Fast Facts

  • Worked with actress Frances Sternhagen in 1981's sci-fi flick Outland; she was later cast as his character's mother on Cheers.
  • His speaking part in Richard Attenborough's 1982 drama Gandhi was dubbed by Martin Sheen.
  • Was the only Cheers cast member to have lived in Boston, where the show was set.
  • Appeared as his Cheers alter ego on five other TV series along with costar George Wendt: The Tortellis, St. Elsewhere, Frasier, Wings and The Simpsons.
  • Began a long and lucrative relationship with Pixar Animation Studios in 1995 as the voice of the perpetually inquisitive piggy bank named Hamm in the Toy Story movies.
  • Helped create the organization, of which he is the chairman.
  • Holds a red belt in karate.
  • Stepped in as Vincent Pastore's replacement on the fourth season of Dancing With the Stars, partnering with pro Edyta Sliwinska.
  • Is a senior fellow with Center for America, which focuses on social justice, with an emphasis on employment. He is a founder of Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, which also pushes for job opportunities. 
  • During a 2012 interview, he supported the idea of privatizing the postal system; no telling how his Cliff Clavin postman character from Cheers might have taken that!


  • 1985, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1986, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee


  • Nina Katherine Ratzenberger — Daughter
  • Deszo Alexander Ratzenberger — Father
  • Bertha Grohowski Ratzenberger — Mother
  • Catarina Toumei — Ex-fiancée
  • Elizabeth Georgia Stiny — Ex-wife
  • James John Ratzenberger — Son
  • Lindsay McGrail — Ex-fiancée


  • Sacred Heart University, Bridgeport, CT (BA in English, 1971; Doctorate in 1992)

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  • Birth Name: John Deszo Ratzenberger
  • Birth Place: Bridgeport, CT
  • Profession: Actor, Producer, Director, Playwright, Author, Entrepreneur

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