Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
Boss [TV Series]
For better or worse, leading actor Kelsey Grammer's name will probably forever be associated with the pompous, garrulous, and self-absorbed but lovable psychiatrist Frasier Crane, a character Grammer has played on television since he first appeared on the NBC sitcom Cheers, in 1984, as a love interest for Shelley Long. Though Frasier was not intended to become a series regular, Grammer's performance of the blowhard neurotic charmed audiences and he remained with Cheers through its 1993 demise. At the beginning of the 1993-1994 television season, Grammer's character was resurrected in his own show and moved from Boston to Seattle, where he became a radio psychologist and faced a whole slew of folks just waiting to poke metaphorical pins in his hot air balloon. Thanks to excellent performances and top-notch writing, Frasier became as big a hit as its predecessor. Grammer won three Emmy awards and has been nominated for an unprecedented seven more (twice for Cheers, once for his guest appearance on a 1992 episode of Wings, four times for Frasier).
Born on St. Thomas, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Grammer knew extreme tragedy in youth. Following the shooting death of his father when he was a boy, he was raised in New Jersey and then Florida, by his mother and grandfather. His grandfather died before Grammer became a teen. When he was 20, his sister was abducted and violently murdered. Five years later, he lost two half brothers in a diving accident. As a young man, Grammer found comfort in Shakespeare; with his acting debut in a high school production of The Little Foxes came an interest in pursuing drama as a career. He enrolled in Juilliard, but dropped out after two years to work at San Diego's Old Globe Theater, where he gained three years' invaluable experience performing in Shakespearean and classical dramas; afterward, Grammer performed in productions across the country. He eventually made it to Broadway, where he appeared in various productions, including Othello.
Prior to playing Frasier, Grammer appeared occasionally on television and had regular roles in three soap operas, including One Life to Live. He continues to occasionally guest star on other series. Fans of the animated satire The Simpsons will recognize his periodic voice characterization as the venomous Sideshow Bob. Miniseries and telemovies in which he has appeared include London Suite and Beyond Suspicion. Grammer made his feature film debut with a small role in Top of the Hill (1989) and had his first starring role in the much-panned comedy Down Periscope (1996). In addition to his Emmy kudos, Grammer has received an American Comedy Award, two Golden Globes, and a People's Choice Award. In 1995, he published his autobiography So Far. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi