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Ted Danson joined James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio and talked about how he got his unexpected and unintended start as an actor. Danson was a freshman at Stanford University when he asked out a young cafeteria worker, Beth, for coffee. Instead of having coffee like he’d intended, Danson soon found himself auditioning for the first time.
Danson explained, “There was a girl named Beth who worked in the freshman dorm serving food at the cafeteria, and I thought that maybe I might be able to ask her out for coffee, and she said, ‘I have to go audition for a play.’ I went, ‘Oh, can I come?’ The only way to stay in the room was to audition, and I wanted to be with Beth. So …”
Danson improvised and got a laugh from the people in the room. He said he remembered thinking, “It’s not as good as basketball, but that laugh was really nice.”
Danson got a part in the play and never looked back. That audition spawned a career spanning decades, highlighted by dozens of movie and television roles including that of Sam Malone in the iconic sitcom Cheers.
“I literally backed my station wagon up that had a mattress in the back to the back of the theater and never left. Just hooked. I dropped all my other classes,” Danson said.
Inside the Actors Studio airs on Bravo. For more information, check the show’s website.
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