Kelsey Grammer Remembers ‘Frasier’ Co-Creator David Angell, Who Perished In 9/11 Attacks, And A Somber Trip To Ground Zero

Editor’s notice: A part of a collection of tales tied to the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

The most important Hollywood title among the many victims of the September 11 terrorist assaults was Frasier co-creator/government producer David Angell, who alongside along with his spouse of 30 years, Lynn, had been among the many passengers of the hijacked American Airways Flight 11 that crashed into the World Commerce Middle. They had been flying from their dwelling in Cape Cod (through Boston) to Los Angeles so David might attend the desk learn for the following episode of Frasier in addition to the upcoming Primetime Emmy Awards, the place the present as soon as once more was up for a slew of trophies having already set a brand new file with 5 consecutive Excellent Comedy Collection wins.

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Frasier star/government producer Kelsey Grammer, who first labored with Angell on Cheers earlier than re-teaming with him and fellow Frasier co-creators/government producers Peter Casey and David Lee for the spinoff, seemed again on the occasions of 9/11 and his relationship with Angell.

“It’s a day of loss that I all the time keep in mind,” Grammer mentioned.

(L-R) David Hyde Pierce, Kelsey Grammer and John Mahoney in “Frasier” - Credit: Everett

(L-R) David Hyde Pierce, Kelsey Grammer and John Mahoney in “Frasier” – Credit score: Everett


Frasier was not in manufacturing on September 11, 2001, so Grammer was dwelling when the assaults occurred early that morning.

“I used to be woke up by a good friend of mine who lives in New York. He mentioned, ‘They received us, they received us, they’ve taken out the World Commerce towers.’ I turned on the TV and noticed what was occurring. I keep in mind I’d invited David and his spouse to return to a celebration that weekend; I spoke to him on Saturday. He mentioned, ‘Oh, we had been going to return dwelling however we determined we’d keep an additional couple of days. We’re going to return again on Tuesday.’ ”

That was the final time Grammer spoke with Angell. And when the actor woke as much as the information of the assaults, one among his first ideas was in regards to the Frasier co-creator.

“I appear to recollect saying to myself, oh, Lord, I hope that isn’t the flight he was going to take dwelling, after which in fact I came upon that it was.”

Frasier went darkish for a few weeks within the speedy aftermath of the assaults.

“I believe there was some alarm on the studios that there could be one thing within the works, some terrorist exercise, in order that they locked down the studios, I keep in mind, for a minimum of just a few days to verify there was nothing occurring,” Grammer mentioned.

Through the break, Grammer reached out to the management of New York Metropolis. With their permission, on the third day after 9/11 when flights resumed, he chartered a small personal airplane to go to Floor Zero.

“I ended up bumping into James Belushi there. We spent a while with firemen as they pulled a few our bodies out of the rubble. That was a really powerful day. A nurse got here out and mentioned, ‘Will you guys go go to the morgue? There’s no excellent news right here. It’d make individuals really feel good to see you there.’ We did that and mentioned howdy to the medical doctors and thanked them. It was a reasonably troublesome time, however I used to be glad I went. It was simply a part of our mourning.”

After manufacturing resumed, Angell was celebrated at a memorial attended by individuals who had labored with him all through his profession, together with on Frasier, Cheers and Wings.

“There was a gathering that was put collectively by the opposite producers the place individuals received up and spoke about him,” Grammer mentioned. “He was a terrific author. He was additionally a very nice man. It was nice to know him, and so dropping him was one thing all people felt like a intestine shot.”

Grammer additionally shared some private recollections from working with Angell on Frasier.

“I all the time keep in mind we’d sneak into the espresso store and discuss what was flawed with the present, simply the 2 of us. We had a pleasant open dialogue of what we thought was the suitable manner for the characters to go and stuff like that,” he mentioned. “There was one present that we had been doing collectively that I took it very personally. I believed Frasier’s relationship along with his dad was one of the best it’d ever been. Abruptly they each came upon they’d been betrayed by their wives. Frasier for the primary time was discovering out that his mom had truly cheated on his dad, and that his dad had by no means actually mentioned something. They all the time thought it was dad that went outdoors the wedding, and it form of broke Frasier’s coronary heart. I keep in mind pondering it was okay to finish on a bittersweet notice. David got here up and mentioned, ‘I respect that but it surely’s nonetheless a comedy. Now we have to do one thing slightly totally different.’ He all the time knew what present he was writing. He all the time knew what wanted to be humorous. He was all the time superb at ensuring the viewers was allowed to go away the room with amusing.”

20 years later, Angell, Casey and Lee’s creation has endured. Frasier stays the comedy collection with most Emmy wins of all time, 37, and is now plotting a return with a brand new incarnation for Paramount+ spearheaded by Grammer.

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