John Mahoney, actor in Frasier - obituary

Erica Roy
February 7, 2018

John Mahoney spent 11 seasons as the cantankerous Martin Crane on NBC's Frasier, and it's been reported that the actor died Sunday in Chicago.

After starring in Frasier, Mahoney moved back to Chicago and acted with the Steppenwolf Theatre once again.

Mahoney's manager, Paul Martino, confirmed to media that Mahoney died while in hospice care.

Born in Blackpool, England, Mahoney came to the United States at age 19 to teach English at Western Illinois University.

He was living in Chicago, where he was employed as the editor of The Journal for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals.

Kelsey Grammer's Frasier and David Hyde Pierce's Niles, both psychiatrists with lofty views of their own intellect, squabbled constantly with their dad but, when needed, the family closed ranks.

He took up acting classes in the 1970s and was urged by acting legend John Malkovich to join the Steppenwolf Theatre.

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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.

Frasier ended in 2004, and the actor returned to Broadway in Prelude To A Kiss.

With the 1987 release Tin Men, Mahoney made his feature film debut. He had TV audiences fooled for years with his dismissive dialect, and he was nominated for two Emmy Awards for portraying the Crane patriarch.

The Coen Brothers chose Mahoney for the role of WP Mayhew in Barton Fink (1992) because of his resemblance to William Faulkner.

John was intensely private about his personal life, but is thought to have never married, despite previously claiming to have been in several relationships. He also played Roy, a waiter in the city adopted by three female entertainment industry veterans, during two runs (2011 and 2014) of the sitcom Hot in Cleveland.

His final screen appearance, in 2015, was his first in a British TV drama - Foyle's War, as an ailing, bed-bound former Texas oil tycoon.

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