John Mahoney, the veteran actor best known for his role as Martin Crane in the TV comedy series Frasier, has died in the US at the age of 77.
Mahoney’s publicist, Paul Martino, told US trade publication The Hollywood Reporter that Mahoney passed away on Sunday in his adopted hometown of Chicago after a brief hospitalisation.
Born into an Irish family in Blackpool, Lancashire, Mahoney emigrated to the US as a teenager to join his sister.
He worked as an English teacher and as the editor of a medical magazine before deciding to pursue a career as a professional actor in his late thirties.
He became a mainstay of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, winning a Tony Award in 1986 for his performance in John Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves.
It is with our deepest sorrow that we share the news that ensemble member of 39 years John Mahoney passed away. Tonight’s opening night performance of You Got Older has been cancelled. We are instead inviting all to gather in Front Bar this evening. All are welcome to join us.
Mahoney also took to the stage at the Galway Arts Festival in a number of productions including Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Bruce Graham’s The Outgoing Tide.
On the big screen, his film credits included Tin Men, Suspect, Moonstruck, Eight Men Out, Say Anything, Barton Fink and The Hudsucker Proxy.
On television, his credits included Hot in Cleveland, In Treatment and ER.
But it is for his role as loveable curmudgeon Martin Crane in Frasier that he will be best remembered.
Mahoney played the role of Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and Niles (David Hyde Pierce) Crane’s father from 1993 to 2004 and was nominated for two Emmy and two Golden Globe awards for his work on the show.
He shared the Screen Actors’ Guild award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series with his Frasier co-stars in 2000.
Paying tribute, the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, said Mahoney’s “work and impact will endure for generations”.
Mahoney’s Say Anything co-star, John Cusack, said he was a “great actor” and “lovely kind human”.
Great actor – lovely kind human -any time you saw him you left feeling better – RIP John … https://twitter.com/EdgeofSports/status/960655833473396736 …
Here are some more of the tributes:
The great John Mahoney passed away today at age 77. I’ve not known a kinder man nor more brilliant actor. We were all blessed to have spent 11 glorious years together.
He was Dad to Frasier and Niles (AND Diane Court) but also a Father figure to us all. Rest In Peace, John Mahoney! https://twitter.com/twittermoments/status/960656584115355648 …