Mysterious In Seattle

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Demystifying Maris

Name: Maris Crane.
Age: 40, on more than one occasion.
Children: None, for goodness' sake.
Father: A yachtsman ("the Commodore") with only months to live.
Household income: Rich. Make that filthy rich.
Appearance: Small and slender, with a wan complexion. Or, as Frasier puts it: "Bleached, 100 percent fat free, and best if kept in an airtight container."
Demeanor: Frosty, and not as in "...the Snowman."
Hobbies: Sensory deprivation, plastic surgery, fencing, interpretive dance, and the Women's Senior Yoga Group ("old money in bodystockings," says Niles). Kept several prize topiaries until Yoshi the gardner emasculated them during a drunken trimming spree. Always dreamed of being a ballet dancer, but according to Niles, "The poor dear could never get her weight up enough."
Clubs: Won election as wine club president when her photos from rival Matthew Pym's wedding showed the label on the champagne he served. Worked tirelessly in a failed attempt to get Niles into Seattle's prestigious Empire Club by cultivating relationships, rumor-mongering, and accidentally dumping crabmeat into the cleavage of another candidate's wife.
Charitable endeavors: In the coming season, Maris will contribute to the care (at least the hair care) of a foreign foster child.
Medical history: Hypoglycemic, allergic to roses, and unable to produce saliva. Unusually rigid vertebrae, and quadriceps so tight she can't straddle anything larger than a Border collie.
Views on romance: Does not trust unconditional love. Requires proper motivation (read: nice new Mercedes) to get in the mood.
Defense mechanism: A pearl-handled revolver she keeps under her pillow.
Appeal: "Maris is a wondrous distillation of many essences," says Niles. "It's as if you could take a great French cathedral, a painting by El Greco, and the upper third of Norway and magically transform them into one tiny woman with ferret eyes and disturbing hair."

Profile by Howard Gensler, TV Guide, August 5, 1995

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Sherri Lynn Slotman, University of Michigan (

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