Exclusive: Parenthood Casts Zeek's Mom!

It’s time to meet the matriarch on Parenthood.

Veteran actress and two-time Tony winner Frances Sternhagen has been cast as Zeek’s (Craig T. Nelson) never-before-seen mother, TVLine has learned exclusively.

Parenthood Scoop: Dexter Alum to Romance [Spoiler]!

Sternhagen, whose TV credits include playing mom to John Ratzenberger’s Cliff on Cheers and, more recently, Kyra Sedgwick’s Brenda on The Closer, will appear in one episode of the NBC drama to air in early ’12.

Comments (23)

  • Bravermans are getting bigger.lol I can´t wait for the road trip storyline.

    Comment by Dana – November 21, 2011 11:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Bravermans are still one of the most dysfunctional families in TV history thanks to PARENTHOOD even more dysfunctional than the Walkers (Brothers and Sisters) or any other fictional families that I can think of. Wouldn’t mind how the season will end come February 28th even with a Season Four on the horizon.

    Comment by kevin – November 21, 2011 11:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Parenthood were about a “functional” family, there would be no story. It’s my go to show since end of B & S, and an excellent one at that, for family drama. I’m happy for you Kevin that you come from a well adjusted family, but in most cases even the most loving and close knit families have dysfunction, yet they rise above it and that’s what Parenthood (and before that B & S) never fails to show. I hope it lasts many more seasons!

    Comment by tdoa – November 21, 2011 12:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Any idea of this is a flashback sort of thing, or is she actually still alive? Anyway, LOVE this show!

    Comment by Ryan – November 21, 2011 01:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Braverman’s dysfunction looks pretty normal, folks. I’ve yet to meet those people that Rockwell used to paint. This family sings in the kitchen, has family game night that looks like ours, and even has meddling parents. Love this show since it’s inception, and now that Friday Night Lights is gone, it’s my favorite.

    Comment by mommahills – November 21, 2011 01:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Parenthood is the only show I will sit down and watch regularly. I finally got my 16-year-old daughter to watch it with me and she loves it, too. It has made for some great conversations! Love Frances Sternhagen — I’ll bet that’ll be a great episode!

    Comment by ddlbugmom – November 21, 2011 01:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Frances Sternhagen is a wonderful, talented actress. They should make her a regular. I used to see her at mass on Sundays when I lived in New Rochelle, NY.

    Comment by Donna J. – November 21, 2011 01:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • These are interesting comments, because I think the Bravermans are the most functional family on television. Seriously, they are tight-knit and always leaning on each other, how families should be.

    Comment by Michael – November 21, 2011 01:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That means Zeek and Brenda Leigh Johnson are TV siblings!!!

    Comment by Doug-H – November 21, 2011 01:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love the show and love the idea of Frances as his mom…that so works! This show has something for everyone and is great for watching with your kids- hope it stays on for years and years!

    Comment by Joan – November 21, 2011 01:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Where has mom been – during holidays, etc.???

    Comment by Arlene – November 21, 2011 01:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well put!

    Comment by Dawn – November 21, 2011 01:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bunny, Troy McDougal’s mother & Charlotte’s insufferable step-mom on SATC?

    Comment by Diana – November 21, 2011 02:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, except she was Charlotte’s mother in law.

      Comment by Carm – November 21, 2011 05:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh and it was Trey not Troy

      Comment by Carm – November 21, 2011 05:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i’d love to see a bit of the respective parents and/or siblings of the family members who are not “Bravermans” – you know, Christina and Joel, for example. don’t they have any parents? siblings? aunts or uncles or other relatives?

    Comment by a. – November 21, 2011 02:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As far as I’m concerned Parenthood is the best show on tv hands down. And the family dynamic may be dysfunctional but still seems more in line with what most families experience on a regular basis. I LOVE this show!

    Comment by regina – November 21, 2011 02:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I LOVE this show too! I hope it keeps going for several more years. However, please let Adam stay faithful to Christina!! It will just be so sad if he isn’t faithful!!

      Keep it up NBC – this is a great show! I look forward to it every week!


      Comment by Joy – November 21, 2011 07:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Would love to see John Ratzenberger cast as Zeke’s half-brother brother Cliff.

    Comment by Nick – November 21, 2011 02:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Frances Sternhagen on “The Closer” as Brenda’s mom, so I’m definitely excited about this, although I’ll probably have a hard time not seeing her as Willie Ray Johnson. On a sidenote, she’s only 14 years older than Craig T. Nelson, so she must have had him pretty young! ;)

    Comment by DL – November 21, 2011 02:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would love to see Barbara Barrie cast as the mother of Bonnie Bedelia’s character, ‘Camille’.
    Love Parenthood – excellent writing, great ensemble!

    Comment by Chris – November 21, 2011 04:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have never written or commented about a TV show before so this ought to tell you all how much I LOVE this show! The writers are spot on! We have all faced many of the issues that the Braverman’s face and the writers handle situations so well and don’t try to cure the problem in an hour. As a teacher, I have dealt with children like Max and I must say Bravo to the writers. You are AWESOME!

    Comment by Allison – November 21, 2011 04:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t see dysfunction- sure, they have problems, but they work them out so well. I wish I could have all the fun that tv family has.

    Comment by Janine – November 21, 2011 06:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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