"Frasier" actor John Mahoney dies at 77

In "Frasier", the hit "Cheers" spinoff that aired from 1993 to 2004, Mahoney played Martin Crane, a disabled ex-police officer who parked himself in a battered old armchair in Frasier's chic Seattle living room.

The 77-year-old played Martin Crane, alongside actors Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce - who played his on-screen sons.

Born in Blackpool, England, in 1940, Mahoney made a decision to move to the U.S.at age 19 after visiting his war bride sister in the states. Even as his fame grew through his fantastic work in movies and television, John stayed connected to his artistic home here in Chicago in theaters and as a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Although Mahoney earned two Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations, he never won an award. He moved to the U.S.as a teenager-following one of his seven siblings to Illinois-and joined the army, an experience he said helped inspire him to shed his accent. He found great success on the stage, admitting in his later life that he preferred theatre work to television.

The actor also drew praise for his role in Greg Berlanti's 2000 film The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy. "We were all blessed to have spent 11 glorious years together", Greenberg wrote alongside a picture of the show's cast with Mahoney.

Peri Gilpin, who played Roz Doyle in Frasier, led the tributes to Mahoney on Monday night.

Director Greg Berlanti hailed Mahoney for being "so kind and supportive of me early in my career", and helping him to greenlight the movie "The Broken Hearts Club".

He died while in a hospice care in Chicago after a short illness, his publicist confirmed.

Following such jobs as editor of a medical magazine and teaching English at Western Illinois University, Mahoney was nearly 40 when he decided on a late-in-life career change that saw him move to Chicago in order to study acting.

He also starred in Roman Polanski's "Frantic", "Reality Bites", "The Russia House", "Tin Men" and "The American President".

  • Sylvester Abbott