Kelsey Grammer says "parting gift" to third wife was "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"
Grammer on politics: "I'm afraid I was destined to be a Republican"
Actor attributes TV longevity to "a kind of affability and vulnerability"
Watch the full interview with Kelsey Grammer on Monday night. “Piers Morgan Tonight” airs weeknights on CNN/US at 9 ET and on CNN International at 0200 GMT (live simulcast), 1200 GMT and 2000 GMT / HKT 1900.
When Piers Morgan asked Kelsey Grammer whether he thought his ex-wife, Camille, married him because he was a TV icon, the actor said, “no, I think she married me because I was Frasier.”
The veteran actor is a guest on Monday’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.”
Grammer also told the CNN host that his “parting gift” to his third wife was her role in the reality series “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
“Whether or not it worked well for her doesn’t matter,” Grammer said. “It was my way of saying, ‘Look, you always wanted to be famous. Here you go.’ “
Grammer told Morgan that while reality shows are not particularly a great way to become famous, “you still get attention; you still get all those things that come along for the ride, which I think is what she was most interested in.”
After three tumultuous marriages in as many decades, the actor says he has at last found happiness and true love with his fourth wife, Kayte, whom he met on a flight from Los Angeles to London. She was a flight attendant for Virgin Atlantic, and Grammer described spotting her at LAX.
“There was a warmth, a glow about her that I was drawn to. And I thought, ‘Boy, I hope she’s on my flight.’ “
The pair arranged to meet up for a first date on Christmas in London.
“It was magnificent,” Grammer said. “There were lights everywhere.”
When Morgan asked Grammer the secret to his long career in television – particularly the long-running “Frasier” role – the actor called it “a characteristic that can help you survive in television, which is a kind of affability and vulnerability. You allow yourself to be human.”
When Morgan pointed out that the “odd thing” about Grammer is that so few American television stars openly admit to being Republican, Grammer said, “I’m a bit of a rebel. I don’t tend to warm too well to people that tell me how I’m supposed to think. So, my life in Hollywood – I’m afraid I was destined to be a Republican.”
Grammer added that his Hollywood friends “tolerate me somehow, because I can at least state myself eloquently.”
“The tone of political assessment has changed,” continued Grammer. “And honestly, the battle for the hearts and minds of the American people has taken on a bit more of a violent and narrow approach.”
When Morgan asked Grammer whether he is sympathetic to the tea party, the actor answered, “I’m sympathetic to some of the principles, but I’m not sure that the tea party has behavioral problems, other than the ones that can be identified by people who are inimical to them.”
The actor pointed out that, like the tea party, he believes “smaller government’s a good idea. Always have. I think lower taxes are a good idea. Always have.”
Grammer does, however, fully support gay marriage, which many tea partiers oppose.
“I guess I’m more libertarian in that way,” Grammer said. “I think marriage is up to two people that love each other, and if you find a church that you want to get married in, you go right ahead.” Grammer added that he doesn’t believe the government should be involved in marriage.
Morgan asked Grammer, despite his conservative leanings, what he thinks of President Obama.
“I think Barack Obama’s election is a milestone for this country and a wonderful thing,” Grammer said. “The ‘hope’ thing, I don’t think hope can be given by a politician or by a vote. I think that comes from God.”
Grammer also pointed out that “hope itself is not a policy. It never has been. There’s no policy in hope. We can all hope. We can hope for free.”
When Morgan asked Grammer why he thinks America is “tanking economically,” the actor answered, “I would say greed. Greed that is at a profound level.”
Grammer also stated that there isn’t one Republican candidate that he’s gravitating toward just yet, telling the CNN host that Republican contenders “must inspire people to assume that they have a right to make their own decisions about what dreams they wish to dream. And dream as big as they possibly can.”