Shelley Lee Long
August 23, 1949
Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Bruce Tyson (m. 1981; div. 2004)|
Shelley Lee Long (born August 23, 1949) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Diane Chambers in the sitcom Cheers, for which she received five Emmy nominations, winning in 1983 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She won two Golden Globe Awards for the role. Long reprised her role as Diane Chambers in four episodes of the spinoff Frasier, for which she received an additional guest star Emmy nomination. From 2009 to 2012, she had a recurring role as DeDe Pritchett on the ABC comedy series Modern Family.
Long has also starred in several films, notably Night Shift (1982), Irreconcilable Differences (1984), The Money Pit (1986), Outrageous Fortune (1987), Hello Again (1987), Troop Beverly Hills (1989), The Brady Bunch Movie (1995), A Very Brady Sequel (1996) and Dr. T & the Women (2000).
- Early life 1
- Early roles 2.1
- Cheers 2.2
- Film 2.3
- Post-Cheers projects 2.4
- Later work 2.5
- Personal life 3
- Film 4.1
- Television 4.2
Awards and nominations 5
- Emmy Awards 5.1
- Golden Globe Awards 5.2
- References 6
- External links 7
Shelley Long was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1949. She is the daughter of Ivadine, a school teacher, and Leland Long, who worked in the rubber industry before becoming a teacher. She was active on her high school speech team, competing in the Indiana High School Forensic Association. In 1967, she won the National Forensic League's National Championship in Original Oratory.".
After graduating from South Side High School in Fort Wayne, she studied drama at Northwestern University, but left before graduating to pursue a career in acting and modelling. Her first break as an actress occurred when she began doing commercials in the Chicago area.
In Chicago, she joined The Second City comedy troupe. She appeared in several episodes of the popular sketch comedy show SCTV as well. In 1975, she began writing, producing, and co-hosting the television program Sorting It Out. The local NBC broadcast went on to win three Regional Emmys for Best Entertainment Show. Long also appeared in the 1970s in V05 Shampoo print advertisements, Homemakers Furniture, and Camay Soap commercials. In 1978 she guest starred in an episode of The Love Boat.
Her first notable role came in the 1979 television movie The Cracker Factory as a psychiatric inmate; the movie starred Natalie Wood. That same year she guest starred on Family and Trapper John M.D. In 1980 she appeared in her first feature film role in A Small Circle of Friends. The film about social unrest at Harvard University during the 1960s was a critical success. In 1981, she played the role of Tala in Caveman. She played Nurse Mendenhall in a 1980 episode ("Bottle Fatigue") of M*A*S*H.
In 1982, she starred as Belinda in Tom Cruise in Losin' It (1983). She was offered the role of Mary, the mother in the classic film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, but she declined because she already signed on to star in Night Shift.
Although she had already been in feature films, Long became famous for her role in the long-running television sitcom Cheers as the character Diane Chambers, who mainly has an on-and-off relationship with Sam Malone. The show was slow to capture an audience but eventually became one of the most popular on the air. Amid much controversy, Long left Cheers after season five in 1987.
In the Cheers biography documentary, costar Ted Danson admitted there was tension between them but "never at a personal level and always at a work level" due to their different modes of working. He also stated that Long was much more like her character than she would like to admit, but also said that her performances often "carried the show." Long said in later interviews that it did not occur to her, when deciding to leave, that she was going to 'sabotage a show' and she felt confident that the rest of the cast could continue without her.
In a 2003 interview on The Graham Norton Show, Long said she left for a variety of reasons, the most important of which was her desire to spend more time with her newborn daughter. In a 2007 interview on Australian television, Long claimed Danson was "a delight to work with" and talked of her love for costar Nicholas Colasanto who was "one of my closest friends on set." She said she left the show because she "didn't want to keep doing the same episode over and over again and the same story ... I didn't want it to become old and stale." She went on to say that "working at Cheers was a dream come true ... it was one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. So, yes, I missed it, but I never regretted that decision."
While simultaneously appearing on Cheers, she continued starring in several motion pictures. In 1984, she was nominated for a Best Leading Actress Golden Globe for her performance in Irreconcilable Differences. She then starred in a series of comedies, such as The Money Pit, with Tom Hanks, Outrageous Fortune, with Bette Midler and Peter Coyote, and Hello Again, with Corbin Bernsen. She was also offered lead roles in Working Girl, Jumpin' Jack Flash and My Stepmother is an Alien, but did not accept those roles.
Her first post-Cheers project was Troop Beverly Hills, a comedy in which she plays a housewife who takes leadership of a "Wilderness Girl" troop to bond with her daughter and to distract herself from divorce proceedings.
In 1990, Long returned to television for the fact-based ABC miniseries Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase. She received critical praise for the role, which required her to portray nearly 20 different personalities. This introduced her to more dramatic roles in TV films, after which she starred in several more throughout the 1990s.
Major feature film roles followed such as the romantic comedy Don't Tell Her It's Me with Jami Gertz and Steve Guttenberg and Frozen Assets, a comedy about a sperm bank, which reunited her with Hello Again co-star Corbin Bernsen.
In 1992, she starred in Fatal Memories: The Eileen Franklin Story, a fact-based television drama about a woman who remembers the childhood trauma of being raped by her father and his cronies, and witnessing him murder her childhood friend to prevent the child from "telling on him." The still-controversial "
- "Where Everybody Knows Your Name". Cheersboston.com. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- Shelley Long Primetime Emmy Award database, Emmy.com
- "New York Times". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
- "Names & Faces Happy Birthday".
- Toasting Cheers.
- "Original Orations", nflonline.org; accessed September 23, 2014.
- "Shelley Long profile". New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "Shelley Long Biography". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- "Shelley Long – Top 10 Quitters". TIME. July 24, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- Staff. "Shelley Long Biodata". Television.aol.com. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- Rozen, Leah (May 11, 1987). "Ted Danson Leers Again on Cheers – Cheers, Ted Danson". People. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Google News Archive Search
- "Where Are They Now Australian TV Interview".
- "Difficult Multi-Personality Role Played Expertly by Shelley Long". The Daily Gazette. May 19, 1990.
- Erickson, Hal Fatal Memories (1992) Review The New York Times, Undated
- Wadler, Joyce Exhuming the horror / For 20 Years, Eileen Franklin Repressed a Memory of Murder; Now She's Healing—and Her Father Is in Jail People, November 4, 1991
- Workman, Bill `Memory' Case Put To Rest – No Retrial / Franklin to go free after almost 7 years SFGate, July 3, 1996
- Bird, J.B. Cheers / U.S. Situation Comedy The Museum of Broadcast Communications, Undated
- Good Advice (TV Series 1993–1994) at IMDb
- Shelley Long at the Internet Movie Database
- Haller, Scot (February 23, 1987). "Cheers and Tears: the Long Goodbye". People. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
- Toasting Cheers.
- Cheers' Star ODs in Apparent Suicide Try – Celebrity Gossip"'". Fox News. November 27, 2004. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- Shelley Long Primetime Emmy Award Database, Emmy.com
- Shelly Long Official Website of the Annual Golden Globe Awards, undated.
|1983||Best Supporting Actress (Television)||Cheers||Won|||
|1984||Best Actress in a TV Series (Comedy or Musical)||Cheers||Nominated|||
|1985||Best Actress In A TV series (Comedy Or Musical)||Cheers||Won|||
|1985||Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy Or Musical)||Irreconcilable Differences||Nominated|||
Golden Globe Awards
|1983||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series||Cheers||Won|||
|1984||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series||Cheers||Nominated|||
|1985||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series||Cheers||Nominated|||
|1986||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series||Cheers||Nominated|||
|1993||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||Cheers||Nominated|||
|1996||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||Frasier||Nominated|||
Awards and nominations
|1975–1978||Sorting it Out||Host||(Local Chicago show) Won 3 Regional Emmy Awards|
|1978||That Thing on ABC||Performer||Variety special|
|1978||The Love Boat||Heather McKenzie||1 Episode|
|1979||The Dooley Brothers||Lucy Bennett||Movie|
|1979||The Cracker Factory||Clara||Movie|
|1979||Family||Joan Phillips||Episode: "Sleeping Over"|
|1979||Trapper John M.D||Lauren||Episode: "The Shattered Image"|
|1980||The Promise of Love||Lorraine Simpson||Movie|
|1980||M*A*S*H||Lt. Mendenhall||Episode: "Bottle Fatigue"|
|1981||The Princess and the Cabbie||Carol||Movie|
Won: Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1983)
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (1983)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1985)
Viewers for Quality Television Award (1985, 1986)
TV Land Awards (2006, 2007)
Nominated: Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1984, 1985, 1986)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (1993)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1984)
|1990||Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase||Truddi Chase||Movie|
|1991||The Real Story of... a.k.a. Favorite Songs||The Dame (voice)||Baa Baa Black Sheep|
|1992||Fatal Memories||Eileen Franklin Lipsker||Movie|
|1992||A Message from Holly||Kate||Movie|
|1993–1994||Good Advice||Susan DeRuzza||19 episodes|
|1995||Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman||Lucille Newtrich||Episode: "Ultra Woman"|
|1995||The Women of Spring Break||Anne||Movie|
|1995||Freaky Friday||Ellen Andrews||Movie|
|1996||A Different Kind of Christmas||Elizabeth Gates||Movie|
|1996||Susie Q||Penny Sands||Movie|
|1995, 1996||Murphy Brown||Dottie Wilcox||2 Episodes|
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (1996)
|1996||Life with Louie||Sally Tubbs (voice)||Episode: "A Fair to Remember"|
|1996||Boston Common||Louise Holmes||Episode: "Trustee and Sympathy"|
|1998||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||The Wicked Witch||Episode: "Sabrina and the Beanstalk"|
|1998||Kelly Kelly||Kelly Novack||All 7 episodes; also co-executive producer|
|1998||Diagnosis Murder||Kay Ludlow||Episode: "Write, She Murdered"|
|1999||Vanished Without a Trace||Elizabeth Porterson||Movie|
|1999||Chicken Soup for the Soul||Teacher||Episode: "The Green Boots"|
|2000||Beggars and Choosers||Pamela Marston||Episode: "Fasten Your Seatbelts"|
|2002||The Brady Bunch in the White House||Carol Brady||Movie|
|2002||The Santa Trap||Molly Emerson||Movie|
|2003||8 Simple Rules||Mary Ellen Doyle||Episode: "The Doyle Wedding"|
|2003||Strong Medicine||Lauren Chase||Episode: "Jeaneology"|
|2004||Joan of Arcadia||Miss Candy||Episode: "Vanity, Thy Name Is Human"|
|2005||Boston Legal||Miriam Watson||Episode: "Death Be Not Proud"|
|2005||Yes, Dear||Margaret||Episode: "The New Neighbors"|
|2005||Complete Savages||Judy||2 Episodes|
|2006||Falling in Love with the Girl Next Door||Betsy Lucas||Movie|
|2006||Honeymoon with Mom||Marla||Movie|
|2009||Ice Dreams||Harriet Clayton||Movie|
|Modern Family||DeDe Pritchett||3 Episodes|
|2011||Retired at 35||Ginny||Episode: "Hit It and Quit It"|
|2011||A.N.T. Farm||Mrs. Busby||Episode: "PhilANThropy"|
|2012||Strawberry Summer||Eileen Landon||Movie|
|2012||Merry In-Laws||Mrs. Claus||Movie|
|2012||The Dog Who Saved the Hollidays||Aunt Barbara||Movie; also co-producer|
|2012||Switched at Birth||Rya Bellows||Episode: "Game On"|
|2013||Holiday Road Trip||Cynthia||Movie|
|1977||The Key||Voice role|
|1980||A Small Circle of Friends||Alice|
|1982||Night Shift||Belinda Keaton|
|1984||Irreconcilable Differences||Lucy Van Patten Brodsky||Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy|
|1986||The Money Pit||Anna Crowley Beissart Fielding|
|1987||Outrageous Fortune||Lauren Ames|
|1987||Hello Again||Lucy Chadman|
|1989||Troop Beverly Hills||Phyllis Nefler|
|1990||Don't Tell Her It's Me||Lizzie Potts|
|1992||Frozen Assets||Dr. Grace Murdock|
|1995||The Brady Bunch Movie||Carol Brady|
|1996||A Very Brady Sequel||Carol Brady|
|1998||The Adventures of Ragtime||Sam|
|2000||Dr. T & the Women||Carolyn|
|2007||A Couple of White Chicks at the Hairdresser||Barbara Kisner|
|2007||Trust Me||Mitzi Robinson|
|2008||Mr. Vinegar and the Curse||Ms. Persnickety|
|2011||Pizza Man||Mrs. Burns|
|2011||Zombie Hamlet||Shine Reynolds||Also co-producer|
|2013||The Wedding Chapel||Jeanie Robertson|
|2013||Best Man Down||Gail|
|2014||A Matter of Time||Nona||In post-production|
On November 16, 2004, Long was hospitalized after an overdose of painkillers and spent nine days in the hospital before being released.
Long's first marriage ended in divorce. In 1979, Long met her second husband, securities broker Bruce Tyson. They married in 1981 and had a daughter, Juliana, on March 27, 1985. She also has a stepson. Long and Tyson separated in 2003 and divorced in 2004.
In recent years, she has guest starred in several TV shows such as 8 Simple Rules, Yes, Dear, Strong Medicine, and Boston Legal. She has had a recurring role on the popular ABC sitcom Modern Family as DeDe Pritchett, the ex-wife of Jay Pritchett, appearing on the show in 2009, 2011 and 2012. In recent years, she has starred in made-for-television movies, including Falling in Love with the Girl Next Door and Holiday Engagement. In 2012 she made a guest appearance on Switched at Birth.
In 1999 she starred in another TV drama film Vanished Without a Trace, about a woman who simply refuses to accept the kidnapping of her 13-year-old daughter and relentlessly pursues the villain's capture. (Not to be confused with the 1993 film of the same name about the 1976 Chowchilla kidnapping.) In 2000, Long appeared as one of the women in the Richard Gere film, Dr. T and the Women, directed by Robert Altman. She later returned for a third go-around as Carol Brady in the TV film The Brady Bunch in the White House.
A series of ventures followed such as the made for TV remake of Freaky Friday, and the family sitcom Kelly Kelly, which only lasted for a few episodes. She played the Wicked Witch of the Beanstalk in a 1997 episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
Long appeared as Carol Brady in the 1995 hit film The Brady Bunch Movie, a campy take on the popular television show. In 1996, she reprised her role in A Very Brady Sequel, which had more modest success.
In 1993, the actress returned to Cheers for its series finale, and picked up another Emmy nomination for her return as Diane. She also starred in the sitcom Good Advice with Treat Williams and Teri Garr, but the show lasted just two seasons. She later resurfaced as Diane for several episodes of the Kelsey Grammer spinoff series Frasier, for which she was nominated for another Emmy Award.
, in which she stars as a workaholic who finds out that her best friend has cancer with only six months to live, and then stays with her in her last months. Lindsay Wagner co-starring with A Message From Holly She also appeared in  a conviction that was later overturned.