'Cheers' actor John Ratzenberger joining 'Dancing with the Stars 4'
By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 03/02/2007
John Ratzenberger, best known for portraying Cliff Claven on the sitcom Cheers, will replace The Sopranos actor Vincent Pastore on the upcoming fourth season of Dancing with the Stars, ABC announced on Good Morning America Friday.
On Wednesday, the 60-year-old Pastore announced he was leaving the reality competition series after only one week of training due to the "physical demands of a 10-week season" that he felt would be "too difficult" to undertake. At the time, Dancing with the Stars executive producer Conrad Green said ABC "appreciated him standing aside now rather than having to withdraw later."
It didn't take long to find a replacement for Pastore, since, according to ABC, the 59-year-old Ratzenberger had previously spurned an offer to join the Dancing with the Stars 4cast due to "a scheduling conflict." Ratzenberger will take Pastore's former partner, Edyta Sliwinska, as his own.
In addition to his mailman/barfly role on the popular NBC sitcom that aired from 1982 to 1993, Ratzenberger has more recently lent his voice to several popular animated movies, such as Pixar's Toy Story and Cars. Ratzenberger also produces and hosts John Ratzenberger'sMade In America, a Travel Channel reality series that takes viewers around the country to see how various American-made products are manufactured.
According to his representative, Ratzenberger doesn't expect the fact that he's joining the competition later than the rest of the cast to put him at a big disadvantage. "He likes to cut a rug. People will be surprised," Ratzenberger's rep told People.