How Could ‘The Daily Mail’ Consider This Integral ‘Cheers’ Actress ‘Unrecognizable’?

Why is a U.K. gossip rag tossing shade at one of America’s most accomplished actresses?
How Could ‘The Daily Mail’ Consider This Integral ‘Cheers’ Actress ‘Unrecognizable’?

Somehow, U.K. gossip rag The Daily Mail forgot about Frasier Crane’s ex-wife and mother of his child, Dr. Lilith Sternin. Sometimes, the Seattle psychotherapist wishes he could do the same.

Beyond her work on Frasier and Cheers, the latter of which earned her two consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, Bebe Neuwirth is a bit of an acting legend. On Broadway, Neuwirth originated the role of Morticia Addams in the Addams Family musical adaptation, and she has won two Tony Awards to go along with her twin Emmys for other stage performances. Neuwirth has also appeared in 29 different feature films, not the least of which was Jumanji, where she played Judy and Peter’s Aunt Nora. 

In other words, on stage and on screens big and small, Neuwirth has been booking gigs and knocking them out of the park ever since she left the prestigious Juilliard School in the late 1970s.

So, if you were an entertainment writer and you didn’t recognize Neuwirth as she walked the red carpet at the Chita Rivera Awards in New York this past Monday, you’d probably want to keep that fact to yourself, right? 

Well, not if you worked at The Daily Mail — in that case, you’d publish an article with the insulting and verbose title, “She Has Worked with Ted Danson, Kelsey Grammer and Kate Hudson, Was in the Original Jumanji and Won an Emmy. She Is Now Unrecognizable. Who Is She?”

Actually, Daily Mail, a better question for you is, “Who do you think you are?”

Now, in The Daily Mail’s lukewarm defense, I somehow doubt that Cheers or its spin-offs have quite as much cultural cache in the U.K. as they do in the U.S., and Neuwirth’s stage credits in New York are much more numerous than those of hers in London’s West End. At the same time, what is Daily Mail doing covering New York entertainment events besides brainstorming ideas for needlessly derisive guessing games in which they claim that Neuwirth is “now unrecognizable as she stopped by a massive event in New York City”?

If the intended implication of this article is that, compared to how she appeared during the heyday of Cheers and Frasier, the now-65-year-old actress has aged out of the striking, stylish and tightly wound aesthetic of Dr. Lilith Sternin, I just have to ask — how the hell do you expect people to look when they reach retirement age? Even the pictures that The Daily Mail picked to demonstrate Neuwirth’s “unrecognizability” show a woman who looks better in her 60s than most of us do in our 20s. The d-bags of The Daily Mail wish they were so recognizable at an awards ceremony where they were actually invited.

But I’m not going to try to play armchair psychiatrist and diagnose The Daily Mail for whatever caused this delusion that Neuwirth is either a nobody or simply not worth recognizing — Dr. Sternin can do that for herself.


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