established herself in feature films, became a star on TV, then returned to movies with decidedly mixed results.
She worked in TV, both as producer and performer, before joining Chicago's Second City comedy troupe. Her first film was A Small Circle of Friends (1980), followed by one of the female leads in Caveman (1981). Long's performance as the cheerful hooker in Night Shift (1982) led to her casting as snooty barmaid Diane Chambers in Cheers
(1982-87), a tailormade role that brought her stardom and an Emmy. (Around that same time, she made Losin' It a small-scale comedy released in 1983, in which she starred opposite an upand-comer named Tom Cruise
) She was equally effective as a screenwriter in Irreconcilable Differences (1984), which encouraged her to leave her hit sitcom in 1987 to concentrate on features. Long did excellent work in such lightweight fare as The Money Pit (1986), Hello Again (1987), and Outrageous Fortune (also 1987, felicitously teamed with Bette Midler
), but increasingly poor career choices (1989's Troop Beverly Hills, 1990's Don't Tell Her It's Me and poorer scripts have derailed her express train to stardom-temporarily, at least. In 1992 she starred opposite fellow TV star Corbin Bernsen
in Frozen Assets She launched another starring sitcom Good Advice
(1993-94) before playing Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie (1995).
Copyright © 1994 Leonard Maltin, used by arrangement with Signet, a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc.