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Public Affairs

'Frasier' Emmys come to SF State

September 29, 2006

Photo of President Robert A. Corrigan, Peter Casey and Rosemary CaseyPeter Casey, the renowned co-creator and executive producer of "Frasier," has donated five of his Emmy Awards to the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) Department.

Each of the five statuettes honors "Frasier," the 1993-2004 sitcom, for Outstanding Comedy Series. The critically acclaimed hit series, about a pompous yet endearing Seattle radio host and psychiatrist, won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series for five consecutive years, a record in television history. Overall, "Frasier" won a record 37 Emmy Awards.

The donated statuettes are on display in the SF State box office in the Creative Arts building. A quote from Casey above the statuettes reads: "It's all possible, and it all begins here at SF State." In the future, the statuettes will be displayed in the University's new Creative Arts building, scheduled to break ground in 2009 or 2010 and to open in late 2012.

Casey, who earned his bachelor's degree in radio and television from SF State in 1975, said he hopes the statuettes will serve as inspiration for students, faculty and fellow alumni to pursue their dreams and career goals.

"While I was a student, I never thought I'd be awarded an Emmy," said Casey, who has won seven Emmy Awards to date. "I want students to see these statuettes and realize that their dreams and career goals are possible."

Casey and his wife, Rosemary, a lyricist who is also a graduate of SF State's BECA Department, remain appreciative of BECA faculty for their support, guidance and encouragement. He credits the faculty for introducing him to television production and fostering the enthusiasm and self-confidence he needed to succeed in Hollywood.

Casey has offered extensive support to the BECA Department as an alumnus. He has paid a number of visits to television writing classes, and once hosted an alumni event on the "Frasier" set. In March, Casey served as host of the department's 60th anniversary celebration and media symposium.

"With this unique and personal gift, Peter Casey will continue to inspire the San Francisco State arts community, particularly our Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts students, for decades to come," said Wan-Lee Cheng, interim dean of the College of Creative Arts. "We are infinitely grateful to Mr. Casey for his generous contributions to BECA and the University as a whole. He is the consummate role model for SF State students."

Shortly after graduating from SF State, Casey moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a television writer. In 1978, after three and a half years of rejection, he and his writing partner David Lee sold a script to "The Jeffersons." The following year, they joined the show's staff as writers, and later became editors and producers. In 1985 Casey and Lee teamed up with David Angell to write and produce "Cheers."

After three and a half years at "Cheers," Casey, Angell and Lee formed Grub Street Productions and created their first hit sitcom, "Wings," which enjoyed critical and ratings success in its seven years. "Frasier" followed in 1993.

Casey was inducted into SF State's Alumni Hall of Fame in 2001 and was named the University's Alumnus of the Year in 2002.

Casey was born in San Francisco and grew up in the city's Sunset District. His mother, sister, sister-in-law and niece also attended SF State.

-- Matt Itelson
Photo: Lui Gino De Grandis


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Last modified September 29, 2006 by University Communications