Monday, June 25, 2012

What ever became of Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly?

Here's another reader question where I can go to the source itself. 

From Bradley:

Do you know what became of Jackie Swanson after Cheers? She was terrific as Kelly and I assume the writing staff agreed given all the excellent material she was given.

She was and is terrific.  Jackie was nice enough to provide this update.  As you'll see it's been quite a rollercoaster ride.  I must say, in light of everything, I'm struck by what a wonderful attitude she has.  There's a reason why Jackie always lit up the room.   Thanks for sharing your story, Jackie. 

Great hearing from you. I'm a longtime fan of your blog. Thanks to the person inquiring about me and what I'm up to.

This time last year, I was on the set of CONTAGION as Gwyneth Paltrow's body double. My wardrobe was exquisite! I worked with Steven Soderbergh. Great day with him in dual roles as both Director and DP. Steven the Director was also our cameraman. Also, he drives a gorgeous mint green vintage Volkswagen in real life.

In November, I had a great experience working in an ensemble comedy pilot written and directed by Deborah Ridpath. Sadly, three days later, my sister, Becky passed away. (Becky inspired me to become an actress. She was wonderful in a community theatre production of Our Town.) Liver failure due to complications after a long battle with alcoholism. Becky was not only my sister but one of my dearest closest friends. I spend lots of time with her son, my nephew Jack. Becky visited the Cheers set many times and was present when Woody married Kelly. Prince was also present for the wedding episode written by David Lloyd. Becky and I always made multiple trips to the candy drawer on the Cheers set.

Lots of commercial work. National campaigns for Stacey's Pita Chips, Orville Redenbacher, tech spots plus numerous car commercials and some PSA's for Various other spots. I love working in commercials. Some fantastic directors and very creative people involved. One day on a mountain in Aspen Colorado and another day on a frozen snow covered lake in Minnesota. Usually some great travel involved in commercial work. And I LOVE to travel.

On April 12th, I was driving on the 10 freeway mid-day. Traffic flowing at 65 mph and suddenly out of nowhere, Boom! I was hit by a "distracted" driver. She swerved across lanes of traffic and hit the right rear passenger side of my car. Basically a pit maneuver breaking my rear axle.

My car FLIPPED over and slid upside down a great distance. Came to rest upside down blocking lanes 3 and 4. The freeway was shut down. My car a total loss. I crawled out of the window onto the freeway. First time in ambulance. Fortunate no serious injuries and no broken bones. Concussion. Glass in right hand and ankle/foot lacerations. Bruised forehead. I was wearing my seat belt. And I honestly believe my health and fitness provided some protection. I am an avid runner. Very active and healthy. I am grateful to be alive. Too many "distracted" drivers, Ken. I'm sure you've noticed. Everywhere, driving seems to be secondary - people texting eating talking on the phone and people with pets in their laps. Kissing their dogs whilst driving. Yikes.

Looking forward to traveling this summer. Paris. And hiking Half-Dome in Yosemite. One of my favorite hikes! More work. Reading writing and cooking.

I'll be 49 on June 25th. Looking forward to it. Here's to Life. Cheers! Hope you and your family are well. Last time we saw one another was the memorial service for David Lloyd. One of my favorite television writers. For Cheers.  And for Mary Tyler Moore. Chuckles The Clown. Chuckles bites the dust.

Okay, I better send this off now. It's almost midnight and I have an audition tomorrow.  Read any good books lately? Any suggestions?  (Yeah.  Mine!)

My best. Talk with you soon.
Thank you.

Thank you.   I know I speak for all my readers when I send sincere condolences and best wishes for all good things in the future. 


Richard J. Marcej said...

Happy Birthday Jackie!

Sérgio said...

Absolutely, Ken! I also wish her all the best in life! Loved her in Cheers.

Sebastian Peitsch said...

Oh wow. Thanks Jackie! Awesome attitude to life. True inspiration yadda yadda :-D

You should get Ken's book FOR FREE for writing this great reply to Ken's inquiry.



Anvil said...

I'm interested to know if Jackie keeps in touch with Woody Harrelson. Their chemistry on Cheers was so sweet and naive. Betcha they had a lot of fun together in those roles.

Birdie said...

Awww...she sounds like a sweetie. Thanks for the update. Sorry for the recent setbacks she has had in her life but at least she sounds like a survivor with a healthy attitude towards life.

I loved her guest spot on The Golden Girls too - "where did you go to law school?" "A whole bunch of places!"

Paul Smith Jr. said...

Every year on my cousin Kelly's birthday I post a link to the Kelly song on her Facebook page even she's too young to have seen it when it first aired.

HCarvalho said...

Was she the one who played a very rich girl woody was dating, on one anniversary she received several high end cars (Ferraris, Lambourghinis, etc) woody offered her a song.

Steve Zeoli said...

Thanks for the update, Jackie. One of my favorite Cheers episodes (post Diane) is the one where Woody and Sam come to Kelly's so that Woody can propose to Kelly... wondering where all the one-legged Barbie dolls come from... and Kelly says, "Sometimes I get mad!" You were certainly a bright spot on a very bright series.

My condolences for your loss, my happiness that you came through your automobile accident okay, and my best wishes for a great hike at Yosemite.

W. Wilson said...

Good to see Kelly again! One of the funniest episodes in TV was the wedding. Hilaaaaarrrrious! Jackie's a natural beauty, the girl next door, but never next to my door.

Ken, her birthday's coming, and she'll need a book to read on that long flight to Paris.

Thanks for the update!

Harry Murphy said...

I auditioned with Jackie two weeks ago for a pizza commercial. She is a true pro and a real sweetheart (as well as a die-hard Van Halen fan)and I fell for her like a ton of bricks.

bmcmolo said...

Thanks for this! Great read - I for one would rather have seen you in Contagion and GP as the body double!

Max Clarke said...

Jackie did light up the room as Kelly, she sparkled.

Jackie had a great way of delivering her lines. You believed she could be smart and sophisticated and yet so innocent and sometimes dumb. There was a musical quality that made her enjoyable to hear, like the way she described that special rinse for her hair with the essence of wildflowers that had to be imported from Belgium.

Jackie also has one of my favorite lines from Cheers. Frasier wants Woody to run for the city council, and Kelly agrees, but Woody runs through the problems being a politician and says he won't run. Kelly says, "Okay, Mr Stubborn, from now on you can dance naked in front of the lava lamp all by your lonesome."

Woody reconsiders and says, "Okay, maybe just one term."

Happy 49, Jackie.

ChicagoJohn said...

Happy 49th, Jackie!
I'm sorry at your loss, but also relieved that you made it through such a bad car wreck virtually unscathed!

Not too ironically, I was just watching an episode of CHEERS the other day, and tried to catch the name of the actress who played Kelly.
Now I know, and I'll know to keep an eye out for your name in the future.

rdcobb said...

I've always loved the Kelly song (K-E-L-L-Y...'cause she's Kelly, Kelly, Kelly....)!!

Cap'n Bob said...

Thanks for the update. For what it's worth, Jackie's birthday is also the anniversary of Custer's Last Stand, which is today as I type this. Garryowen!

Tom Quigley said...

Jackie, you made the last two seasons of CHEERS even more fun to watch (the wedding episode, Kelly works at the bar, Kelly marries Henri so he can keep his green card, etc.) -- so glad you've continued to stay working and active since then.

Happy Birthday! So sorry to hear about the recent rough period in your life. Condolences on the passing of your sister, and hope you are well on the mend from the car accident!

God Bless You, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly! :-)

Tim Susman said...

It's great to hear from Jackie, though I would've wished things had gone a little better for her. Still, best wishes for future success and happy birthday today!

Bradley said...

Thanks to both you and Jackie for this terrific update! I'm glad to hear she's still working, especially in the face of her personal misfortune. She sounds every bit as lovely as I imagined and I wish her all the best in the future.

Happy birthday, Jackie!

blog said...

As the writer of the "Kelly, Kelly, Kellly" song, I can tell you that Jackie is a wonderful woman. And her hair is so clean.

Kelly Sedinger said...

My first name is Kelly. I was a senior in high school when THAT SONG was first heard by TV audiences nationwide. The next morning was, how to put this gently...THE ELEVENTH LEVEL OF HELL.

But best wishes to Jackie! I, too, have wondered where she went off to after Cheers.

Yorgen Smallersk said...

A very young Jackie Swanson ws in the first Lethal Weapon, playing the daughter of the rich tycoon who jumps off a balcony in the um, altogether. She was quite fetching in that role.

Jango said...

Happy Birthday Jackie, wishing you a fantastic year ahead.

ScottyB said...

Here's a Friday 'Cheers'/TV-show writer question for Ken: At what point of a show's run do y'all sit there hashing out a script for the week, have someone go, "You know what would be really cool? Let's have Carla's disembodied head float around Gary's bar and pretend it gives him a heart attack!" and know whether it's even possible (in '80s technology, that is) for someone to be able to make Carlas's big head float around in an endless video loop? I saw that episode early this morning in reruns and got to wondering.

A Non-Emus said...

Friday question: Jackie mentioned that Prince was present for the Woody/Kelly wedding episode. Any story there? (Comment: Jackie was in Prince's video "Raspberry Beret".)

mwh1980 said...

I think I've watched the episodes with Kelly Gaines more times than any of the other ones (I still haven't seen all the Carla-centric episodes).

I guess I really grew to love Jackie's portrayal of Kelly's naïveté and innocence at times. 'Loverboyd' is one of my favorite episodes, including the argument both Kelly and Woody have ("Hey! Are you putting down Daddy?" "I'm not putting down Daddy." "Don't call him Daddy! He's not your Daddy, he's my Daddy!").

I also loved her in the 'Rich Man Wood Man' episode, notably the scene where she cries, and it sounds more like a little girl than a grown woman, leading to one of Norm's funniest deliveries("Kelly...there, there."). That scene is then followed up by her disbelieving Norm's story about 'underground trains.'

mcwundertosh said...

Hope she moves back to Marquette and buys the Portside. And the Vereling. And Whiskers. The best restaurants in the UP.

James said...

So nice to read this update from Jackie Swanson! I've been watching old episodes of Cheers on Netflix recently and it really struck me what a fantastic actress she is, definitely my joint favorite "peripheral" character on the show alongside Nick Tortelli (Dan Hedaya). Not only that but I had a HUGE crush on her at the time - she was easily the best looking actress on TV and come to think of it I don't think I've seen a better looking actress since! It's nice to see that she's still successful and every bit as beautiful as she was back then.

Jan said...

Cheers being re-run in England now, so watching them all again, and as not seen Jackie since wondered how such a lovely lady had not appeared on ourscreens over here.sorry about accident, glad you are okay, watching cheers again just brings back such lovely happy days.
Take care. Where did those days go?

Roy Clark said...

Happy birthday beautiful lady the best wishes to you
I wish you the best of health and wealth may you be blessed

Peter said...

I always loved Cheers and I just watched the episode where Kelly is going to marry Henri on Fox Classics. In a show with such great writers and performers, Kelly really shines and at the end I checked who played her and googled Jackie Swanson, which led me here. I'm sorry she's had misfortune but I'm sure they've been many good times too and the thought that your performances from many years ago still makes people happy should be very rewarding. By the way, I'm down in Sydney, Australia and Cheers was very big here, and is still popular on the Classics channel.
All the Best, Peter

Mike said...

I think Woody & Kelly were one of the best TV couples ever. So simple and naive but very beautiful for a SITCOM. From their first meeting and Kelly dumping her rich boyfriend through their marriage and announcing their pregnancy on the televised city council debate. They were adorable even when the "fought" like during their honeymoon when Woody mentions they are from 2 different Lutheran Synods. Hilarious!
I wondered if it was it decided early on that they would get married or did it just evolve over the years?

Scott said...

This is not Jackie's writing style. She was born in Grand Rapids, MI, went to High School in Cadillac, MI and college at Northern Michigan... besides the fact that this blog entry doesn't match any of her other writings (chopped statements - no sentence structure)... I can tell you for certain that she didn't learn to say "whilst", whilst living in Michigan!