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Shelley Long — A Look at the 'Modern Family' Actress's Life and Roles

Andile Mthimkhulu
Jul 23, 2022
09:30 A.M.
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Actress Shelley Long is one of the most well-known actresses in Hollywood. She became a household name after appearing on the hit sitcom "Cheers." But the talented star is more than just an actress.

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Shelley Long has proven over the years to be one of the most extraordinary talents the entertainment industry has seen in recent times. She's best known for her role as Diane Chambers in the popular sitcom "Cheers," which aired on television from the '80s to the early '90s.

Besides being an award-winning actress, the stunning star also has other talents. The actress is also a singer and comedian.

Shelley Long as Diane Chambers in "Cheers" I Source: Getty Images

Shelley Long as Diane Chambers in "Cheers" I Source: Getty Images

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SHELLEY LONG'S EARLY LIFE AND FIRST ROLES

Shelley Long was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on August 23, 1949, and she's the only child of Leland Long and Ivadine Long. Her father previously worked in the rubber industry and is currently a teacher. Shelley's mother is also a school teacher.

The actress attended Kekionga Junior High school before transferring to South Side High School. After completing high school, Shelley studied drama at Northwestern University. The star got her first job at the same university as a meal plan checker.

Shelley Long as Diane Chambers in "Cheers" I Source: Getty Images

Shelley Long as Diane Chambers in "Cheers" I Source: Getty Images

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Shelley's career kicked off when she decided to pursue a career in modeling and acting after she left university. She joined the celebrated Second City troupe in 1975 and, at the same time, was producing, co-hosting, and writing for "Sorting It Out," a famous Chicago TV program. After working on it for three years, the 72-year-old's show won three Emmy Awards for Best Entertainment Show.

While she was busy starting her career in the entertainment industry, Shelley met her first husband. However, their marriage was very brief and ended in divorce. Shelley broadened her horizons early in her career by also dabbling in filmography. The actress made her own feature films, and some of them became hits.

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Shelley Long as Diane Chambers and Ted Danson as Sam Malone in "Cheers" I Source: Getty Images

Shelley Long as Diane Chambers and Ted Danson as Sam Malone in "Cheers" I Source: Getty Images

THE FATEFUL ROLE OF SHELLEY LONG IN 'CHEERS'

The role that brought fame to Shelley Long was as Diane Chambers in the popular show "Cheers." The sitcom focused on the lives of regulars of a bar called Cheers in Boston. The show followed the employees and patrons of the bar as they shared their lives and experiences.

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The series premiered in September 1982 and continued to air until 1993. Initially, it seemed like the show wouldn't last for long. However, with Shelley and Sam Malone's relationship being the focal point, it became a fan favorite. Shelley was part of the original cast in "Cheers," but she eventually left. Shelley declined an offer to extend her contract.

Talking about her exit from the show, Shelley shared:

"It was a very difficult choice to make. We have done some really terrific work at 'Cheers,' but I've decided to give priority to my family and my newly established film production company."

Ted Danson and Shelley Long onstage at the 2006 TV Land Awards at the Barker Hangar on March 19, 2006 in Santa Monica, California I Source: Getty Images

Ted Danson and Shelley Long onstage at the 2006 TV Land Awards at the Barker Hangar on March 19, 2006 in Santa Monica, California I Source: Getty Images

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The actress earned an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1983 for her part as a neurotic intellectual in an interesting relationship with Malone. It was this on-and-off relationship that kept fans hooked on the show and kept the show's ratings high. Shelley played the role for five years.

An Emmy wasn't the only award the star bagged; she also won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1983. In 1985, she won the Best Actress in a Comedy Series. Her Quality TV Award in 1986 was for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

The star's character was so popular that Diane's dialogues on the show have been turned into quotes, one of them being, "One murder does not a murderer make."

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Shelley Long and Bruce Tyson attend the UK Premiere of "The Brady Bunch Movie" on June 9, 1995 in London, England I Source: Getty Images

Shelley Long and Bruce Tyson attend the UK Premiere of "The Brady Bunch Movie" on June 9, 1995 in London, England I Source: Getty Images

SHELLEY'S MARRIAGE TO BRUCE TYSON AND HER ROLES AFTER 'CHEERS'

After her first marriage, Shelley Long tied the knot for a second time with Bruce Tyson. Shelley met Bruce on a blind date in 1979.

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Bruce, a securities broker, later popped the question, and the couple wed in October 1981. The pair welcomed a child together a few years later — Juliana Long Tyson was born on March 27, 1985.

When it comes to her acting career, Shelley has featured in other famous projects. The actress appeared in the comedy film "The Money Pit" in 1986. She played Anna Crowley Beissart Fielding alongside Tom Hanks, who was her husband in the film. The movie was about a young couple experiencing problems after using their life savings to buy a dilapidated house.

Actress Shelley Long visits Hallmark's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on November 3, 2017 in Universal City, California I Source: Getty Images

Actress Shelley Long visits Hallmark's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on November 3, 2017 in Universal City, California I Source: Getty Images

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In the 1987 romantic movie "Hello Again," Shelley played Lucy Chadman, who died, and the film focused on what her afterlife was like.

Her other film is the 1996 comedy "A Very Brady Sequel." She plays Carol Brady in the movie about her character and her husband's renewal of their vows.

'MODERN FAMILY:' SHELLEY LONG'S LATEST HIGH-PROFILE PROJECT

The "Hello Again" actress's latest high-profile project was in the series "Modern Family." The show is about three families hilariously trying to deal with everyday situations like kids and spouses.

Shelley Long on an episode of "Modern Family" I Source: Getty Images

Shelley Long on an episode of "Modern Family" I Source: Getty Images

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"Modern Family" ran from September 2009 to April 2020. Shelley's character was DeDe Pritchett, and she appeared in eight episodes between 2009 and 2018. Shelley's exit was when her character died.

WHAT IS SHELLEY LONG DOING NOW?

After leaving "Modern Family," Shelley continued to make films. She has been involved in numerous projects, with some of her most recent ones being "Give Me Pity!" and "The Cleaner."

"Give Me Pity!" is a musical thriller about a performer who has their first-ever live event that turns into a nightmare. Shelley's character is Baby Dog, and the film was released in 2022.

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Her other project, "The Cleaner," is an action film about a house cleaner who gets caught up in a violent crime. The movie was released in 2021, and Shelley's character is Sharon Enderly.

The award-winning actress rarely appears in public but was spotted recently with a friend in the Pacific Palisades. The actress was also recently seen walking her dog in Los Angeles.

Shelley Long's incredible acting skills and talents as a comedian and filmmaker will be remembered for a long time to come. We wish her well in her future endeavors.

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