Shelley Lee Long, also known as Shelley Long, is an American comedian and actress who got popular for her role in the sitcom Cheers. Her role as Diane Chambers got much popularity, and she received several nominations and awards for it. She also reprised this role in the spin-off Frasier.
The Early Life of Shelley Long
Shelley Long was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on 23 August 1949. Her mother Ivadine was a teacher, while her father Leland Long worked in the rubber industry and later became a teacher. Long was a confident kid and always participated in school speeches; she was also a part of the school speech team. In 1967, Shelley won the National Forensic League’s National Championship in Original Oratory.
After graduating from South Side High School, Fort Wayne, Shelley decided to opt for drama and got into Northwestern University. However, she soon dropped out and decided to pursue a career in modeling and acting. Her acting career started back in Chicago, where she started doing commercials.
In 1975, Shelley joined The Second City comedy troupe, and in the same year, she began her career in the entertainment industry as a writer, producer, and co-host of the WMAQ-TV’s program Sorting It Out. For her work on this TV program, Shelley won three Regional Emmy Awards.
During the 70s, Shelley appeared in several commercials like Camay soap and Homemakers Furniture and print advertisements of V05 Shampoo. In the late 1970s, she became a part of the romantic comedy TV series The Love Boat.
Shelley Long was seen in several TV series, including Trapper John, M.D., and Family. She also appeared as a psychiatric inmate in the made-for-television movie called The Cracker Factory. Later in 1980, Shelley got her first film role in the movie A Small Circle of Friends.
In Caveman, she played the role of Tala and Nurse Mendenhall in an episode of M*A*S*H.
In the television series Cheers, her role as Diane Chambers got quite popular; but she left the show in 1987 after working in five seasons. The reason behind her leaving the show was always unclear. However, Ted Danson, a co-star from Cheers, admitted that there had been some tension between them due to their different working modes.
After Cheers, Shelley started working on motion pictures. For her performance in Irreconcilable Differences, she got nominated for Golden Globe Award for the Best Leading Actress in 1984. Later, she played major roles in several comedy movies and drama films, including Outrageous Fortune, The Money Pit, and Hello Again.
Shelley returned to TV after a long time in 1990 and starred in the miniseries Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase. In the miniseries, she played around 20 different personalities, each of which was critically acclaimed. In 1992, she appeared in the TV drama Fatal Memories: The Eileen Franklin Story. It was a fact-based drama in which a woman remembered the childhood trauma after being raped by her own father and witnessing him killing her childhood friend.
Later, Shelley reprised her role as Diane (from Cheers) in several episodes of Cheers’ spin-off Frasier. She was then nominated for one more Emmy Award for her role as Diane.
Shelley Long was also a part of the hit film The Brady Bunch Movie, in which she appeared as Carol Brady. Some other films in which she appeared include Night Shift, Losin’ It, Troop Beverly Hills, Don’t Tell Her It’s Me, A Very Brady Sequel, The Wedding Chapel, Best Man Down, The Christmas Trap, and many more.
Ken Solomon and Shelley Long got married in the 1970s; however, the marriage ended up in divorce after some years. She got married to Bruce Tyson (a securities broker) in 1981. The couple had a daughter named Juliana. Unfortunately, Tyson and Long parted ways in 2003 and got divorced in 2004.
Shelley Long is undoubtedly a great actress and comedian. Every role she played in her career has always been appreciated and critically acclaimed by the viewers. Even today, Shelley is a big name in the television and film industry, and she is working on ongoing projects. Hence, we hope to see her in many more projects to come.