John Mahoney, best known for playing the father on Frasier for 11 seasons, has passed away. He was 77 years old. According to reports, the actor died on February 4th in Chicago while in hospice care. Mahoney played Martin Crane alongside Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce, and was nominated for an Emmy twice and won a Screen Actor's Guild award for his grumpy old man character, who was inseparable with his Parson Russel Terrier Eddie.
John Mahoney was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England in 1940 and was the 7th of 8 children. The family was evacuated from their home in Manchester during a bombing in World War II and so they relocated to Blackpool, but later went back to Manchester after the war. Mahoney became interested in acting at an early age and looked at it as his way to escape England to get away from his parents. His oldest sister was living in Illinois, so he later moved there and joined the United States Army to speed up his citizenship process.
John Mahoney lived in Macomb, Illinois after his stint in the Army and started teaching at Western Illinois University in the early 1970s and later served as an editor of a medical journal for nearly a decade before deciding to get into acting like he had always wanted to do. Mahoney took acting classes at the St. Nicholas Theatre, which inspired him to quit his day job and pursue acting full-time, and after a stage production in 1977, John Malkovich persuaded him to join the Steppenwolf Theater. He later won the Clarence Derwent Award for Most Promising Male Newcomer. From there, John Mahoney won a Tony Award for his performance in John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves.
John Mahoney's first major movie role came in 1987 with Tin Men and then went on to star in a number of other movies throughout the rest of the 80s and 90s. He was in two Coen Brothers movies, Barton Fink and The Hudsucker Proxy. He also had roles in American President, In the Line of Fire, and Reality Bites, among others. However, it was his role of Martin Crane on Cheers spin-off, Frasier, that he is best known for. As previously mentioned, he played the role for 11 years, from 1993 to 2004.
After Frasier, John Mahoney continued to act and do voiceover work as well. He was never married and along with David Hyde Pierce, he is the godfather to Frasier co-star Jane Leeve's son Finn. Mahoney lived in Oak Park, Illinois at the time of his death. Many believe that John Mahoney and Moose the dog were the true stars of Frasier and they just might be right. It's also kind of weird that he was only 14 years older than Kelsey Grammer while he played his father on the hit show. Rest in Peace, John Mahoney. You can read more about the actor over at TMZ.