When Kelsey Grammer made his first guest appearance on the sitcom “Cheers” as Dr. Frasier Crane in 1984, it marked the beginning of an impressive legacy. He stayed on for the next nine years, earning a pair of supporting Emmy bids, as well as a third for guest starring as Crane on “Wings.” Before “Cheers” ended its run in 1993, it was decided that Crane would live on as the protagonist of his own show, “Frasier.” In all, Grammer portrayed the character for 20 straight years – a record in the comedy genre.
“Frasier” earned five Primetime Emmys for its inaugural season, including Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Actor. Grammer’s first of four eventual wins came for his work in the pilot episode, “The Good Son,” in which Crane reservedly invites his estranged, widowed father to live with him. The 39-year-old’s victory made him the seventh youngest winner in his category, just one spot ahead of his “Cheers” castmate, Ted Danson, who was 42 when he prevailed in 1990. Now, Grammer and Danson are in 10th and 12th place, respectively.
Since 1954, a total of 38 actors have won Emmys for their lead roles on continuing comedy programs, beginning with Donald O’Connor (“The Colgate Comedy Hour”). Including Grammer, 16 of the winners have triumphed multiple times.
Scroll through our photo gallery to find out who ranks ahead of Grammer on the list of youngest Emmy winners for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. This list also factors in winners of the now-retired variety performance awards, since regular cast members on continuing variety series now compete here.
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