Kelsey Grammer


born February 21, 1955

Paradise Pisces Pitcher

A cardinal rule of life is based on the equation that tragedy plus time equals comedy.

From the following life experiences came a comedic talent that still shines from millions of television sets.

  • Born on St. Thomas, one of the Virgin Islands, Kelsey Grammer was raised by his mother and grandfather. His father, a local bar owner, was mostly absent and was murdered in 1968. His killer was eventually caught and declared insane.

  • His sister Karen was raped and murdered in 1975.

  • Two half brothers died in a scuba diving accident in 1980.

  • He has endured two divorces and is currently married for the third time. His first wife told him she decided to leave him during the delivery of their first and only child, a daughter.

  • His second wife attempted suicide and suffered a miscarriage.

  • In the summer of 1987 he was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol in Los Angeles.

  • In 1988 a conviction on cocaine possession charges led to a 90-day house arrest sentence.

  • In 1991 he was found in violation of his parole terms when he was caught possessing cocaine.

  • Grammer was accused of statutory rape by the parents of his underage babysitter. He denied the charge.

  • In 1995 he was sued by his ex-girlfriend for defamation of character and invasion of privacy. The suit was based on material in Grammer's autobiography, So Far... published in 1995.

  • In September 1996 he crashed his Dodge Viper near his Agoura Hills, California home. Luckily he sustained only minor injuries. Shortly after the car accident, on September 25, 1996 Grammer checked into a program at the Betty Ford Clinic, an addiction-treatment center in Palm Springs, California.

  • In September 1998 a former girlfriend sparked a controversy when she threatened to sell an explicit video tape of her having sex with Grammer.

But if Grammer knows tragedy, he also knows comedy.

Kelsey Grammer came to national attention in 1984 when he joined the popular situation comedy on NBC called "Cheers." He played the windbag psychiatrist Frasier Crane. In 1993 when "Cheers" stopped making new episodes, Grammer starred in his own comedy, "Frasier." In 1998, after "Frasier" replaced NBC's top-rated but discontinued comedy hit series "Seinfeld" on Thursday nights at 9, Grammer reportedly started getting paid $400,000 per episode. He has received numerous awards including two Emmys for his work on "Frasier." He has also won a Golden Globe Award, an American Comedy Award and a People's Choice Award.

And if Grammer portrays a bumbling but romantic lover in his television incarnations, his real life romances may not be so far from that mark either.

Grammer's first wife, Doreen Alderman was a dance instructor when they got married in 1982. By the birth of their daughter Spencer Karen in 1985 the marriage was effectively over. Grammer writes in his 1995 autobiography So Far...:

Doreen went into labor . . . when I was in Virginia filming the mini-series Washington. The producers put me on a plane right away . . . Doreen gave birth to Spencer Karen Grammer, our little girl . . . I was humbled by the miracle of her existence, and by the feeling that I'd had very little to do with her creation . . . I had to return to Virginia to complete the work there . . . I called Doreen from the airport to tell her I was on my way home, and that was when she dropped the bomb.

"Don't bother," she said, "I've had all the locks changed." "Why?" I asked. "During the delivery I started to think there was some hope for us, but now I know better."

Grammer was formally divorced from Doreen in 1990.

Grammer had a second daughter, Greer, born in 1992. Greer's mother was Barrie Buckner, described in part as a bar tender. Grammer and Buckner never formally got married.

Grammer also maintained a seven year relationship with Cerlette Lamme, a former professional ice skater, born in 1960.

In 1992 he married Leigh-Anne Cushany, a former exotic dancer, if you know what we mean, who was fifteen years younger than Grammer. The marriage lasted a year and the two were divorced in September 1993. Cushany tried to kill herself with Tylenol and wine but succeeded only in causing a miscarriage. With regard to this marriage, Grammer wrote in his autobiography:

To be sure I'd never leave her, [my wife] Leigh-Anne . . . had to convince me that I was nothing--unattractive, untalented, undeserving of love, and incapable of being loved by anyone but her. The way she achieved this was to break me down with verbal abuse. "You fucking pig." "What a wimp." "Dickless." "Fag." "Prick." "Bastard." "You're so fucking stupid." "You're so fucking ugly."

These were the verbal tools, but she had more. She'd spit in my face. Slap me. Punch me. Kick me. Break glasses over my head. Break windows. Tear up pictures of my loved ones. Threaten to kill me, kill herself. Cut my balls off. Chop me up. Put a bullet in my head.

After Cushany, Grammer became involved with Tammi Alexander, described as a "spokesmodel." A brief engagement ended in 1994.

Kelsey & Camille
In 1996 Grammer became engaged to the former Playboy model and "MTV Club" personality, Camille Donatucci. Camille became the third Mrs. Kelsey Grammer, at the age of 29 in August 1997.

In September 1998 Grammer became enmeshed in a sex video scandal when his former girlfriend Cerlette Lamme, a former ice skating athlete apparently attempted to sell a tape of the couple having sex to a company called the Internet Entertainment Group. Subsequent news reports indicated that Lamme tried to sell the tape for $5 million dollars but IEG declined. On September 22 Grammer filed a lawsuit against IEG when he mistakenly thought the company purchased the tape. The lawsuit was dismissed but the rumor and scandal machines had already been activated. In the end it seems that Lamme sold the tape to Grammer for one million dollars. A price he perhaps thought reasonable to prevent the tape's distribution, especially since he was now happily married again.

In November 1998 Grammer launched his official website called The site includes a chat room, FAQs, several articles presumably written by Grammer and a "store" that sells signed Grammer photographs for $14.95, "Frasier" ties for $31.95, "Frasier" T-Shirts for $16.95. A "Cheers" baseball jersey sells for $28.95 and "Cheers" beer mugs are yours for $10.95.

In March, 1999 in the magazine Details Grammer wrote reflectively of his past personal problems:

You see, it's the nature of people like me - alcoholics, obsessive-compulsive, whatever - to dismiss their own achievements and to belittle themselves. It's something I have been tortured by all my life. It has taken forty-three years to become comfortable with myself and with having a sense of accomplishment. Being able to accept the remarkable nature of my life is new to me.

Grammer is a repeat nominee for an Emmy in the Best Male Lead in the Comedy Series category (1999 awards year.)


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Kelsey Grammer 1999 Cosmic Player Plate
Published: August 25, 1999
Copyright © 1999 by the Cosmic Baseball Association