Frasier may have followed the lives of Dr. Frasier Crane, his family, and his colleagues, but there was one character that was more interesting than the rest. Maris Crane is among the most mysterious television characters ever created, and fans of the series never got to see her face. That decision wasn’t made initially, though.
Maris Crane never appeared in Frasier
When fans first caught up with Frasier, his brother, Niles, was already in a loveless marriage. The ultra-wealthy Maris was never seen by fans and appeared to shy away from almost all social gatherings.
In fact, Maris was never physically shown on the series, although she was often referenced. It was also often suggested that she was in the same space as the show’s main characters. The fact that she was never physically seen added some interest to the otherwise light series.
Her anti-social traits became the butt of many jokes
Maris was proof that you can be too rich to function. At least, that is what the writers of Frasier believed. Within the first few episodes of the series, her neurosis and looks became the topic of many jokes.
By the first season, fans had learned that Maris exhausted quickly under pressure to be interesting. By the third season, fans were informed that Maris had the build of a coat rack and couldn’t keep pets because she “distrusts anything that loves her unconditionally.” Later, fans learned that Maris once sprained her wrist because she had too much dip on a cracker.
The writers had created such a vivid picture of Maris that they painted themselves into a corner. After all, where would they ever find an actor who not only looked the way Maris was described but could act so aloofly?
There is a practical reason Maris Crane was never seen in Frasier
While the mystery of Maris certainly added to the series, that’s not how the writers’ initially intended it. According to The Atlantic¸, the team behind the series had originally planned to keep Maris hidden for a few episodes as a nod to Cheers. Eventually, they wanted to reveal her, and the reveal was supposed to happen within the first season. The writers, however, did too good of a job describing the character.
According to the publications, the writers had described Maris in such perfect, perplexing detail that it would have been impossible to find an actor who would fit the physical build and looks of Maris. Instead of trying to make it work, the writers decided to keep Maris hidden.
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