John Mahoney, best known as Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce’s irascible dad, Martin Crane, on Frasier, has died. He was 77.
An Englishman, Mahoney died Sunday in his adopted hometown of Chicago, publicist Paul Martino told The Hollywood Reporter.
Playing a curmudgeonly retired cop, Mahoney received two supporting actor Emmy nominations for his work on the 1993-2004 NBC hit.
A former Midwestern medical-magazine editor who quit his day job at nearly 40 to study acting in Chicago, Mahoney had taught English at Western Illinois University in the early 1970s.
He became a fixture at Chicago’s fabled Steppenwolf Theatre and soon ventured to the New York stage. He distinguished himself in an off-Broadway production of Orphans, for which he received a Theatre World Award.
Mahoney won a Tony Award in 1986 for his performance in a revival of John Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves. The production was videotaped for PBS’ Theatre in America series.
In 2007, he was back on Broadway in a revival of Prelude to a Kiss.
In movies, Mahoney garnered recognition in Barry Levinson’s Tin Men (1987), playing Richard Dreyfuss’ business partner. The same year, he was memorable in Moonstruck as a depressed college professor who regularly had affairs with his students.
His other film credits include a performance as a trial judge in Suspect (1987), as the manager of the White Sox in Eight Men Out (1988) and as a protective father beleaguered by John Cusack’s interest in his daughter in Say Anything (1989).
Although he was offered numerous series after Frasier, Mahoney moved back to Illinois in 2003 and began acting again with the Steppenwolf company, first starring as Tom Garrison in I Never Sang for My Father. The following year, he played Sir in The Dresser.
His dulcet warble was recognizable in voice work on such animated films as Antz (1998), The Iron Giant (1999) and Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001).
John Mahoney was born on June 20, 1940, in Blackpool, England, where his family had been evacuated following a Nazi bombing of Manchester. He developed an early interest in acting, joining the Stretford Youth Theatre.
After World War II, he ventured to Illinois, where his older sister lived as a war bride. He studied at Quincy University and, to speed up his citizenship application, enlisted in the U.S. Army and, not surprisingly, lost his British accent.
(Excerpt) Read More in: The Hollywood Reporter