On June 18th, the third installment of the popular digitally animated film, Toy Story, debuted to huge box office numbers, becoming the highest opening day gross for an animated film, and the biggest opening for a Pixar film. Among the big names reprising their voice-over roles, including Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as Woody and Buzz Lightyear, veteran actor John Ratzenberger returns as Hamm, the piggy bank, making him the only actor that has voiced a role in all of Pixar’s feature films.
Ratzenberger, who was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and attended Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, is perhaps most well-known for playing the neighborhood mail carrier Cliff Clavin on the Boston-set sitcom, “Cheers”. During the show’s tenure, the actor made many appearances, along with his costars, at the Bull and Finch Pub that inspired the show, and is featured in the last shot of the opening credits. Ratzenberger’s signed publicity shots hang on the walls downstairs, and menu items bear the names of all the characters, including his own. Tourists still flock the Beacon Street bar by the hundreds each year to grab a beer at the place “where everybody knows your name”.
Ratzenberger currently lives in Connecticut, and has said that he would like to run for one of Connecticut’s U.S. Senate seats in 2012. Earlier this year, he made public appearances endorsing Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.