George Robert Wendt III was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, USA, to Loretta Mary (Howard) and George Robert Wendt, who was a realtor and navy officer. He attended a strict Jesuit prep school and then dropped out of Notre Dame University after a few uneventful years. He worked with the Windy City's famed Second City comedy troupe from 1974-1980. He is best known for playing Norm Peterson on the hit televison series, Cheers (1982). He is married to actress Bernadette Birkett, who provided the rare offscreen voice of Norm's unseen wife Vera. The couple have two sons and a daughter. They met while working at the Second City in Chicago.