Kelsey Grammer Talks Family Tragedy That "Nearly Destroyed" Him


January 4, 2018

His roles on Cheers and its spin-off show Frasier made us laugh, but actor Kelsey Grammer's life story is surprisingly tragic.

While we all have our share of unhappy memories, Grammer's early life was one misfortune after another, ending with a tragic crime that still haunts the actor to this day.

Born on the U.S. Virgin Islands, Grammer was just 2 years old when his parents divorced. He and his younger sister, Karen, were raised by their mother and grandfather during their childhood. But in the space of a few years, the Grammer family's world was rocked twice more.

First, Kelsey and Karen's grandfather died. Then, their father, a local restaurant owner, was murdered during a home invasion when Kelsey was just 13.

As the actor revealed, at such a young age he was more familiar with tragedy than many adults.

"Every one of us is going to experience some terrible loss," he said. "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.”

But the worst was still yet to come. The Grammer family had moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado in the 1970s, putting them on a collision course with one of America's most notorious spree killers.

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