‘Cheers’ Star Shelley Long Had A Successful Career, Then A Life-Changing Event Had Her Hit Rock Bottom

Feb 01, 2024 by apost team

Shelley Long was a celebrated actress back in her prime days as she was able to star in several successful projects like her massive television show “Cheers,” which led her to win countless awards.

The actress was born on Aug. 23, 1949, in Indian Village, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Long didn’t have any siblings growing up, as she was an only child.

Regarding her educational background, she was active on the high school speech team and competed in the Indiana High School Forensic Association. She later won the National Forensic League’s National Championship.

Later, she attended Northwestern University to study drama and hone her acting skills, but she didn’t last long in college as she decided to pursue a different career.

At first, acting was not where her future seemed to be, and her first job was as a meal plan checker.

Long’s acting career started when she joined a comedy troupe called The Second City in Chicago. By 1975, she amped up her work and became a writer, producer, and even the co-host of a show titled “Sorting It Out.”

Thanks to her job on WMAQ-TV, the actress was able to snag three Regional Emmys.   

Her career took off after she appeared in several projects, such as “The Cracker Factory,” where she played the role of a psychiatric inmate. In addition, she also starred in “Trapper John, M.D.” and “Family.”

Long might have had a very fruitful career throughout her prime years, but there was also a time when her life took a turn for the worse to the point that she became heavily depressed after a failed marriage. Read on below to know what happened to the actress later in her life.

Shelly Long (1984), (Harry Langdon/Archive Photos via Getty Images)

Trigger Warning: This part of the story talks about suicide and depression, readers’ discretion is advised

Aside from the world of television, Shelley Long also appeared in movies such as “Caveman,” “Night Shift,” “Losin’ It,” “Irreconcilable Differences,” and so many more.

However, despite appearing in films, her biggest breakthrough to date was her role as Diane Chambers in the television series titled “Cheers” along with actors like Kelsey GrammerKirstie AlleyTed DansonGeorge Wendt, and more.

Her role in the program was that of a smart and sophisticated character. Thanks to her acting talent and popularity after the series aired several seasons, Long received two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1983 and 1984.

In addition, she also won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series in 1985.

After 11 seasons and more than 200 episodes, “Cheers” went off air, and the cast members went on different ways to pursue other projects.

Regarding her personal life, Long was married twice. The first time, she was with Ken Solomon, while the second was with Bruce Tyson.

Unfortunately, her romance with Tyson didn’t last, as they got divorced in 2004. At the time, the actress reportedly didn’t take the separation lightly to the point that she attempted to end her own life.

According to an article published by the New York Post in November 2004, Long was hospitalized after taking an overdose of painkillers in an attempt to take her life.

The reason for her desperate action was reportedly a heavy depression that began months prior and had her barely eating and just staying in her bed because of her failed marriage.

“For 18 months she’s been getting more and more depressed. It’s like seeing someone falling off a cliff,” a friend reportedly said.


Shelly Long (1998), (Harry Langdon/Archive Photos via Getty Images)

In a follow-up report, Tyson spoke with the outlet to give an update regarding Long’s situation following the attempted suicide as he told the outlet that his estranged wife at the time was “OK” and he expected her to “survive.”

Although the actress herself didn’t share more information about what happened, it appears that she recovered as she went on to star in more projects in the future.

Fast forward to 2017, she spoke with ABC News about her new movie at the time titled “Different Flowers” where she starred as a grandmother. The actress looked completely different from what she looked like back in the 80s as she proudly sported her white hair.

During the interview, Long was asked if the cast of Cheers would be reunited, but she was hesitant at the time.

“I don’t think anybody on the ‘Cheers’ cast would want to do that again,” she said.

In an article published by the Daily Mail in 2021, Long was spotted walking her pet dog, and she looked almost unrecognizable.

In January 2024, Kelsey Grammer expressed his true feelings over his sitcom titled “Frasier” where he told Kelly Clarkson on her talk show, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, that he wanted Long to reprise her character of Diane Chambers to star with him.

“When I first got the role, the key to Frasier for me was that he loved her with his whole heart, that he loved with all of his being. And that actually defined who he is,” he gushed of Long’s character.

He later spoke with Deadline weeks later where he teased about whether Long’s character would return, as he said: “It would only happen if it’s important to Frasier’s development as a human being.”

Shelly Long (2017), (David Livingston/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

What do you think of Shelley Long? Do you have a special memory of her back in the day? Let us know your thoughts, and make sure to pass this on to your friends and family.

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