‘Cheers’: Does Norm’s Often-Mentioned Wife, Vera, Ever Appear on Show?

by Matthew Wilson

“Cheers” may have been a place where everyone knows your name. But Norm’s often-mentioned wife Vera was a bit of a no-show on the series. So did Vera actually ever appear on the hit sitcom? She did once, sort of.

Viewers finally got to meet Norm’s much-talked-about wife Vera during “Cheers” fifth season episode “Thanksgiving Orphans.” But unfortunately for curious viewers, you don’t get a good look at her. The barroom gang consisting of Diane, Woody, Cliff, Sam, Carla, and Fraiser got into quite the food fight. A Thanksgiving feast turned into a no-holds-barred as the characters threw all kinds of holiday dishes.

A misthrown pie ruined the chances of viewers ever properly meeting Vera. Diane launched the dessert at Sam but ended up hitting Vera as she entered the bar. With a face full of chocolate icing, Vera’s looks are hidden away from the audience. It’s the most that audiences ever get to see Norm’s wife on “Cheers.”

“Charming friends, dear,” Vera told her husband. “Get your coat.”

Two Actors Played Norm’s Wife on ‘Cheers’

The truth is no actor probably could have played Vera and lived up to Norm’s description of her. “Cheers” liked to tease audiences with the off-screen character. And she ended up being one of the greatest jokes of the show, given her larger-than-life nature. But two women brought Vera to life for the brief glimpses that audiences got.

George Wendt, the actor behind Norm, recruited his real-life wife Bernadette Birkett to provide Vera’s voice. Audiences can hear Birkett during the Thanksgiving episode. Birkett returned to voice the character a few more times throughout the “Cheers” run.

But as far as the character’s actual appearance. Actor Rebecca Soladay stood in for Vera during the Thanksgiving episode. Though you wouldn’t know it was her given the whole dessert in the face situation. Soladay doesn’t have many acting credits, but she did appear briefly in “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” as well.

But if you really want to know what Vera looked like, both actors actually appeared in a Season Three-holiday episode. Both Birkett and Soladay played love interests for Cliff on “Cheers.” Birkett appeared as a masked Tinkerbell, who flirts with Cliff at the bar. Meanwhile, Soladay also strikes up a conversation with the character at the bar.

Norm better watch out.