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Monday, 31 December, 2001, 17:00 GMT
Leeves set for bumper pay-day
Frasier star Kelsey Grammer with Jane Leeves and John Mahoney
Leeves (centre) with Kelsey Grammer and John Mahoney
UK actress Jane Leeves looks set to become one of the highest paid TV actresses in the US after agreeing a new deal with the makers of Frasier.

The 40-year-old, who plays Daphne Moon in the award winning show, is believed to have signed a three-series deal worth more than 250,000 an episode - that will earn her more than 20m.

Kelsey Grammer, who plays Frasier, became the highest paid comedy actor in TV history earlier in the year when he won a two-year deal worth 1m per episode.

Leeves' co-star David Hyde Pierce, who plays Fraiser's brother Niles, Daphne's love interest, recently signed a contract worth around 700,000 an episode.

Leeves, who was born in London but grew up in East Grinstead, West Sussex, began her TV career as a dancer in shows including Benny Hill and Morecambe and Wise.

She moved to Hollywood in 1981, but it took a guest appearance on the comedy show Seinfeld in 1992 to move her into the mainstream.

Leeves bought US rights to Vicar of Dibley
Leeves bought the US rights to Vicar of Dibley
A year later she was cast in Frasier as the eccentric Mancunian physiotherapist Daphne.

Leeves lent her vocal talent to 1996's James and the Magic Peach and also starred alongside Meryl Streep in the movie Music of the Heart.

She set up a production company with her Frasier co-star Peri Gilpin called Bristol Cities and they bought the US rights to smash-hit BBC One comedy The Vicar of Dibley.

Leeves is married to a senior executive with Paramount, the studio which makes the comedy.

A new series of Frasier starts on Channel 4 on 4 January.

See also:

28 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Frasier stars take on Dibley
07 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Frasier gets three more years
23 May 01 | Showbiz
Frasier star on walk of fame
23 Mar 01 | Reviews
Jacobi highlight of alien Frasier
20 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Grammer sunk by Macbeth
09 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Frasier star ordered to pay $2m
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