Monday, February 14, 2011

Carla Tortelli


Perhaps the most mean-spirited of the "Cheers" staff, Carla Maria Victoria Angelina Teresa Apollonia Lozupone Tortelli LeBec grew up in the Federal Hill section of Providence, Rhode Island. Her father's name was "Benito" and her mother's maiden name was "Mussolini". When the show began she had four children, and when the show ended, she was the mother of eight children: Anthony, Serafina, Gino, Anne Marie, Lucinda (all fathered by Nick Tortelli), Ludlow (fathered Dr. Bennett Ludlow), and twins Elvis and Jesse (fathered by Eddie Lebec). A devoted and often-disappointed Boston Red Sox fan, she became friends with Pitcher Sam Malone during his baseball days and came to work for him at "Cheers" when he began working after he owned the bar. Carla was known for being both feisty and also highly superstitious. She expressed a particular dislike for the character of Diane Chambers, often referring to her by derogatory nicknames such as: "The Stick." She also had a long-standing dislike of Cliff Clavin. The only regulars in the bar that she seemed to be friendly with were Norm Peterson and Coach Pantusso, who were still not totally immune to her scathing wit. n several episodes, however, viewers saw that Carla Tortelli had a vulnerable side as well. In the cold open for the 10th Season episode, "Unplanned Parenthood," Carla came into "Cheers" early to set up the bar. She turned on a cheerful song from the jukebox and danced across the tables, smiling and laughing -- only to naturally return to her acidic ways when others arrived. Carla's promiscuity and sexual prowess (if not odd sexual tastes) becomes a running gag on the show. She describes herself as a "fast breeder", and gives birth four times during the show's run, each pregnancy produced by a different man. She likes dominant men; she tells Sam that "every woman wants to be controlled...Women like power". Despite this, she is depicted as being fairly unlucky when it came to dating, since most of the men she dated has one flaw or another. By the time the show started, Carla had already divorced her first husband, Nick Tortelli. Nick was sleazy and obnoxious. Despite Nick's inherent flaws and their apparently antagonistic relationship, he and Carla has a very passionate sex life which is often remarked on during the show. Carla had five children with Nick, the eldest of which, Anthony, bears a striking resemblance to him. The fifth child was fathered after she and Nick had divorced and was the first to be born while the show was running. In an effort to ensure that the child was supported financially, she convinced a cybernetics professor, Marshall, that he was the father. Marshall proposes marriage but the ruse was discovered by Diane, who guilted Carla into revealing the truth. After Marshall leaves angrily, the patrons of Cheers took up a collection, declaring the baby "theirs" by sponsorship. Carla's second husband was Eddie LeBec, a hockey player. Carla and Eddie met during the show's fifth season and began dating while Eddie was on a winning streak. Unfortunately, once they began dating, Eddie's streak came to an end and, since both of them were superstitious, they ended their relationship in order to avoid ruining Eddie's ability to play. They reconciled shortly thereafter and began a practice of breaking up before every game to avoid the "curse." Eddie and Carla married in the show's sixth season after it was revealed that Carla was pregnant with twins. They remained together until Eddie was killed by a Zamboni in the eighth season. At the funeral, it was revealed that he had cheated on Carla while away with the ice show that he had joined after being fired from the Bruins. He had married his mistress, Gloria, out of obligation after he had impregnated her. Carla went back to her previous married name ("Tortelli") to avoid being confused with the other "Mrs. LeBec." After the death of her second husband, her attempts to date Red Sox player Darryl Mead are thwarted by paranoid hallucinations of her second husband appearing to her in various places. She takes this as a "sign" and breaks off the relationship. Later on in the series, Carla becomes unaccountably attracted to John Allen Hill, who runs Melville's seafood restaurant upstairs from Cheers. Sam even finds him as an overnight guest in Carla's house.


Rhea Jo Perlman was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Jewish parents, Philip and Adele Perlman. Her father was an actor and a doll and toy part salesman. Her sister, Heide, was a writer, story editor, and producer on the television show "Cheers." Perlman attended Hunter College in New York and became an active Democrat. Perlman guest starred on the television sitcom "Taxi," playing Danny DeVito's girlfriend (Zena Sherman) for five episodes. The year before she was cast in "Cheers," Perlman married DeVito, who later played her husband in the film "Matilda." The couple has three children together. Perlman received ten Emmy Award nominations for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series" ("Cheers" ran for eleven seasons). Ted Danson was the only "Cheers" star to be nominated more times than Perlman over the course of the series. The only season in which Perlman was not nominated for playing Carla Tortelli was during season 10. Although she was nominated ten times, she only won four of the awards. This was still a remarkable feat and very deserving. Perlman starred in an episode of Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories," a television mythology series. The episode was titled "The Wedding Ring," and also starred DeVito. Guest appearances, a Short-lived sitcom, and TV movies would also be added to Perlman's résumé. Her Birthday is March 31st.

No comments:

Post a Comment