Niles Crane


First Apperance:
The Good Son (Pilot)
Last Apperance:
Goodnight Seattle (Part 2)
Potrayed By:
Nilesy, Niley, Nile E. Coyote, The Coyote, Tiger, Piles
Martin Crane

(father) Hester Crane (mother; deceased) Frasier Crane (older brother) Veronica "Ronee" Lawrence

Maris Crane

(ex-wife; 1986–1998)

Melinda "Mel" Karnofsky (ex-wife; 2000)

Daphne Moon

(wife; 2002–present; 1 child)
David Crane (son, with Daphne)

Niles Crane, M.D., Ph.D., A.P.A., Ed.D is a fictional character on the American sitcom Frasier, a spin-off of the popular show Cheers. He was portrayed by David Hyde Pierce. Niles is the younger brother of Dr. Frasier Crane, the son of Det. Martin Crane and Dr. Hester Crane, husband of Daphne Moon, ex-husband of Maris Crane and Dr. Melinda Karnofsky, former brother-in-law to Nanette Guzman and Dr. Lilith Sternin, and uncle to Frederick Crane.

While it had originally been intended that Frasier be an only child, Pierce was hired because Frasier producers saw his headshot and commented on how much he looked like a young Kelsey Grammer. Unlike Frasier, part of whose background comes from Cheers, Niles' background is established over the course of Frasier.

Pierce described Niles as "what Frasier would be if he had never gone to Boston and never been exposed to the people at Cheers." In "The Show Where Sam Shows Up" Sam Malone said to Frasier, "He looks just like you did when I first met you." In "Cheerful Goodbyes", Carla Tortelli, Cliff Claven, and Norm Peterson all remark on how Niles resembled Frasier from when they first met him.


Niles was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1957, to Hester Crane, a psychiatrist, and Martin Crane, a police officer. Like his older brother Frasier, Niles was named for one of his mother's lab rats. Also like Frasier, Niles was an unusually sensitive child and a frequent target for bullies. As a result he was quite close to his older brother, and at the same time fiercely competitive with him. Like Frasier, Niles preferred fine arts, music, and intellectual pursuits to physical activities like sports. He was also an established philanthropist.

After attending the private Bryce Academy with Frasier, Niles' success in school led to matriculation at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut as an undergraduate, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and studied for a year at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England as a graduate student.

Niles describes his profession as "the saving grace of my life", and is greatly respected professionally. He has a Jungian practice, and specializes in marriage and family therapy. (While substituting for his brother on the radio, he announces "While Frasier is a Freudian, I am a Jungian. So there'll be no blaming mother today!") Niles is an authority on clinical psychosis, has had his research published in several psychiatric journals, serves on the board of the American Psychiatric Association, and four of his clients have been elected to political office.

Niles often compares his own career to that of his brother, and early in Frasier's career as a talk show host makes frequent jokes about the "fast-food approach to psychiatry" that Frasier practices through his radio show. Niles sometimes admits, however, that he envies how his "big shot radio host" brother is well-known, his face appears on "the side of buses", and he helps many "people who need it", while no one appreciates his own work.