Name: Maris Crane.
Age: 40, on more than one occasion.
Children: None, for goodness' sake.
Father: A yachtsman ("the Commodore") with only months to live.
Household income: Rich. Make that filthy rich.
Appearance: Small and slender, with a wan complexion. Or, as Frasier puts it:
"Bleached, 100 percent fat free, and best if kept in an airtight container."
Demeanor: Frosty, (and not as in "...the Snowman.")
Hobbies: Sensory deprivation, plastic surgery, fencing, interpretive dance, and the Women's Senior Yoga Group ("old money in bodystockings," says Niles).
Kept several prize topiaries until Yoshi the gardner emasculated them during a drunken trimming spree.
Always dreamed of being a ballet dancer, but according to Niles, "The poor dear could never get her weight up enough."
Clubs: Won election as wine club president when her photos from rival Matthew Pym's wedding showed the label on the champagne he served.
Worked tirelessly in a failed attempt to get Niles into Seattle's prestigious Empire Club by cultivating relationships, rumor-mongering, and accidentally dumping crabmeat into the cleavage of another candidate's wife.
Charitable endeavors: In the coming season, Maris will contribute to the care (at least the hair care) of a foreign foster child.
Medical history: Hypoglycemic, allergic to roses, and unable to produce saliva. Unusually rigid vertebrae, and quadriceps so tight she can't straddle anything larger than a Border collie.
Views on romance: Does not trust unconditional love. Requires proper motivation (like a nice new Mercedes) to get in the mood.
Defense mechanism: A pearl-handled revolver she keeps under her pillow.
Appeal: "Maris is a wondrous distillation of many essences," says Niles.
"It's as if you could take a great French cathedral, a painting by El Greco, and the upper third of Norway and magically transform them into one tiny woman with ferret eyes and disturbing hair."