John Ratzenberger Joins Cast of 'Dancing With the Stars'

March 2, 2007 — -- John Ratzenberger, who played Cliff Claven, the affable beer-guzzling mailman on "Cheers," will join the cast of "Dancing With the Stars," replacing "The Sopranos'" star Vincent Pastore

The producers of the show had previously invited Ratzenberger to join the cast, but a scheduling conflict prevented him from doing so until now.

Ratzenberger was invited back when the 60-year-old Pastore withdrew from the competition after a week of intense training. Pastore decided that the physical demands of the 10-week season were just too difficult for him to handle.

"When I initially committed to joining 'Dancing With the Stars,' I didn't realize just how physically demanding it would be for me. Unable to put forth my best effort, I felt it appropriate to step aside and give someone else the opportunity," Pastore said.

"I'd like to thank ABC and the show's producers for inviting me to participate. I wish my partner, Edyta, and the other dancers the best of luck."

Executive producer Conrad Green was disappointed but said he respected Pastore's decision.

"We're sad that Vincent felt he was unable to continue in the competition, as he would have been great on the show. But we appreciate him standing aside now rather than having to withdraw later. 'Dancing With the Stars' is physically demanding, and it pays to know your limits. We respect his decision."