Ted Danson's Adoptive Daughter's Biological Mother Is An Ex-Con With Extensive Rap Sheet

Danson hasn't had contact with her in decades.

Who Is Kelly Topel? New Details On Ted Danson's Adoptive Daughter's Biological Mom Who's An Ex-Con With Extensive Rap Shee getty

All mothers want the best life possible for their children. And sometimes, despite the emotional pain, the best chance at a better life is through adoption. In Hollywood, celebrities are no strangers to adopting children, whether they can’t have any biological kids of their own, or are offering to help a friend or family member in hard times.

We usually think of Angelina Jolie when it comes to adoption, but there are plenty of others who have given children the best life possible, including Charlize Theron, Mariska Hargitay, Hugh Jackman, and Eminem. But actor Ted Danson also adopted his now 34-year-old daughter, Alexis, with his ex-wife, Casey Coates.


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And now, Alexis’ biological mother is back in the picture. Who is Kelly Topel? At the time of Alexis’ birth, Topel was broke. And according to Topel’s ex-husband, she’s still struggling, and is allegedly a homeless alcoholic who has been in and out of mental hospitals and jails.


Said her ex, who asked to remain anonymous, “I haven’t heard from her in ten years, but she’s reached out to our son once in a while. He told me she’s living on the streets in Tucson, Arizona.”

Danson hasn’t had contact with Topel in decades. But according to Topel, she wrote letters to her daughter that went unopened. She eventually went to churches in wealthy areas of Minneapolis and posted a card, looking for a couple to adopt her daughter.

“A church woman called me and said her friends, a successful actor named Ted and his then-wife, Casey, wanted to talk to me. I must’ve been one of the only people in America who hadn’t seen an episode of Cheers, so I didn’t know who he was. It tore me up, but they seemed like a nice family,” she said.


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Danson and his wife gave Topel $7,000 and took Alexis home. She’s now 34 years old and appears to have had a great life with her adoptive parents.

Despite Danson’s affair with Whoopi Goldberg and Topel threatening to sue for custody, Danson and his ex-wife co-parented Alexis just fine. Said Topel in 1993, “Ted told me over and over how family-oriented he was. But Alexis is in a house that’s breaking up!”

Since giving Alexis up, Topel has created quite a lengthy rap sheet. Now 57 years old, she’s been arrested for drug possession, prostitution, assault and burglary.


Mark Payne, her second husband, also filed domestic violence charges against her in 2015. She’s was held in mental health facilities from 2010 to 2015, multiple times. And in one instance, after a neighbor called the police over a physical argument regarding crystal meth, she had two outstanding warrants for her arrest.



A post shared by Ted Danson (@teddanson) on Sep 17, 2018 at 4:16pm PDT

Luckily for Danson, he has nothing but good things to say about his life and career. Now married to actress Mary Steenburgen for 25 years, he gushed, “We wake up and celebrate literally every day. If we didn’t, we’d be idiots because we’re so lucky. We have great kids and grandkids, and we have each other. We’re madly in love.”

“I’m kind of a Pollyanna. I’m having the best time. I have great kids and grandkids, and I’m married to the most beautiful, funny wife. It’s really my bucket list to enjoy every second I have with these astounding people around me. My life is brilliant, and I’m very grateful,” he added.


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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.