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George Wendt (1948)

George Robert Wendt

Type :  

  Summary  

George Robert Wendt III is an American actor, best known for the role of Norm Peterson on the television show Cheers.

  Biography  

 early life
Wendt was born in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, the son of Loretta M. (née Howard) and George Robert Wendt, a navy officer and realtor. His maternal grandfather was photographer Tom Howard. He is of German and Irish descent. He attended Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. He was expelled from the University of Notre Dame after a semester with a 0.00 GPA and later attended the Jesuit Rockhurst College in Kansas City, where he graduated with a B.A. in economics.

 career
Wendt is a 1975 alumnus of The Second City, which he discovered shortly after college. A viewing had inspired him to join and on his first day of employment, he showed up promptly at 11:30AM as he was instructed. The woman working there handed him a broom and said "Welcome to the theater, kid"; thus, his first job in show business was sweeping the floors. Second City was also where he met his future wife, Bernadette Birkett, who played Cliff's Halloween date in the third season of Cheers and later in the series played the voice of Norm's never-seen wife, Vera.

George Wendt appeared in the 1980 movie My Bodyguard. He played a handyman working behind the check-in counter at the Ambassador East Hotel in Chicago .

In 1981 George appeared on an episode of the TV series Taxi as an exterminator.

Wendt starred as Private Mosconi in a 1982 episode of M*A*S*H, where he suffered from having a pool ball stuck in his mouth for much of the episode.

George Wendt first appeared on the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live in a Season 11 (1985–1986) episode where he shared hosting duties with director Francis Ford Coppola. In 1988 he played the part of "Witten" in the New Zealand-made movie, "Never Say Die". In the early 1990s, Wendt made cameo appearances on several episodes of SNL as Bob Swerski, one of the Chicago Superfans (along with castmembers Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Robert Smigel, and one-time host, Joe Mantegna). Also, Wendt is the uncle of current SNL writer and cast member Jason Sudeikis.

In 1989, Wendt appeared as the eponymous protagonist in a BBC TV dramatization of Ivan Goncharov's novel Oblomov. He has also appeared twice on the original British edition of Whose Line Is It Anyway?.

In 1991, Wendt played the father in Michael Jackson's music video, Black or White. In 1994 he appeared in the movie Man Of The House as Chet Bronski, the stepfather of Norman , and played on this stage with Chevy Chase, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Farrah Fawcett. He also played the role of "Old Man Dunphy's" closeted homosexual friend Joey in the 1999 film, Outside Providence.

Following his success on Cheers, Wendt starred in the short-lived The George Wendt Show, which featured him as a garage mechanic with a radio show, based on the NPR radio show Car Talk. The George Wendt Show aired from March through April, 1995.

Wendt has since appeared as himself on Seinfeld and has reprised the character Norm Peterson on the The Simpsons episode "Fear of Flying", two episodes of Family Guy "Road to Rupert" and "Three Kings" as well as the Frasier episode "Cheerful Goodbyes". In 2003, Wendt appeared as a celebrity fisherman in the music video for Corba Verde's "Riot Industry" along with Rudy Ray Moore (of "Dolemite" fame) and The Minutemen's Mike Watt. He appeared in several episodes of The WB's Sabrina, The Teenage Witch in 2001 as the title character's boss. He also was the host of the A&E reality show, House of Dreams in 2004. In January 2006, Wendt was seen again on television screens as part of the cast of Modern Men.

He has also appeared on The Larry Sanders Show as a guest on the show. In May 2006, Wendt was seen yet again on television. He made several appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien where he performed short skits. His appearance on Late Night was in all likelihood because the show was having a week long event in his home town of Chicago. He starred in a 2006 episode of Masters of Horror entitled "Family", directed by John Landis and played Santa Claus in the ABC Family original movie Santa Baby. Wendt performed alongside Richard Thomas in Twelve Angry Men in October 2006 in the Eisenhower Theatre in Washington, D.C.. After the show opened, Wendt was interviewed by local movie critic Arch Campbell for a piece on the NBC Washington affiliate WRC. Wendt was asked, "What should people do when they see you around town?" After hesitating for a moment, Wendt held his thumbs up and replied, "If their impulse is to buy me a beer, then by all means, follow that impulse." In Spring 2007, Wendt performed in 12 Angry Men in Los Angeles. Wendt appeared as an American GI in the 2007 Christmas Special episode of British sitcom The Green Green Grass.

George starred in the Broadway play Hairspray as the character of Edna Turnblad until November 2008. He appeared with his former Cheers co-star John Ratzenberger as a talent scout on Last Comic Standing during Season 6. He briefly appeared as Santa Claus in A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!. He also appeared in the 2008 horror film Bryan Loves You directed by Seth Landau.

On October 1, 2009, Wendt appeared on the The Colbert Report the day before the IOC announced which city will host the 2016 Summer Olympics. In their way of supporting Chicago's bid for the games, Wendt and Stephen Colbert humorously insulted the three other bidding cities, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, and Tokyo, all while drinking Chicago's favorite Old Style beer.

In 2009, Wendt starred as Santa Claus in Santa Buddies and also had a small roll in the film Opposite Day.

Wendt appeared in a production of Hairspray as Edna Turnblad at the Charlottetown Festival in Prince Edward Island, Canada, which took place between September 8 and October 9, 2010.

George played Santa in Elf the Musical on Broadway. The show opened November 14, 2010 and ran through January 2, 2011.

Wendt will star once again in a production of Hairspray as Edna Turnbladt at Rainbow Stage in Winnipeg, Canada from August 2, 2011 to August 21, 2011.

Wendt also guest starred in the TV series Hot In Cleveland as Yoder, based on his character Norm in Cheers. His first of two scenes took place in an Amish bar, where everyone in the bar yelled "Yoder!," referencing what the cast of Cheers would yell whenever he walked in.

Wendt 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.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "George Wendt", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.