The Rise and Fall of Shelley Long: An Inside Look at the Actress Who Captivated America
In the 1980s, Shelley Long was America’s sweetheart. She captured everyone’s heart as Diane Chambers in the hit TV show, Cheers. However, her career came to a standstill in the 1990s, and she became known as a cautionary tale in Hollywood. In this blog, we take an inside look at Shelley Long’s rise and fall.
Early Life and Career
Shelley Lee Long was born on August 23, 1949, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She graduated from Chicago’s The Second City training center and pursued a career in comedy. She gained recognition when she joined the cast of the TV show, Cheers, as Diane Chambers in 1982. The role was a breakthrough for her, and she won two Emmy awards for her performance.
The Height of Her Career
Shelley Long’s success continued in the mid-1980s. She worked on several movies like Night Shift, Outrageous Fortune, and Troop Beverly Hills. However, her most significant success was with the romantic-comedy, The Money Pit, with co-star Tom Hanks. The movie was a massive hit and cemented Shelley Long’s place as a movie star.
Shelley Long’s career started to decline in the late 1980s and early 1990s. After leaving Cheers, she turned down the offer to appear in the spin-off series, Frasier, which proved to be a massive mistake. Her movie career also suffered after a string of box office flops. Her 1995 movie, A Very Brady Sequel, proved to be her last significant project before fading from the screen.
The Reasons Behind Her Decline
Shelley Long’s transition from TV to movies was one of the main reasons behind her career decline. She struggled to replicate her TV success in movies, and many of her films failed to resonate with audiences. Additionally, her reputation as a difficult and demanding actress made her unpopular amongst Hollywood executives, further hindering her career prospects.
Life After Hollywood
After her Hollywood career stalled, Shelley Long remained out of the spotlight. She did small TV and movie roles, but nothing significant. She also turned her attention to the stage, and her notable stage roles include ‘Don’t Look Back,’ ‘Love, Loss, and What I Wore,’ and ‘On Golden Pond.’
In 2020, Shelley Long returned to TV with a guest appearance on the Showtime series, ‘Moonbase 8’. The role marked her return to acting after a long break, and many fans were happy to see her back on screen. She still occasionally appears in small roles in movies and TV shows, but her critical success has not returned.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What happened to Shelley Long?
Shelley Long’s career declined in the late 1980s and 1990s after leaving Cheers. She struggled to replicate her success in Hollywood and turned to the stage for acting opportunities.
2. What was Shelley Long’s most successful project?
Shelley Long’s most successful project was the 1986 movie, The Money Pit.
3. Why did Shelley Long leave Cheers?
Shelley Long left Cheers after five seasons of her character, Diane Chambers, marrying Frasier Crane.
4. Did Shelley Long ever act in movies besides Cheers?
Yes, Shelley Long acted in several movies like Night Shift, Outrageous Fortune, and Troop Beverly Hills.
5. Did Shelley Long have trouble with Hollywood executives?
Yes, Shelley Long’s reputation as a difficult and demanding actress made her unpopular amongst Hollywood executives.
6. What is Shelley Long doing now?
Shelley Long still occasionally appears in small roles in movies and TV shows. She recently returned to TV with a guest appearance on the Showtime series, ‘Moonbase 8.’
7. What awards did Shelley Long win?
Shelley Long won two Emmy awards for her role as Diane Chambers in Cheers.
Shelley Long’s rise and fall in Hollywood is a cautionary tale of the industry’s fickleness and how one wrong decision can ruin a career. However, it’s also a story of resilience and talent. Shelley Long’s legacy in Hollywood is secure, and her contributions to the entertainment industry will never be forgotten. If she ever decides to return to acting full-time, we hope to see her in more significant roles and reclaim her position as one of Hollywood’s brightest stars.