Carnegie Mellon University

Commencement Weekend

May 19 - 20, 2018

Ted Danson (CFA 1972)

Actor, Ocean Advocate

Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts

Ted Danson

Ted Danson, a 1972 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama, is an award-winning actor known for an array of exceptional performances, most notably for his role as bartender Sam Malone on NBC-TV’s iconic comedy “Cheers.” On the air for 11 seasons, “Cheers” won three Emmy Awards for Best Comedy Series and Danson won Emmys in 1990 and 1993 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy.

He is currently starring on “The Good Place” opposite Kristen Bell. The show premiered as a critics’ favorite and ratings hit for NBC.

Danson was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance on CBS’ “Becker,” played a supporting role on the Golden Globe nominated “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and starred in the critically acclaimed second season of “Fargo.” Other recent television credits include CBS’ long-running “CSI” and “CSI: Cyber” and FX’s “Damages.”

In film, Danson will be seen this summer in “Hearts Beat Loud,” which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. His film credits include “Three Men and a Baby,” “Three Men and a Little Lady” and Steven Spielberg’s epic production, “Saving Private Ryan.”

In addition to acting and producing, Danson is an environmental activist. He co-founded the American Oceans Campaign (AOC) in 1987 to increase awareness of the life-threatening hazards created by oil spills, off-shore development, toxic wastes and sewage. In 2001, the AOC merged with Oceana, which works to foster support for the protection and restoration of marine resources.

In 2011, Danson authored “Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them.” In 2017, President Bill Clinton presented Danson with Oceana’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his 30 years as an oceanic environmental activist.