“Remembering Frances Sternhagen: Broadway’s Storied Talent and Cheers Icon”



Frances Sternhagen: A Tribute to the Storied Broadway Star and Cheers Icon

Frances Sternhagen, the revered Broadway luminary celebrated with two Tony Awards and remembered for her role as Esther Clavin on Cheers, has passed away at the age of 93. The news of her peaceful demise due to natural causes was conveyed by her son, actor John Carlin.

Early Life and Education

Born on January 13, 1930, in Washington, D.C., Sternhagen’s journey into acting began with a childhood steeped in artistic influences. At Vassar College, she became the Drama Club leader, captivating audiences with her talent. Her passion for the performing arts flourished, leading her to formal education in drama.

The Broadway Breakthrough

Sternhagen’s ascent to stardom unfolded on Broadway. Her debut in the 1955 production of The Good Soup marked the beginning of a remarkable journey. New York became the backdrop for her early success, setting the stage for a legendary Broadway career.

Noteworthy Works

Some of Sternhagen’s standout works include her roles in On Golden Pond (1981), Misery (1990), Starting Over (1979), The Mist (2007), Cheers (1982-1993), and Sex and The City (1998).

Tony and Other Awards

Sternhagen clinched two Tony Awards for Best Supporting Actress (Dramatic), the first in 1974 for The Good Doctor and the second in 1995 for The Heiress. Her stellar contributions earned her nominations for five additional Tony Awards, showcasing her versatility in various productions.

Unforgettable Roles

While Sternhagen’s talent transcended Broadway, her portrayal of Esther Clavin on Cheers remains iconic. Her comically stern depiction of the demanding mother of postman Cliff Claven showcased her versatility and left an indelible mark on television.

Personal Life

In graduate school, Sternhagen met Thomas A. Carlin, and they married in 1956, raising a family of four sons and two daughters until his passing in 1991. A fixture in New Rochelle, New York, Sternhagen peacefully passed away at her residence on November 27, 2023, leaving behind a legacy of remarkable performances and contributions to the world of entertainment.