George Wendt (Actor) - Cheers
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Updated: 4/14/11

Name: George Wendt

Born: October 17, 1948, Chicago, Illinois

Claim To Fame: He is best known for the role of Norm Peterson on the television show Cheers.

Family Life: He has been married to Bernadette Birkett since 1978. They have three children: Hilary Wendt (b. 1985), Joe Wendt (b. 1987) and Daniel Wendt (b. 1990).

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Info: Wendt got his start with The Second City sweeping the floors. His first day on the job, a woman working there handed him a broom and said "Welcome to the theater, kid." This is also where he met his future wife, Bernadette Birkett, who later played the voice of Norm's never-seen wife, Vera, on Cheers. He made his film debut in the 1980 movie My Bodyguard.

He appeared on NBC's Saturday Night Live for the first time in a Season 11 episode where he hosted alongside director Francis Ford Coppola. In the early 1990s, he appeared on SNL in several episodes as one of the Chicago Superfans (along with castmembers Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Robert Smigel, and one-time host, Joe Mantegna).

Wendt is one of three original cast members to have appeared in all 273 episodes of Cheers (1982-1993), playing the role of Norm Peterson. Since then, he has made numerous appearances on television, including reprising his Cheers character on The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Frasier, and playing the title character's boss on several episodes of The WB's Sabrina, The Teenage Witch in 2001.

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Trivia: Is of German and Irish descent.

Was expelled from the University of Notre Dame after a semester with a 0.00 GPA

Attended the Jesuit Rockhurst College in Kansas City, where he graduated with a B.A. in economics.

Appeared in the Soul Asylum music video for the song "Black Gold" in the 1990s.

Appeared as the loudmouthed father of Macaulay Culkin's character, in Michael Jackson's "Black or White" music video.

Is among the thespians who participated in a poster campaign touting live theatre in Chicago. Other celebrities included John Mahoney, John Malkovich, Terry Kinney and Martha Plimpton.

His Grandfather Tom Howard, a news photographer, snapped the infamous 1928 picture of murderer Ruth Snyder at the moment she was executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison. It appeared on the New York Daily News' front page.

Is an avid Notre Dame football fan.

Is the uncle of current SNL writer and cast member Jason Sudeikis.

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Where Are They Now: In 2006, Wendt was part of the cast of the telvision show Modern Men. That year, he appeared numerous times on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, where he performed a bunch of short skits.

He played Santa Claus in the ABC Family original movie Santa Baby. He performed in the play Twelve Angry Men in Washington D.C., in 2006, and again in Los Angeles in spring of 2007.

Wendt starred as Edna Turnblad in the Broadway play Hairspray until November 2008, appeared as a talent scout on Last Comic Standing during Season 6, and had a brief appearance as Santa Claus in A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!.

In 2009, he appeared on The Colbert Report the day before the IOC announced which city will host the 2016 Summer Olympics. He and Colbert supported Chicago's bid and jokingly insulted the other three bidding cities - Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, and Tokyo. Also in 2009, he starred as Santa Claus in Santa Buddies.

George is currently playing Santa in Elf the Musical on Broadway. The show opened November 14, 2010 and is expected to run through January 2, 2011.

Write To George Wendt:
George Wendt
c/o Brillstein Entertainment
9150 Wilshire Blvd., #350
Beverly Hills, CA 90212-3427

Videos: Cheers - Theme Song


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