Maris Crane Never Appears in ‘Frasier’ for a Pretty Bizarre Reason

Frasier may have followed the lives of Dr. Frasier Crane, his family, and his colleagues, but there was one character that was more interesting than the rest. Maris Crane is among the most mysterious television characters ever created, and fans of the series never got to see her face. That decision wasn’t made initially, though.

Maris Crane never appeared in Frasier

When fans first caught up with Frasier, his brother, Niles, was already in a loveless marriage. The ultra-wealthy Maris was never seen by fans and appeared to shy away from almost all social gatherings.

The cast of 'Frasier' appears in promotional photos
The cast of ‘Frasier’ | David Rose/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

In fact, Maris was never physically shown on the series, although she was often referenced. It was also often suggested that she was in the same space as the show’s main characters. The fact that she was never physically seen added some interest to the otherwise light series.

Her anti-social traits became the butt of many jokes

Maris was proof that you can be too rich to function. At least, that is what the writers of Frasier believed. Within the first few episodes of the series, her neurosis and looks became the topic of many jokes.

By the first season, fans had learned that Maris exhausted quickly under pressure to be interesting. By the third season, fans were informed that Maris had the build of a coat rack and couldn’t keep pets because she “distrusts anything that loves her unconditionally.” Later, fans learned that Maris once sprained her wrist because she had too much dip on a cracker.

John Mahoney as Martin Crane, Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle, Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon and David Hyde Pierce as Doctor Niles Crane
John Mahoney as Martin Crane, Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle, Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon, and David Hyde Pierce as Doctor Niles Crane | David Rose/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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The writers had created such a vivid picture of Maris that they painted themselves into a corner. After all, where would they ever find an actor who not only looked the way Maris was described but could act so aloofly?

There is a practical reason Maris Crane was never seen in Frasier

While the mystery of Maris certainly added to the series,  that’s not how the writers’ initially intended it. According to The Atlantic¸, the team behind the series had originally planned to keep Maris hidden for a few episodes as a nod to Cheers. Eventually, they wanted to reveal her, and the reveal was supposed to happen within the first season. The writers, however, did too good of a job describing the character.

Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon, David Hyde Pierce as Doctor Niles Crane, Kelsey Grammer as Doctor Frasier Crane, John Mahoney as Martin Crane and Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle
Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon, David Hyde Pierce as Doctor Niles Crane, Kelsey Grammer as Doctor Frasier Crane, John Mahoney as Martin Crane and Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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According to the publications, the writers had described Maris in such perfect, perplexing detail that it would have been impossible to find an actor who would fit the physical build and looks of Maris. Instead of trying to make it work, the writers decided to keep Maris hidden.