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Shelley Long (American Actress) Bio, Facts 

Shelley Long

Born Name: Shelley Lee Long
Date of Birth: August 23, 1949
Place of Birth: Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Height: 1.68 m
Education: Northwestern University, Northwestern University School of Communication, South Side High School
Occupation: Actress, comedian
Spouse(s): Ken Solomon (? - ?), Bruce Tyson(m. 1981; div. 2004)
Children: 1

Shelley Lee Long (born August 23, 1949) is an American actress and comedian. She is best known for her role as Diane Chambers on the hit sitcom Cheers, for which she received five Emmy nominations, winning in 1983 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She won two Golden Globe Awards for the role. Long reprised her role as Diane Chambers in four episodes of the spinoff Frasier, for which she received an additional guest star Emmy nomination. In 2009, she began playing a recurring role as DeDe Pritchett on the ABC comedy series Modern Family.

Long has also starred in several films, notably Night Shift (1982), Irreconcilable Differences (1984), The Money Pit (1986), Outrageous Fortune (1987), Hello Again (1987), Troop Beverly Hills (1989), The Brady Bunch Movie (1995), A Very Brady Sequel (1996), and Dr. T & the Women (2000)

Early life
Shelley Long was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1949. She is the daughter of Ivadine, a school teacher, and Leland Long, who worked in the rubber industry before becoming a teacher. She was active on her high school speech team, competing in the Indiana High School Forensic Association. In 1967, she won the National Forensic League's National Championship in Original Oratory.

After graduating from South Side High School in Fort Wayne, she studied drama at Northwestern University, but left before graduating to pursue a career in acting and modeling. Her first break as an actress occurred when she began doing commercials in the Chicago area.

Career
Early roles
In Chicago, she joined The Second City comedy troupe. In 1975, she began writing, producing, and co-hosting the television program Sorting It Out. The local NBC broadcast went on to win three Regional Emmys for Best Entertainment Show. Long also appeared in the 1970s in V05 Shampoo print advertisements, Homemakers Furniture, and Camay Soap commercials. In 1978 she guest starred in an episode of The Love Boat.

Her first notable role came in the 1979 Natalie Wood television movie The Cracker Factory as a psychiatric inmate. That same year she guest starred on Family and Trapper John M.D. In 1980 she appeared in her first feature film role in A Small Circle of Friends. The film about social unrest at Harvard University during the 1960s was a critical success. In 1981, she played the role of Tala in Caveman. She played Nurse Mendenhall in a 1980 episode ("Bottle Fatigue") of M*A*S*H.

In 1982, she starred as Belinda, the good-natured prostitute neighbour of the character portrayed by Henry Winkler in Ron Howard's comedy Night Shift (also co-starring Michael Keaton), and starred with Tom Cruise in Losin' It (1983). She was offered the role of Mary, the mother in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, but she declined because she had already signed on to appear in Night Shift.

Cheers
Although she had already been in feature films, Long became famous for her role in the long-running television sitcom Cheers as the character Diane Chambers, who mainly has an on-and-off relationship with Sam Malone. The show was slow to capture an audience but eventually became one of the most popular on the air. Amid much controversy, Long left Cheers after season five in 1987.

In the Cheers biography documentary, co-star Ted Danson admitted there was tension between them but "never at a personal level and always at a work level" due to their different modes of working. He also stated that Long was much more like her character than she would like to admit, but also said that her performances often "carried the show." Long said in later interviews that it did not occur to her, when deciding to leave, that she was going to "sabotage a show" and she felt confident that the rest of the cast could continue without her.

In a 2003 interview with Graham Norton, Long said she left for a variety of reasons, the most important of which was her desire to spend more time with her toddler daughter. In a 2007 interview on Australian television, Long claimed Danson was "a delight to work with" and talked of her love for co-star Nicholas Colasanto ("Coach"), who was "one of my closest friends on set". She said she left the show because she "didn't want to keep doing the same episode over and over again and the same story. I didn't want it to become old and stale." She went on to say that "working at Cheers was a dream come true...it was one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. So, yes, I missed it, but I never regretted that decision."

Film
While simultaneously appearing on Cheers, she continued starring in several motion pictures. In 1984, she was nominated for a Best Leading Actress Golden Globe for her performance in Irreconcilable Differences. She starred in a series of comedies, such as The Money Pit, Outrageous Fortune, and Hello Again. She was also offered lead roles in Working Girl, Jumpin' Jack Flash and My Stepmother Is an Alien, but did not accept those roles.

Post-Cheers projects
Her first post-Cheers project was Troop Beverly Hills, a comedy in which she plays a housewife who takes leadership of a 'Wilderness Girl' troop to bond with her daughter and to distract herself from divorce proceedings.

In 1990, Long returned to television for the fact-based ABC miniseries Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase. She received critical praise for the role, which required her to portray nearly 20 personalities. This introduced her to more dramatic roles in TV films, after which she starred in several more throughout the 1990s.

Major feature film roles followed such as the romantic comedy Don't Tell Her It's Me with Jami Gertz and Steve Guttenberg and Frozen Assets, a comedy about a sperm bank, which reunited her with Hello Again co-star Corbin Bernsen.

In 1992, she starred in Fatal Memories: The Eileen Franklin Story, a fact-based television drama about a woman who remembers the childhood trauma of being raped by her father and his cronies, and witnessing him murder her childhood friend to prevent the child from "telling on him." The still-controversial "recovered memories" basis for the prosecution resulted in the conviction and sentence of life imprisonment of George Franklin, Sr., a conviction that was later overturned. She stars in the 1992 film A Message From Holly co-starring with Lindsay Wagner, in which she stars as a workaholic who finds out that her best friend has cancer with only six months to live, and then stays with her in her last months.

In 1993, the actress returned to Cheers for its series finale, and picked up another Emmy nomination for her return as Diane. She also starred in the sitcom Good Advice with Treat Williams and Teri Garr, but the show lasted just two seasons. She later resurfaced as Diane in several episodes of the Kelsey Grammer spinoff series Frasier, for which she was nominated for another Emmy Award.

Later work
Long appeared as Carol Brady in the 1995 hit film The Brady Bunch Movie, a campy take on the popular television show. In 1996, she reprised her role in A Very Brady Sequel, which had more modest success. A series of ventures followed such as the made for TV remake of Freaky Friday, and the family sitcom Kelly Kelly, which only lasted for a few episodes. She played the Wicked Witch of the Beanstalk in a 1997 episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

In 1999 she starred in another TV drama film Vanished Without a Trace, about a woman who simply refuses to accept the kidnapping of her 13-year-old daughter and relentlessly pursues the villain's capture (not to be confused with the 1993 film of the same name about the 1976 Chowchilla kidnapping.) In 2000, she appeared as one of the women in the Richard Gere film Dr. T and the Women, directed by Robert Altman. She later returned for a third go-around as Carol Brady in the TV film The Brady Bunch in the White House.

She has guest starred in several TV shows such as 8 Simple Rules, Yes Dear, Strong Medicine, and Boston Legal. She has a recurring role on the popular ABC sitcom Modern Family as DeDe Pritchett, the ex-wife of Jay Pritchett. She starred in made-for-television movies, including Falling in Love with the Girl Next Door and Holiday Engagement. In 2012, she made a guest appearance on Switched at Birth. In 2016, she produced and acted in the feature film Different Flowers..She also appeared in the film Holiday Engagement in 2011.

Personal life
Long's first marriage to Ken Solomon ended in divorce after a few years in the 1970s. In 1979, Long met her second husband, a securities broker. They married in 1981 and had a daughter on March 27, 1985. Long and her husband separated in 2003 and divorced in 2004.

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Categories: 1949 births,Actresses from Indiana,American film actresses,American television actresses,Best Musical or Comedy Actress Golden Globe (television) winners,Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe (television) winners,Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Primetime Emmy Award winners,Actors from Fort Wayne, Indiana,20th-century American actresses,21st-century American actresses,Northwestern University School of Communication alumni

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