John Mahoney has died at age 77, reports TMZ. The actor, best known for playing Martin Crane on “Frasier” for the show’s entire 11-season run, passed away while in hospice care in Chicago. Mahoney won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance on the long-running sitcom and was also nominated for two Golden Globes and two Emmys.
Born in Blackpool, England on June 20, 1940, Mahoney was the seventh of eight children. He spent his early years in Manchester, returning to the city of his birth to escape the bombing during World War II; he became an American citizen in 1959 after joining the United States Army. It wasn’t until his late 30s that Mahoney began pursuing acting, a life-changing decision encouraged by John Malkovich. Prior to his work on “Frasier,” Mahoney appeared in such films as “Tin Men,” “Eight Men Out,” “Say Anything…,” “Barton Fink,” and “The Hudsucker Proxy.”
Martin Crane was much less refined than his two sons, played by Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce, preferring his recliner and beloved dog Eddie to their more sophisticated concerns; their dynamic was a vital element of “Frasier’s” success.
Mahoney was also a prolific voice actor, and following his time on “Frasier” he appeared on “In Treatment,” “Burn Notice,” and “Hot in Cleveland,” among others.
“I’m an aberration,” he once said of his success. “With me, it was all the stars aligning at exactly the right time. There was so much luck involved.”