Kelsey Grammer On Lunch, Turning 60 And Learning To Live With Loss

Kelsey Grammer was born to survive.

According to Vanity Fair, Grammer, who recently turned 60, announced “It feels better than 40 did!” Grammer has been married to Britain’s Kayte Walsh for four years now, and the couple, along with their two children, live happily in Los Angeles, New York City and Holmby Hills. Grammer has six children in all.

Grammer has also returned to Broadway, to the play Finding Neverland. The original story, by Allen Knee, revolves around Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie a the family that inspired Barrie to write the story. Grammer plays Charles Frohman, the man who originally produced the play back in 1904. The play also marks the theater directorial debut of movie producer Harvey Weinstein. The play opened Wednesday, April 15 at the Lunt-Fontanne theater.

Rehearsal for Grammer, though, is quite boring. “I like audiences and performing and, you know … applause!” It’s a gift Grammer so richly deserves, when you look back at his life. At the height of Grammer’s popularity, when playing the venerable Dr. Frasier Crane on Cheers, then later on Frasier, Grammer was addicted to alcohol and cocaine, to the point where it almost took his life. As he looks back on it, Grammer admits, “I’ll speak to the straight of it, that was the time when I could not forgive myself for my sister’s death.”

ABC news reports that there were other deaths, like Grammer’s estranged father being shot to death by a psychopath, and two half-brothers dying in a scuba diving accident. The most painful of all, however, was Grammer’s sister, Karen, who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by spree killer Freddie Glenn, along with two accomplices, in Colorado in 1975. Grammer had to identify his sister, then tell his mother.

“I miss her in my bones,” Grammer wrote to the parole board. “I was her big brother. I was supposed to protect her — I could not…. It very nearly destroyed me,” Grammer wrote to the Colorado parole board back in 2009 when Glenn became available for parole. Grammer also added that, though Glenn may feel remorse for what he had done, he should not be allowed to be released.

“I believe the gift of life and freedom he took from my sister precludes him from ever being allowed to enjoy that gift for himself,” Grammer explained. “He took her future from her with no regard for her whatsoever. He assumed he had a right to do so. He assumed she was his property, and that the precious gift God gave her was his to take.”

Glenn was denied parole.

Grammer puts it all into perspective now. “That every one of us is going to experience some terrible loss. I just got a big dose. For every story you hear that’s tragic, there’s another that’s equally tragic or more so. I think you come to look at it as part of life.”

[Image courtesy of Celebrity Cars Blog]