Entertainment TV Rhea Perlman Reflects on 'Cheers' ' Impact on Her Career 40 Years Later: It Was 'Everything' "Cheers might have been everything in the beginning of my career, but family is everything, everything,” the Marvelous and the Black Hole actress tells PEOPLE By Dana Rose Falcone Published on April 21, 2022 10:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Andy Kropa/Invision/AP/Shutterstock Forty years later, Rhea Perlman still credits Cheers with jumpstarting her career. "It was huge," the 74-year-old actress, starring next in Marvelous and the Black Hole, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "And I wouldn't have had any of the career that I — well, who knows what I would've had? Nobody knows what doesn't happen, but it was the best job in the world." For more Rhea Perlman, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here. Perlman played head waitress Carla during Cheers' run from 1982 until 1993. "I remember we were all going, 'Should we do another year? It's been 11 years?'" Perlman recalls. "George [Wendt] says, 'If someone gives you a present every year, you're not going to take it the next year? Why not?' So, we took it for as long as they gave it." NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty The only thing Perlman cherishes more than Cheers: her relationships with her kids Lucy, 39, Grace, 37, and Jack, 34, who she welcomed with actor Danny DeVito after they wed in 1982. "Cheers might have been everything in the beginning of my career, but family is everything, everything," Perlman says. "If my relationships with my children were strained, I would be beside myself." Perlman and DeVito, 77, announced their separation for the first time in 2012 but never officially divorced. "We're still separated, but we see each other often, and we're still a family," the four-time Emmy winner says. "We can do things together, we can do things separately. I'm really, really glad that Danny and I were able to navigate some rough days to be able to have this different kind of relationship. I think it's pretty rare, but we agree on so many things that it makes sense." RELATED VIDEO: Me And My Grandma's Eva Gutowski & Rhea Perlman Dish On Teaching Rhea To Group Text Ultimately Perlman thinks "it's probably worked out for the best" with DeVito. "Sometimes I wish we were still together because those were the glory days, but these are other kinds of glory days," she says. Today the mom of three looks forward to working — "I'm very excited about that," she says — and traveling more. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. "I really want to go so many places," the native New Yorker says. "I've never been to Japan. I've never been to so many parts of South America. I've never been to Australia, believe it or not. So that's one thing that I'm really looking forward to. I like being in nice places." Perlman, who recently signed on to Greta Gerwig's live-action Barbie movie, feels hopeful about continuing to land great roles because of the increasing number of women behind the camera; just look at her latest movie Marvelous and the Black Hole. Nanu Segal "Kate [Tsang] who's the writer and director had never directed a feature before. And she couldn't have been more prepared every day," Perlman gushes. "And the producer Carolyn Mao, she's amazing. And the cinematographer was a woman. It was a really great feeling. There's always more parts for men, but I think that everybody's aware of trying to write for women and cast women. I feel very optimistic about it." Marvelous and the Black Hole hits theaters Friday.