George Robert Wendt Jr. (born October 17, 1948) is an American actor and comedian. He is known for playing Norm Peterson on the television sitcom Cheers (1982–1993), which earned him six consecutive nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Wendt has also appeared in the films Fletch, Gung Ho, Dreamscape, House, Forever Young, Hostage for a Day, Man of the House, and Lakeboat.
Wendt is married to Bernadette Birkett, and has three children: Hilary, Joe, and Daniel.
George Robert Wendt Jr. was born in the Beverly neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, Illinois. His parents were Loretta Mary (née Howard) and George Robert Wendt, an officer in the Navy and a realtor. He is one of nine children, with six sisters—Nancy, Karen, Mary Ann, Kathryn, Loretta, and Marti—as well as two brothers, Tom and Paul. His maternal grandfather was photographer Tom Howard. Wendt is of Irish and one quarter German descent.He attended Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. He was expelled from the University of Notre Dame after he received a 0.00 GPA the first semester of his junior year. He later attended the Jesuit Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri, where he graduated with a B.A. in economics.
Wendt is an uncle of actor and former SNL writer and cast member Jason Sudeikis, his sister's son.