George Wendt is an American Primetime Award-nominated actor, who initially gained fame as Norm Peterson in the TV comedy-drama series “Cheers” (1982-1993). In addition another popular appearance was his role of Harry Finley in the sci-fi romantic drama film “Forever Young”.
George Wendt Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education
Born George Robert Wendt III on the 17th October 1948, in Chicago, Illinois USA, he is the son of Loretta Mary and her husband, George Robert Wendt. His father was a US Navy officer, and was then in the real estate industry.
Of Irish and German ancestry, George is the grandchild of Tom Howard, the photographer who took the infamous photo of Ruth Snyder in the electric chair. George has a sister, Kathryn, who is the mother of the famous actor and comedian, Jason Sudeikis.
George went to Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, after which he enrolled at the University of Notre Dame; however, he was expelled following a 0.00 GPA in the first semester, but after that short stint, George enrolled at the Jesuit Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri, and eventually earned a BA degree in economics.
Before George made his on-screen debut, he was a part of the impov comedy group The Second City; he started as a floor sweeper, but eventually got his acting debut on stage. Gradually, he became encouraged enough to try himself on screen, and made his debut in the film “A Wedding” in 1978. Although he was just an extra, it was still a start, and he continued with minor roles in such films as “Somewhere in Time” and “My Bodyguard”, both in 1980.
Rise to Stardom
In 1982 George was chosen for what turned out to be the most popular role in his entire career, as Norm Peterson in the TV comedy series “Cheers”. The show lasted until 1993 and George appeared in all 270 episodes of the Golden Globe Award-winning series. He became the national star thanks to his role, and subsequently portrayed the same character in several TV shows, and gave voice in animated shows, such as “St. Elsewhere” (1985), “Wings” (1990), and “The Simpsons” (1994), among others.
George received six Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his work on the “Cheers”, but the actual award eluded him every time. Concurrently George worked on several other projects, including the action-adventure film “Dreamscape” (1984), starring Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, and Christopher Plummer, while in 1985 he starred in the fantasy horror film “House” (1985), and joined Michael Keaton and Gedde Watanabe in the comedy-drama film “Gung Ho” in 1986.
After the end of “Cheers”, George continued to line up successful roles; first, he starred in the television comedy film “Hostage for a Day”, and then started his own comedy series, “The George Wendt Show” (1995).
In the second half of the decade, George didn’t have much success, as he featured in a few not so successful projects, such as “Space Truckers” (1996), and “Rupert’s Land” (1998). George began the new millennium with a role in the romantic comedy-drama film “Wild About Harry” (2000), and also featured in the drama film “The Prime Gig”, starring Vince Vaughn, Julia Ormond, and Ed Harris. The following year he had several projects on his plate, including as Tom Robertson in the film “Robertson’s Greatest Hits”, and the role of Howard in the television comedy-drama film “Strange Relations” (2001).
Furthermore, he joined the cast of the TV series “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (2001-2002) as Mike Shelby in six episodes. In 2006, George was Santa Claus in the fantasy-comedy film “Santa Baby”, but since then, George has struggled to acquire new successful screen roles.
Unsuccessful Years on Screen
George became more focused on stage work, didn’t put much effort into his on-screen career, not having much success until recently, when he featured in the comedy-drama film “The Climb” in 2019, with Michael Angelo Covino, Kyle Marvin, and Gayle Rankin in the lead roles.
Also, he appeared in the action-horror film “VFW”, with Martin Kove, William Sadler, and Stephen Lang in the lead roles. George is now working on several films, including the comedy “Stealing a Survivor”, scheduled for release late in 2020.
In addition to his extensive work on television series and films, George has also showcased his skills on stage; some of the most popular plays in which he appeared include “Art” in 1998, which was his Broadway debut, then “Hairspray” (2002), “Elf- The Musical” (2010), and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (2013), among others.
George Wendt Net Worth, Height, Weight, and Appearance
George has made more than 155 film and TV appearances, and his additional work in theaters has also added to his wealth. So, if you wondered, George Wendt’s net worth is estimated at $45 million as of early 2020.
George is known for his struggle with weight, but according to sources, he now weighs around 275lbs ~ 124kgs, while at one time of his career he was 383lbs ~ 173kg. He stands at 5ft 8ins (1.73m) tall, and has brown eyes and brown hair.
George Wendt Personal Life, Marriage, Wife, Children
George hasn’t been hiding his life from the media and his struggle with weight is an open book; two years ago he reached the limit and is slowly losing pounds. George is a married man, and his wife is Bernadette Birkett; the two have been married since the 8th July 1978 and they have three children. His wife is an actress as well and is best known to the world as Jackie Schumaker in the TV series “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” (1986-1990).