Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Cheers’: 5 First Season Guest Stars Who Landed Starring Roles in Other Shows

‘Cheers’: 5 First Season Guest Stars Who Landed Starring Roles in Other Shows

Like a number of different TV shows, Cheers, in its first season, relied not only on its main cast but guest stars. A number of them would go on and find success in their own television series. But viewers happened to get their first look at them on this NBC sitcom, one that would take off in ratings later on. Let’s take a look at five of these guest stars and see where they landed.

Harry Anderson, From ‘Cheers’ to ‘Night Court’

For three episodes, Harry Anderson showed up as Harry “The Hat” Gittes, who had a penchant for being a card shark. But he also could pull off a sleight-of-hand trick when possible. Anderson got more than a one-shot guest appearance on Cheers. Anderson established himself with his stand-up comedy and magic routine. TV viewers, though, know Anderson from his time playing Judge Harry Stone on Night Court, another successful NBC sitcom.

Fred Dryer, ‘Hunter’

Fred Dryer already had made a name for himself in the world of sports. He played 13 seasons in the National Football League for the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams. When his playing days were over, he turned to the world of acting. When it comes to Cheers, Dryer almost found himself behind the bar as Sam Malone. But that didn’t happen. Still, Dryer got a role as sportscaster Dave Richards, a former teammate of Sam’s on the Boston Red Sox. While he appeared in the show’s first season, Dryer also made additional appearances as Richards. But he found himself in a starring role on the NBC police drama Hunter.

Allyce Beasley, ‘Moonlighting’

This actress made her mark on Cheers as Lisa Pantusso, the daughter of Coach Ernie Pantusso, played by the late Nick Colasanto. Yet this would simply be a jumping-off point for Allyce Beasley. A lot of people might remember her from her role as secretary Agnes DiPesto on the TV series Moonlighting, which starred Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis. Beasley also provided voiceover work for Playhouse Disney, a kid’s morning lineup on the Disney Channel.

Julia Duffy, ‘Newhart’

For her time on Cheers, Julia Duffy made a first-season appearance as Rebecca Prout. But you might not have known that she was considered for the role of Diane Chambers, which eventually went to Shelley Long. Duffy, though, went on to have a very successful run on Newhart as Stephanie Vanderkellen. She also went on to appear for a season on Designing Women. Duffy remains active with TV and theater roles.

Philip Charles MacKenzie, From ‘Cheers’ to ‘Brothers’

Philip Charles MacKenzie, a versatile actor-director-producer, found himself front and center in a first-season episode of Cheers. He played Roy, the fiance of Coach’s daughter Lisa, played by the aforementioned Allyce Beasley. Yet MacKenzie went on to star in the Showtime series Brothers. Other credits include guest shots on Newhart and St. Elsewhere. Directing credits include some episodes of Brothers along with Roseanne and Suddenly Susan.