A multi-Emmy-nominated actor and accomplished screenwriter, director, producer and author, John Ratzenberger may be best known for playing mail carrier Cliff Clavin on the long-running NBC sitcom “Cheers.” Prior to creating his character on Cheers, john lived overseas for 10 years and has worked as a carpenter, archery instructor, and deck hand on a fishing boat. He produced and starred in the Travel Channel series “Made in America,” which highlighted U.S.-made goods and workers. He is passionate about how important it is for this country to recognize the need for, and to provide the training to produce skilled laborers.
“My mother used to give me old radios and toasters, with the cords cut off,” said Ratzenberger. “She told us to take them apart. Growing up, everyone we knew could make something, and knew how to fix things. We are losing that and we need to get it back.”
“Kids today are not making things,” he said. “Instead they are going to college to get degrees and can’t get a job. There are plenty of jobs out there. We just need to teach kids the skills. Many today, do not even know how to use simple tools, hammers and screwdrivers. Manufacturers today say high school kids can’t even read a ruler. How are they going to build airplanes, build homes, or even perform simple household repairs?”
With “Made in America,” John established a television precedent and led the way for a new series of Dirty Jobs, Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers to celebrate the work ethic that built America. He co-authored A Common Man’s Salute to an Uncommon Country, published by Time Warner.
Along with work in feature films, from major studio blockbusters like Superman and Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back to independent films like the recent drama The Woodcarver, animation has been a natural home to his versatile vocal talents. Ratzenberger is the only actor to participate in every Pixar film, voicing the iconic characters of Mack the Truck, and Hamm the Piggy Bank. Due to John’s volume of film work, he is listed as the 6th most successful actor of all time in terms of box office receipts.
John is currently in pre-production on a new Television Series with the purpose to awaken Americans to the shortage of skilled workers that threatens our country as a whole. It will be a show about everything, highlighting America, its products, workers and citizens.
Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he attended St. Ann’s School in Bridgeport and Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. In 1971, he moved to London and while working as a carpenter in London, he began his career in the performing arts. John is also the developer and founder of ECOPACK, a biodegradable shipping material that replaces Styrofoam and is now used world wide.