Grew up… in Seattle with his father Martin, a police officer; mother Hester, a forensic psychiatrist; and brother Frasier. As a meek and slight child, Niles took more to cerebral rather than physical pursuits. A product of the private Bryce Academy, Niles went on to study at Yale and Cambridge, of which he is very proud.
Living… the life he always dreamt of as a boy: he is a distinguished psychotherapist living in high society. He still resides in Seattle with his wife, Maris, though it seems he would take any excuse to get away from her.
Profession… marriage and family therapist. Niles says that his profession is “the saving grace of his life.” He publishes research and serves on the board of the American Psychiatric Association. Though like many therapists, he seems to have some psychological problems of his own. Despite his specialty, his marriage to Maris does not seem stable, and he often suffers from panic attacks as a result.
Interests… fine wines, opera, and French food. His rivalry with his brother pushes him to make his own tastes even more distinctive than Frasier’s. In his own words, “You’ll be relieved to hear that while Frasier was getting his Rachmaninoffs, I was actually studying music.”
Relationship Status… married, though unhappily. He describes the never-seen Maris as “a wife who’s like a refugee from ‘The Taming of the Shrew.’” Niles, an anglophile, has an obsession with Daphne, the live-in English physiotherapist who takes care of Niles’ dad Martin, who has hip problems after being shot in line of duty years ago. Martin and Daphne both live with Frasier, which is basically Niles’ second home.
Challenge… trying to one-up Frasier. Though Niles is more widely celebrated in the academic community, he’ll never achieve the celebrity status of his talk-show host brother. Beyond work, the brothers also compete on who has the finer palate and the most discerning taste – about everything, really.
Personality… neurotic and obsessive-compulsive. His perennial fear of germs makes him extraordinarily particular about his surroundings. Frasier likens himself to a “teamster” when compared to Niles. Still, he makes for a very erudite guest at your finer dinner parties.
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