John Ratzenberger Named to SHU Board of Trustees

News Story:

FAIRFIELD, Conn.— Sacred Heart University has named John Ratzenberger to its Board of Trustees, the institution’s top governing body.

Ratzenberger, a Bridgeport native, is one of television’s most successful and well-known stars. He is a successful screenwriter, director, producer and multi-Emmy nominated actor, who initially captured the attention of the general public when he played mail carrier Clifford Clavin on Cheers. He is also an accomplished entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Ratzenberger attended Sacred Heart University, majoring in English literature. During these college years, he joined the drama club and starred in his first lead in Tennessee Williams’s Summer and Smoke, setting the groundwork for a versatile career in television and movies.

Just as he had his regular spot along the bar in Cheers, Ratzenberger has found a regular spot in Pixar films.  He is the only actor to voice a role in all of the Pixar films. It began with the charming and witty Hamm the piggy bank in Toy Story 1 (1995) and 2 (1999). Then came P.T. Flea, the excitable circus ringmaster in Bug's Life (1998), and the lovable snow monster Yeti in Monsters, Inc. (2002). In the best-selling DVD in history, Ratzenberger plays the ever-changing school of Moonfish in Finding Nemo (2003). Most recently, he was heard as the villainous Underminer in Pixar's Incredibles (2004), and as a Mac truck in Cars (2005) and the waiter Mustafa in Ratatouille.  He will also appear in Toy Story 3 and WALL-E, both in production.

Despite his Hollywood fame, Ratzenberger is still connected to his roots, actively participating in Bridgeport-area events. In recent years, he has filmed footage in Bridgeport and Stratford for his latest television show, John Ratzenberger's Made in America, which is a 30-minute show on The Travel Channel. In each episode, Ratzenberger visits various American manufacturers, taking the show's viewers along on the tours and showing how various everyday items are made.  This year, John added iconic America locations to the show’s profile as well.  Season 5 of John Ratzenberger’s Made in America premieres April 2nd, 2008 on the Travel Channel.

On July 1 of this year, Ratzenberger led the Barnum Festival Great Street Parade in downtown Bridgeport as honorary grand marshal. Two days later, he performed a dance duet with professional ballroom dancer Edyta Sliwinska at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport with the touring production of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

As a humanitarian, Ratzenberger has served as chairman of www.childrenwithdiabetes.com, the world's largest Internet venture connecting diabetes information and research.   As National Walk Chairman, he has raised over $100 million for diabetes, the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.  John has also created the non-profit Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs Foundation to inspire the next generation of engineers, artists, craftsman, carpenters, and all around ‘tinkerers’.  Visit www.nutsandboltsfoundation.org for more.

Ratzenberger’s success in a variety of fields has earned him a diverse array of awards. In 1992, Sacred Heart University honored him with a Doctorate of Humane Letters for his contribution to the American arts. He earned the "Father of the Year" Award in 1996 by the Father's Day Council of America and he received the Outstanding Role Model Award from the American Diabetes Association. As a comic talent, he earned outstanding supporting actor Emmy (1985-1986) nominations, with Cheers earning a record 28 Emmys.