls into old habits around the gang, and gets along with them as if no time at all has passed. Indeed, his friends at Cheers clearly mean a lot to Frasier, and in the episode "Cheerful Goodbyes", Frasier says of them "They were there for me when I needed friends the most".
Another difference was Frasier's reluctance to associate with animals—in particular dogs. In "Cheers", the character of Frasier Crane was seen to have liked dogs, even owning one ("Pavlov") and feeling rather sad and guilty when his girlfriend Diane asks him to part ways with his fluffy companion because of her apparent allergy to dogs. However in "Frasier" he seems to have no patience at all with dogs, having at first a particular dislike for Eddie, though this may be attributed to bitterness from having given up the dog.
Crane is well-to-do, with upper class and intellectual tastes and a "lovably pompous. fairly uptight demeanor. He is something of an epicure, and enjoys the finer things in life, such as wine, good food, and expensive tailoring. He is very well versed in the realm of literature, frequently alluding to literary legends such as Shakespeare, Edmund Burke, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, O Henry, and Lord Tennyson, among others. He is also an aficionado of the arts, including opera, classical music, theatre, and antiquities, and possesses some esoteric and obscure interests, such as Mongolian throat singing and African artifacts. His favourite colour is "arctic silver, an option for a new model of BMW, which is well-established throughout the series as being his automobile brand of choice. His large ego, coupled with his Harvard and Oxford education, make him extremely confident in the advice he gives on his radio show (where he comes across as much calmer and more thoughtful than in his personal life). He is also somewhat self-absorbed and narcissistic, a consequence of his lonely childhood. When in a negative mood he is prone to being sarcastic. He is also gullible and very trusting of others, as demonstrated in the Season 7 episode "Radio Wars", when he is the subject of prank phone calls from his KACL colleagues. Despite having endured a similar battle in the Season 3 episode "Leapin' Lizards", it does not occur to him that he is being tricked in the same manner. He is extremely pompous and verbose, prone to making grand, melodramatic declarations regarding his intentions and making the most of every opportunity to make a speech. Frequently, his pomposity and snobbery is undercut and belittled by the other characters he encounters, and is often the cause of many of the misfortunes and crises that occur in his life. Although he shares many traits with Niles, he does not have as many allergies, is more realistic and easy going, and appears somewhat more athletic. Despite his own snobbery, Frasier is often required to play straight man to Niles' own quirks, particularly his obsessive hygiene.
Frasier is passionate about psychiatry. A staunch Freudian, he had a poster of his hero on his bedroom wall as a child, dresses as Freud for Halloween and states, "the classic Oedipus complex...Well, well, old friend, we meet again. +As a Freudian, Frasier strongly believes that "there are no accidents" and that every action (and dream) carries with it a meaningful and unconscious subtext. This frequently leads him to obsessively overanalyze and fret about minor details regarding his life and relationships, which frequently creates problems in his life. When obsessing so, he is frequently prone to ignore the advice given to him by his family and friends and pursue his own course of action, which more often than not leads to disaster. His habit to overanalyze is so severe, that he once spent an entire episode fretting about a dream with homo-erotic implications, only later realizing that the dream did not possess any significant implications regarding his life; it was merely a consequence of his subconscious attempting to give himself a challenging patient (himself) following a dearth of them on his show.
Whilst rarely heeding the advice given to him by others, Frasier himself is full of advice to impart, and offers the benefit of his counsel to the extent that he frequently meddles in the affairs and relationships of others, much to the chagrin of his family and friends. Although this approach can be beneficial (such as his influence in bringing together his brother Niles and Daphne Moon) and forms the basis of his successful career, his advice and plans can frequently backfire on him, and can frequently lead to complicated, tangled, embarrassing scenarios. For example, in the above situation of bringing Niles and Daphne together, he is targeted by Daphne's fiancé for a lawsuit because of his actions. Frasier's meddling - and the adverse consequences it frequently leads to - is not intended maliciously, however; he is extremely well-meaning and eager to please, and desires nothing more than to be liked and popular. On the whole, he genuinely does desire to help people and is a fundamentally good and kindhearted person. Frasier becomes much more grounded and down to earth as the series progresses and he seems to desire little more than happiness for himself and his friends and family.
 Education and career
During his school years, Frasier developed interests in - and frequently excelled at - the fine arts, cooking, and other intellectual pursuits. He was keen on and drawn to the theatre, appearing in several amateur school productions, and seems to have considered acting as a future vocation, but inspired by his mother, he developed a fascination for psychiatry. This may also have been partially inspired by his father being a police detective. Frasier stated he became a student of human behavior when at age 8 he was tormented by bullies. His mother explained to him why the children were acting that way, thus leading to his distancing himself from the pain of rejection by analyzing others rather than reacting to them on an emotional level.
Frasier boasts an M.D. and Ph.D. as well completing his medical residency in psychiatry. He earned his undergraduate degree in music from Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was on the men's rowing team. and also graduated from Oxford University in Oxford, England. He speaks French, German, Italian, and Spanish, though he apparently learned German after the first two seasons; for example, in one early episode, Frasier could not speak German, and had to use Niles' maid Marta to translate. (At the least, his German pronunciation is suspect; he pronounces Das Boot as if Boot were an English word.) An oversight occurs in a later episode when both Frasier and Niles, despite being wine lovers and able to speak French, fail to pronounce the name of Chateau Petrus, often considered the world's best wine, using the common American English pronunciation. However, in an episode of Cheers, in which Eddie LeBec's French Canadian mother visited, he was able to clearly understand her Québécois French, which was full of colloquialisms. In another episode of Cheers, Frasier understands Woody when he uses the Mandarin Chinese word for "doorknob". Frasier uses German as well in Cheers, defending Sam from a angry German whose wife was hitting on Sam. Frasier's hobbies and talents include playing the piano, composing music, singing, gourmet cooking, chess, collecting fine art, antiquing, home decorating, reading, writing short stories and plays, enjoying fine dining, his wine club, and squash. In Cheers he is sometimes described as a psychologist, but this may have just been a mistake on the part of the characters. Frasier is indeed a psychiatrist.
Frasier's overconfidence in his abilities is often exploited for comedic effect. Examples of this include the episode "They're Playing Our Song", where the theme song Frasier composes for his radio show is mocked by his friends and family, and "Good Grief", where Frasier's cooking is criticized by Niles and Gil, and is spat out by his station manager, Kenny Daly. However, his cooking is most often complimented throughout the series, even with extremely complicated recipes, and this can more likely be attributed to Kenny's simpler tastes. Either way, none of these incidences appear to have tempered Frasier's view of himself, as he remains consistently egomaniacal throughout the series. This self-image is not entirely without justification, however, as he does have legitimate talent in many of the endeavours he pursues, but rarely to the level that he claims.
Although his political views are not a main focus of the show, Frasier appears to lean more on the liberal side. In the episode "The Candidate", Frasier expresses his distaste for a conservative Congressional candidate named Holden Thorpe, for whom Martin appears in a TV ad. He refers to Thorpe as "Himmler without the whimsy." In response, Frasier supports Thorpe's opponent, Phil Patterson, who is described by Martin as a "bleeding heart".
In Cheers, Frasier appears more neutral, expressing cynicism about the political process. The eleventh season episode "Woody Gets an Election" sees Frasier insisting that politics in general is a superficial popularity contest, full of insincere candidates who only care about re-election, rather than the promises they make to attain their positions. He makes a bet with Sam Malone (Ted Danson) that even bartender Woody Boyd (Woody Harrelson), a man completely oblivious of the workings of politics, could receive 10% of the vote in the upcoming Boston City Council election by saying the right slogans. In an unlikely twist, a scandal mars Woody's opponent and Woody's speech to withdraw from the election (which Frasier convinces him to do) backfires and boosts the vote for Woody when his wife Kelly tells Woody she is pregnant on the TV, and leads to a shocking victory for the dark horse candidate, which causes Frasier some anxiety about the consequences of his experiment (as he visualizes Woody giving the go-ahead for full scale nuclear war). The reporter in Woody's interview is none other than the future Roz.
In the Cheers episode "Get Your Kicks on Route 666", Frasier receives a cell phone call from the Democratic Party while stranded in the wilderness and replies "I understand the Democratic Party is in trouble, and I'd love to contribute, but I'm in a little trouble myself, right now!" over the phone.
Throughout all of Frasier Crane's appearances, religion generally doesn't play a large role. However in Cheers, he states that he was raised as an Episcopalian, but this contradicts a previous statement in the series, immediately after his son Frederick's birth, where he shows enthusiasm for Lilith to raise Frederick in her religion, Judaism, because he "was not raised with any particular religious tradition".
In Frasier, episode 'Don't go breaking my Heart', Frasier makes a promise with God, not to argue with Niles if his brother is spared through his surgery. In episode 'Good Gried' he makes another prayer to God in a state of grief dealing with a lost job. He appears to be familiar with the Bible as well, telling Roz, "Oh, He's God, Roz, have you read the Old Testament, He can be ruthless!" However, it would be consistent with his erudite education for him to be familiar with various religious texts. He has also, in one case, referred to "the omniscience and omnipresence of the Lord" but it is unclear wether this comes from Frasier's own religious views or from him talking to Daphne's very religious mother, Gertrude Moon, trying to "speak her language".
In episode 'Wheels of Fortune', it's shown that none of the Cranes embrace any theology. They do not pray before eating. They are described as "godless" by the guest in the house. And later in church, Frasier is described as "one of God's creatures" to which he objects strongly, saying "I am no such thing!"
Though he expresses distaste for religious and political conservatives, he does appear to believe in a kind of philosophical Christianity.
In both series, Frasier experiences constant difficulties in his relationships with women. In Cheers, he is left at the altar by Diane Chambers. His seven-year marriage to Lilith Sternin-Crane is loving, but tumultuous and characterised by terse battles of wit; Lilith eventually cheats on him with a colleague and leaves him. In Frasier, he endures eleven years of heartbreak on the Seattle dating scene. Frasier's lack of success with romance in the second series was a core plot device, and the closing scene of the final episode left his character hopefully seeking happiness with a new romantic interest.
In the final series, it is discovered that Frasier was first married to Nanny G—a children's entertainer—and their marriage was short-lived. Frasier and Nanny G attempt to resume connubial relations but it ends up with Frasier in a nappy on stage.
The first girl Frasier kissed reportedly punched him, as he later told Freddy the kiss was worth it as he was, "smiling all the way to the nurse's office." During high school Frasier had a crush on Lana Gardner, a cheerleader. He reunites with her as adults and they date briefly. Frasier lost his virginity to his piano teacher, Clarisse Warner, whom he left for college. A drinking companion from Cheers writes about the experience, titling his best-selling book Slow Tango in South Seattle. Frasier briefly dates a woman who is identical to his mother, and in another series of episodes Frasier dates a career woman. In that relationship Frasier takes the less than dominant role, as he is lavished with gifts and pouts when he is not given enough attention. In an extended fantasy sequence Frasier is confronted by all the women with whom he has had relationships, including both his ex-wives, his mother, and Diane. Although the dream-Lilith is convinced that his problems are at least partly caused by his idolatry of his mother, Frasier realizes that he is pushing away women, and decides to commit to a lasting relationship.
His last girlfriend is a woman named Charlotte, with whom he spent three weeks before her return to Chicago. With the help of his manager Bebe Glazer, Frasier accepts a new job in San Francisco, and tells his family and friends that information. The final scene sees Frasier on a plane, but the pilot welcomes passengers not to San Francisco but to Chicago.
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In the third season of the TV show Wings, Frasier and Lilith visit Nantucket so Frasier can host a seminar. This appearance earned Kelsey Grammer a nomination for an Emmy as best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.
Frasier also had a small cameo on The John Larroquette Show that lasted only a few seconds.
In The Simpsons episode "Fear of Flying", Homer enters a bar similar to Cheers with most of the main characters present. While Cheers co-stars Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, Woody Harrelson, George Wendt and John Ratzenberger voice their respective characters, Frasier is depicted silently. This was due to schedule conflicts making Kelsey Grammer (who voices recurring character Sideshow Bob on the series) unavailable. A later episode, "Brother from Another Series", features Sideshow Bob's brother, Cecil (voiced by David Hyde Pierce), and a number of references to Frasier. Cecil returns in "Funeral for a Fiend", which introduces the brothers' father (voiced by John Mahoney).
In October 2008, Dr. Frasier Crane appeared in a television commercial for soft drink Dr. Pepper, in a campaign featuring a group of fictitious "doctors". Grammer once again returned to the role and is depicted as still hosting his radio show on KACL-AM.
Dr. Phil appears "as himself" - losing poker to Frasier's agent.