Alexis Danson: Ted Danson’s Adoptive Daughter with a Biological Mother Who’s a Criminal Past

by Rosemarie Hardison
Alexis Danson

We all know renowned actor, director, and producer Ted Danson from Cheers, Three Men and a Baby, and, the more recent, The Good Place. It’s also a well-known fact that he adopted Alexis at a very young age, turning her life around.

So, where did Alexis Danson’s story start? What about her career and personal life?

I’ll share with you all I know about this pretty young lady beyond what we see on the screens.

Let’s go!

Alexis Danson: Rapid-Fire Facts

Alexis Danson

Image source: Instagram

Before we go deeper, here are a few quick facts about Alexis Danson for those who aren’t familiar with her.

Name Alexis Danson
Age 39 years old in 2024 (born in 1985)
Zodiac sign Aquarius
Birthplace Los Angeles, California
Profession TV personality, model, and singer
Adoptive parents Ted Danson and Casey Coates

Mary Steenburgeen (adoptive step-mother)

Biological parents Kelly Topel (father is unknown)
Number of siblings 3
Ethnicity Caucasian
Sexual orientation Straight
Relationship status Single
Religion Christian

Early Life

Alexis Danson

Ted Danson with Casey Coates  Image source: Google

In 1985, Alexis entered the world in Los Angeles, California. However, she wasn’t born into the best living conditions because her mother suffered from alcohol addiction as well as mental illness.

Her father was also nowhere to be found around that time. Rumor has it that he’d been her biological mother’s ex-husband way before Alexis was born.

Because of her mother Kelly Topel’s struggles, it was hard to make ends meet to fulfill her and Alexis’s basic needs. That’s why she offered the baby for adoption for what many sources estimate is around $7,000.

Luckily, the family-oriented Ted Danson and his then-wife Casey Coates fell in love with Alexis and took her in at once. Since then, and due to her parents’ fame, Alexis has always been in the spotlight. 

Fans from all over the world were fawning over her cuteness when she was still a girl. Today, as a successful lady of 39 years, we still can’t get over her beautiful personality, inner strength, and unrivaled elegance.

Adoptive Parents and Siblings

Ted with Whoopi Goldberg

Ted with Whoopi Goldberg       Image source: Google

Ever since the beginning, Alexis Danson’s relationship with her adoptive parents was a strong one. 

Ted Danson was always proud of his daughter, frequently taking her along to his movie premieres. One of my favorites is the premiere of “My Girl” back in 1991.

Her adoptive mother, Casey Coates, was a steady rock in her life, too, doing all she could to fill in the role of a supportive mother. Cassandra married Danson in 1977, and she was his second wife after actress Randall “Randy” Gosch.

Casey Coates is an environmental and interior designer, best known for founding the American Oceans Campaign with Ted. 

Coates and Danson had a daughter together before adopting Alexis: actress Kate Danson. After the adoption, their marriage came to an end in 1993 because of Ted’s affair with Whoopi Goldberg.

Soon afterward, Ted Danson married his third wife, Mary Steenburgen in 1995, and became a step-father to Lilly and Charlie McDowell. 

I was surprised to know that Charlie McDowell is the husband of Lily Collins—one of my favorite actresses!

Alexis Danson has three siblings: an adoptive step-sister, an adoptive step-brother, and an adoptive sister.

Alexis Danson’s Biological Mother

Ted Danson

Image source: Google

Whenever you look up Alexis’s mother, Kelly Topel, online, you’ll be met with disappointment. You’d think that giving her daughter up for adoption would propel her to work hard to fight her addiction and lead a healthier, more responsible life.

Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. But, before we uncover Topel’s latest news, let me give you an overview of her background.

We don’t know much about Topel’s upbringing, the only bit of information is that she was born in 1962. Around the time that she had Alexis, she was a homeless alcoholic with mental illnesses.

There are also rumors that she was an ex-con.

Soon after giving birth to the beautiful baby, she frequented church after church in Minneapolis, looking for a rich couple who would adopt Alexis. That was how Ted Danson and his wife met her and took her daughter in.

Since then, things only got worse.

From 2010 to 2015, she was arrested for possessing narcotics and prostitution amongst other illegal endeavors. Plus, she’s been in and out of jails and mental hospitals during that time.

Moreover, Kelly’s second husband, Mark Payne, filed several charges against her in 2015, accusing her of domestic violence. Naturally, their marriage fell apart for that reason.

But what about her relationship with Alexis after she grew up?

Well, Alexis has avoided her at all costs, and I don’t blame her for that. What’s quite funny, though, is that Kelly tried to sue for custody of her biological daughter in 1993 after news broke of Ted’s affair.

She even said, “Ted told me over and over how family-oriented he was. But Alexis is in a house that’s breaking up!”

It’s pretty ironic. I mean, living in a house that’s breaking up (which had no negative effects on Alexis’s upbringing) can never be compared to staying with an alcoholic, allegedly violent mother who’s done nothing to make things better!

After their divorce, Ted and Casey still co-parented Alexis until she turned into the beautiful, confident woman we see today.

Alexis Danson’s Career

Mary Steenburgeen

Ted with Mary Steenburgen     Image source: Google

Alexis’s fame was due to that of her parents and step-parents, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t pave her own path to success. 

She took several acting and modeling projects, yet her most notable achievements were in the music industry.

She created Lux Livid (Lux), a persona that launched her music career. 

Her records soon gained enough recognition to be featured on movies and TV shows like CSI and The Hills.

Alexis Danson’s Relationships

Ted Danson

Image source: Google

If you’re curious about Alexis’s romantic relationships, I’m sorry to tell you that no one has a clue about them. 

She hasn’t shared anything on her Instagram for a while, and her older posts are all about her love for her family and friends.

She might be keeping her current dating life private, as is the case with many celebrities and their family members.

I’m pretty sure we’ll all know if she ever gets married or has children!

Alexis Danson’s Estimated Net Worth in 2024

Being a model, actress, and singer has resulted in an approximate net worth of somewhere between $300,000 to $1 million.

Any specifics of Alexis’s financial life aren’t available to the public, other than this rough estimate.

To Wrap It Up

The story of Alexis Danson is surely an interesting one. It started with poverty and a mom looking for a married couple ready to adopt her daughter for a few thousand dollars.

Alexis’s life soon turned for the better after Ted and Casey adopted her, showering her with love and all the care that a child her age would need.

So, it’s only natural for her to become the successful woman she is today, backed by a supportive family!

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