Kelsey Grammer opened about the death of his younger sister and the loss of prominent family members in a new interview.
Grammer told BBC Radio 4 that the brutal death of his sister still haunts him, but he has since learned to forgive, but not to forget.
“I have learned to forgive. I have even told the guy I forgive him, although I don’t advocate his freedom. I don’t think that is reasonable,” Grammer said on the radio show.
In 1975, Grammer’s 18-year-old sister, Karen, was kidnapped outside of a restaurant by serial killer Freddie Glenn. Glenn reportedly raped the teenager before brutally attacking her, leaving her to die at the scene of the crime. Grammer identified his sister’s body a week later. He was just 20 at the time.
Glenn was convicted in 1976 for the killings Karen Grammer along with two other victims from the previous year. The Supreme Court made the decision to allow Glenn to seek parole after 30 years, but the former sitcom star has twice helped to block attempts for Glenn to receive parole as justice for his sister and the other families who suffered loss.
At a parole hearing in 2009, Kelsey wrote a letter to the court which said: “She was my best friend and the best person I knew. She had so much to live for. I loved my sister, Karen. I miss her. I miss her in my bones.”
“I was her big brother. I was supposed to protect her - I could not. I have never gotten over it... It very nearly destroyed me,” Grammer said.
Before his sister’s death, the 62-year-old star first experienced loss at the age of 13 when his father was killed during a home invasion. And following the death of his sister Karen, Grammer’s two half-brothers, Stephen and Billy, died in a scuba-diving accident in the Virgin Islands.
In April 2015, Grammer opened up to Vanity Fair about his struggle with drug and alcohol abuse and how his usage was triggered by the guilt he felt for his sister’s death.
“That was the time when I could not forgive myself for my sister’s death,” he confessed to the magazine. “I believe the gift of life and freedom he took from my sister precludes him from ever being allowed to enjoy that gift for himself. He took her future from her with no regard for her whatsoever. He assumed he had a right to do so. He assumed she was his property, and that the precious gift God gave her was his to take.”
Though Grammar has dealt with a lot of loss in his life, his shining light was the nearly two decades that he played Frasier on the popular 90s sitcom. Grammer told BBC Radio 4 that it “was a joy, always” to play Frasier – a character that he never got tired of playing.
“The beauty of playing Frasier was you could pretty much do everything. I mean, could pull out every trick I’ve got in my bag and it would still fit on “Frasier” he was loud and big and boisterous and then subtle and beautiful and touching, and you had all the notes you can play.”
Grammer’s private life, his marriages and romances are often found in the tabloids, but currently, the star remains happily married to Kayte Walsh, with whom he has three children.
“This lovely young woman lit up my world and changed my heart, which was a bit calloused and hardened against a lot of things,” he told Vanity Fair. “And we are good, and I feel young and alive.”