The best "Frasier" guest stars
NBC via Getty Images

The best "Frasier" guest stars

“Frasier” had a great cast, but a successful sitcom also will feature big guest stars. In the world of “Frasier,” a lot of celebrities would do “cameos” just by appearing as callers on Frasier Crane’s radio show. Others appeared in person though. Here are some of our favorite guest appearances over the 11 excellent years of “Frasier.”

 
1 of 20

Bebe Neuwirth

Bebe Neuwirth
Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Neuwirth was a regular on “Cheers” as Lilith, the wife, and eventual ex-wife, of Frasier. She appeared a few times on “Frasier,” but she’s not even in, like, 2 percent of episodes of the show. That still qualifies her as a guest star every time she showed up, which is good, because we had to have her on this list. Lilith is the best, and Neuwirth always kills it as Frasier’s former flame.

 
2 of 20

Shelley Long

Shelley Long
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Long was one of the original stars of “Cheers," and she too was romantically involved with Frasier. Spoiler alert: A lot of guest stars were women who had some sort of romantic involvement with Dr. Crane. Long showed up in one episode of “Frasier,” fittingly titled “The One Where Diane Comes Back.” She seemed to fall right back into the role, which was a relief.

 
3 of 20

Ted Danson

Ted Danson
Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Of course, you can’t have Diane without Sam. Those two had the ultimate “will they/won’t they” relationship. They appeared separately on “Frasier,” with Danson showing up as Sam first. Naturally, he’s up to his usual womanizing ways.

 
4 of 20

Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson
Ralph Notaro/Getty Images

Look, obviously the actors from “Cheers” popped up on “Frasier.” That’s what spinoffs are all about. With all due respect to John Ratzenberger, George Wendt, and Rhea Perlman, who all had smaller appearances in one later episode, the last “Cheers” alum we’re including is Harrelson, whose Woody got an episode largely dedicated to him as well.

 
5 of 20

Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart
Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Finally, we move off “Cheers” cast members and head into outer space to grab Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Or maybe you prefer him as Professor Charles Xavier. Stewart plays a gay opera director who assumes Frasier is also gay because of a classic series of misunderstandings. However, enticed by the trappings that dating Stewart would provide, Frasier contemplates how long he can go without letting him in on the truth.

 
6 of 20

Bill Gates

Bill Gates
Ramin Talaie/Getty Images

“Frasier” is set in Seattle, which is the city synonymous with Gates. For the show’s 200th episode, and the in-universe 2,000th episode of Frasier’s radio show, Gates makes an appearance on the radio alongside Frasier, two titans of the city. Of course, Frasier’s callers (including one voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh) forget all about Dr. Crane and instead pepper Gates with Microsoft questions.

 
7 of 20

Shannon Tweed

Shannon Tweed
Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage

Tweed’s acting career is mostly synonymous with the “Skinemax” genre. Despite that, she’s not necessarily an actress devoid of talent. She works quite well in the role of Dr. Honey Snow, a pop psychologist who Frasier detests intellectually but is quite fond of in, um, other ways.

 
8 of 20

Laura Linney

Laura Linney
Michael Caulfield/Getty Images

Linney appeared in a few episodes late in the run of “Frasier” as Charlotte, a matchmaker who accidentally makes a bit of a match between herself and Dr. Crane. She is the last real love interest Frasier had on the show. As the series headed toward its finale, it decided to give Frasier the chance for a real, potentially lasting relationship. Much to the show’s credit, it leaves things on an uncertain note.

 
9 of 20

Michael Keaton

Michael Keaton
Jim Spellman/WireImage

Believe it or not, there was a time where Keaton had fallen from being a movie star before his career was revitalized in recent years. Why his talent was underserved we’ll never know, but it gave him a chance to do things like guest star in an episode of “Frasier.” Keaton plays Lilith’s half-brother, Blaine, a con man whom Frasier is skeptical of despite everybody else willing to believe him.

 
10 of 20

Teri Hatcher

Teri Hatcher
David Cannon/Getty Images for Laureus

Hatcher played love interests on two iconic ‘90s sitcoms: “Frasier” and “Seinfeld.” You probably remember her turn on the latter better because it was spectacular. However, Hatcher was also quite fun as a woman whom “Frasier” is attracted to but is worried is only using him for free therapy.

 
11 of 20

Richard E. Grant

Richard E. Grant
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Several notable actors ended up playing Daphne’s brothers and her father. In fact, the patriarch was played by Brian Cox. Grant, an excellent actor recently nominated for an Oscar for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” shows up in the series finale as Daphne’s favorite brother, Stephen.

 
12 of 20

Jean Smart

Jean Smart
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

You can’t go back in time. Smart plays Lana, a woman whom Frasier and Niles had crushes on in high school. Now as an adult, she’s a loud, boorish, aggressive woman with a fraying marriage. And yet Frasier can’t help but get involved with her romantically, at least briefly. It’s a great performance by Smart, who is able to thread the needle of a tricky character.

 
13 of 20

Mike Judge

Mike Judge
Rick Kern/Getty Images for Austin Film Society

Of course eventually “Frasier” would do an episode about a sexual harassment seminar. Every workplace sitcom doe. While Judge became famous for creating the decidedly not PC “Beavis and Butthead,” his mild-mannered energy is put to good use as the man who runs the seminar at KACL.

 
14 of 20

Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

“Frasier” was on long enough to be a spinoff of “Cheers” but also to see the rise of Dr. Phil, for better or worse. Well, for worse. Nevertheless, Phil McGraw has a big role in an episode fittingly titled “The Devil and Dr. Phil.” While he’s not necessarily an actor, his appearance is admittedly fun.

 
15 of 20

Stephen Root

Stephen Root
Walter McBride/Getty Images

You can’t go wrong giving Root a small role, or even a large role, on a TV show. He’s one of the best characters actors going today. Root and Linney actually appear in the same 11th-season episode of the show. The “Office Space” star plays an eccentric car mechanic who allows Frasier and Charlotte to spend the night, which turns out to be a strange experience for the couple.

 
16 of 20

Amy Brenneman

Amy Brenneman
Desiree Navarro/WireImage

“Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz” is one of the most famous and adored “Frasier” episodes. After all, it’s one of only six episodes of the show with its own Wikipedia page. It’s a classic farce, as Frasier and his new love interest, Faye Moskowitz, are trying to avoid having her mom find out that Dr. Crane isn’t Jewish. It doesn’t go great. Brenneman plays Faye, who actually appears in multiple episodes of the show.

 
17 of 20

Sela Ward

Sela Ward
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images for Fashion Media

We’ve all been there. We’re dating a supermodel who is also getting a doctorate in zoology, but nobody has met her so nobody believes you. That’s the relatable situation Frasier has to deal with when he dates Kelly Easterbrook. Kelly is played by Ward, who has a couple of Emmys for other shows.

 
18 of 20

Laurie Metcalf

Laurie Metcalf
Steve Mack/Getty Images

Speaking of Emmy winners, Metcalf has a few of those from “Roseanne.” On “Frasier,” she pops up as Nanette Guzman, aka Nanny G. She is Dr. Crane’s first wife, who predates the events of even “Cheers,” though she does pop up in one “Cheers” episode where she is played by Emma Thompson. Nanette makes one more appearance, this time played by Metcalf, in the final season of “Frasier.”

 
19 of 20

Brian Cox

Brian Cox
Tony Barson Archive/WireImage

We mentioned him earlier when we were talking about Daphne’s extensive family. If you’ve seen “Succession,” you know how well Cox can play the gruff patriarch of a family. He brings a stern presence to the role of Mr. Moon, who spends most of his time in the pub but still likes to dote on his daughter.

 
20 of 20

Eva Marie Saint

Eva Marie Saint
Tibrina Hobson/WireImage

Roz may not be a member of the Crane family — unlike Daphne, who does end up marrying into the family after all — but her own kin do show up occasionally. This includes her cousin Jen, who was played by a then-unknown Zooey Deschanel, so she doesn’t really count as a guest star. You know who definitely counts, though? That would be Saint, a legendary actress who appeared in movies like “On the Waterfront” and “North by Northwest.” She plays Roz’s mother, who also happens to be the attorney general of Wisconsin.

Chris Morgan is a sports and pop culture writer and the author of the books The Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and The Ash Heap of History. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisXMorgan.

More must-reads:

Customize Your Newsletter

+

Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.