George Robert Wendt Jr. is an actor and comedian from the United States. He is best known for playing Norm Peterson on the TV show Cheers.
This role got him nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series six times in a row. He also played the part in the short-lived spin-off The Tortellis and in an episode of Wings, which was made by the same people.
Wendt also had his own sitcom after Cheers called The George Wendt Show, but it only lasted a few episodes before it was canceled. His many movie roles include Fletch, Gung Ho, Dreamscape, House, Forever Young, Hostage for a Day, Man of the House, and Lakeboat.
How George Wendt Made Her Net Worth?
George has been in more than 155 movies and TV shows. His work in theaters has also helped him make money. So, if you were wondering, George Wendt’s net worth as of early 2020 is estimated to be $25 million. Most of his wealth comes from his success as an American actor and comedian.
Early Life and Career of George Wendt
George Robert Wendt Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, on October 17, 1948. He grew up in a family with Irish and German roots in the Chicago neighborhood of Beverly, Illinois. He had eight siblings.
Tom Howard, his grandfather, was a well-known photographer. Jason Sudeikis, who acts, is his nephew. Even though he was born in Chicago, he went to high school in Wisconsin, in Prairie du Chien.
Wendt went to the University of Notre Dame after he graduated from high school. During his first semester, he got a 0.00 GPA.
This got him kicked out of school right away. But George went to Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri, to continue his education after high school. He went to class this time, and in the end, he got a Bachelor of Arts in economics.
Start Off a Job
Wendt graduated from The Second City in 1975. He found out about it right after college. He joined because of what he saw, and on his first day of work, he did as he was told and showed up at 11:30 am.
The woman working there gave him a broom and said, “Welcome to the theater, kid.” His first job in show business was to sweep the floors. He also met his future wife, Bernadette Birkett, at Second City.
She played Cliff’s Halloween date in the third season of Cheers, and she later did the voice of Norm’s never-seen wife, Vera, in later seasons of the show. Wendt played small parts in the TV shows Taxi, Soap, and M*A*S*H.
He was also in the 1980 movie My Bodyguard. In 1982, Gary David Goldberg’s CBS sitcom Making the Grade gave Wendt his first regular role. The show was called “Making the Grade.” After six episodes, the show was canceled in the spring of that year.
Wendt played Norm Peterson in all 275 episodes of Cheers from 1982 to 1993. Wendt was nominated six times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on Cheers.
He also played the part in the short-lived spin-off The Tortellis and in an episode of Wings, which was made by the same people.
In season 11 (1985–1986), he made his first appearance on Saturday Night Live. He co-hosted an episode with director Francis Ford Coppola. In the New Zealand movie Never Say Die, which came out in 1988, he played the part of “Witten.”
In the early 1990s, Wendt made a few guest appearances on SNL as one of the Chicago Superfans, Bob Swerski (along with cast members Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Robert Smigel, and one-time host, Joe Mantegna).
People say that Wendt’s character Bob Swerski is a “spot-on” representation of people from Chicago’s south side because he grew up as a fan of his hometown’s White Sox and Bears.
Wendt played the main character, Oblomov, in a BBC TV dramatization of Ivan Goncharov’s book Oblomov in 1989. He has also been on the British version of the show Whose Line Is It Anyway? twice.
Wendt played the father in Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” music video from 1991. He was in the movies Guilty by Suspicion with Robert De Niro in 1991 and Forever Young with Mel Gibson in 1992.
After Cheers, Wendt had a short-lived show called The George Wendt Show, in which he played a garage mechanic with a radio show. The show was based on the NPR show Car Talk. From March to April 1995, the George Wendt Show was on the air.
Wendt played the killer, a thoroughbred horse owner, in one of the last episodes of the TV show Columbo. The episode, called “Strange Bedfellows,” aired in 1995.
Wendt played himself on Seinfeld and has played Norm Peterson again in “Fear of Flying” from The Simpsons, “Road to Rupert” and “Three Kings” from Family Guy, and “Cheerful Goodbyes” from Frasier.
Wendt was a guest star on Frasier in the same year that he played the bartender in Becker with Ted Danson (the inverse of their relationship on Cheers). In 1994, he played Chet Bronski, the stepfather of Norman (Zachary Browne), in the movie Man of the House.
He was in the movie with Chevy Chase, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and Farrah Fawcett. In the 1999 movie Outside Providence, he played Joey, Old Man Dunphy’s friend who was gay but didn’t want anyone to know.
Wendt joined the cast of the NBC sitcom The Naked Truth at the beginning of 1997. He played Les Polonsky, the new owner of the celebrity tabloid where the main characters of the show worked.
Wendt’s part in The Naked Truth only lasted 13 episodes because the show changed even more for the next season. Wendt was one of the three characters in a 1998 production of “Art” in London’s West End, which also starred David Dukes and Stacy Keach.
Later, he would join the cast of the play on Broadway, where he would star alongside Judd Hirsch and Joe Morton. Wendt played a famous fisherman in the music video for “Riot Industry” by Cobra Verde in 2003.
He was in the video with Rudy Ray Moore (“Dolemite”) and Mike Watt of The Minutemen. He played Sabrina’s boss in a few episodes of The WB’s Sabrina, The Teenage Witch in 2001. In 2004, he also hosted the reality show House of Dreams on A&E.
Wendt was back on TV in January 2006, when he joined the cast of Modern Men. He has also been a guest on the show The Larry Sanders Show. Wendt went on Late Night with Conan O’Brien several times in 2006 to do short skits.
Most likely, he went on Late Night because the show was having a week-long event in Chicago, where he lives. In 2006, he was in an episode of Masters of Horror called “Family,” which was directed by John Landis.
In the ABC Family original film Santa Baby, he played Santa Claus. In October 2006, Wendt and Richard Thomas were in Twelve Angry Men at the Eisenhower Theatre in Washington, D.C.
After the show opened, Wendt was interviewed by local film critic Arch Campbell for a piece on the NBC Washington affiliate WRC. Wendt was asked, “What should people do when they see you around town?”
After hesitating for a moment, Wendt put his thumbs up and said, “If their first instinct is to buy me a beer, then by all means, do that.” In the spring of 2007, Wendt performed in 12 Angry Men in Los Angeles.
In the 2007 Christmas Special episode of the British sitcom The Green Green Grass, Wendt played an American GI. George played the role of Edna Turnblad in the Broadway show Hairspray until November 2008.
During Season 6, he was a talent scout on Last Comic Standing with John Ratzenberger, who he worked with on Cheers. In the movie A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!, he played Santa Claus for a short time.
He was also in Seth Landau’s horror movie Bryan Loves You, which came out in 2008. Wendt was on The Colbert Report on October 1, 2009, one day before the IOC chose which city will host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
As a way of supporting Chicago’s bid for the games, Wendt and Stephen Colbert made fun of Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, and Tokyo while drinking Old Style Beer, which is the city’s favorite beer. Wendt played Santa Claus in the 2009 movie Santa Buddies. He also had a small part in the movie Opposite Day.
Wendt played the role of Edna Turnblad again in a production of Hairspray at the Charlottetown Festival in Prince Edward Island, Canada, from September 8 to October 9, 2010. Wendt played Santa in the Broadway musical Elf.
The show opened on November 14, 2010, and ran until January 2, 2011. Wendt played Edna Turnblad in a production of Hairspray at Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada’s Rainbow Stage from August 2 to August 21, 2011.
Wendt also had a guest role as Yoder on the TV show Hot in Cleveland, which was based on his role as Norm on the show Cheers. His first of two scenes took place in an Amish bar, where everyone yelled “Yoder!” like the cast of Cheers did every time he walked in.
Wendt is one of the actors who helped make posters to promote live theater in Chicago. John Mahoney, John Malkovich, Terry Kinney, and Martha Plimpton were among the other famous people there.
On January 25, 2013, Wendt makes a guest appearance on Portlandia as a newspaper reporter. At the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Auburn, New York, Wendt was supposed to play the part of Pap in the Hank Williams bio-musical Lost Highway.
Starting in the fall of 2013, Wendt was in a State Farm Insurance commercial that ran on TV. Wendt and Robert Smigel play the Chicago Superfans, which is a role they played on SNL. They meet quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The ad used the “discount double check” slogan, which had been used in other State Farm ads with Rodgers.
Wendt and his wife, actress Bernadette Birkett, starred in the comedy Never Too Late at the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas, from November 6, 2013, to January 19, 2014.
In this play, Wendt plays a successful lumber yard owner who is the king of his castle and whose life is going exactly the way he wants it to until his wife comes back from a doctor’s appointment with some big news.
Wendt starred with Tim Kazurinsky, who he had worked with at Second City, in the new comedy Funnyman by Bruce Graham at Northlight Theatre in 2015. Wendt was in the TBS comedy Clipped, which ran for one season the same year.
In June 2016, in Baltimore, Wendt played Tracy Turnblad’s mother in a production of Hairspray with John Waters and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
From November 30, 2016, to February 12, 2017, Wendt was the star of The Fabulous Lipitones at New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas.
From October 18 to November 4, 2017, Wendt played Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman at St. Jacob’s Country Playhouse in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Wendt competed on season nine of The Masked Singer as “Moose” in 2023. During the performance, he mostly sat down. He was sent home with Christine Quinn as “Scorpio” on “80s Night.”