John Mahoney, who played cranky dad on 'Frasier,' dies at 77

John Mahoney Played Frasier's Martin Crane. Credit PA

Mahoney, a veteran actor best known for his role as Martin Crane in the TV comedy series Frasier, died in the U.S. on Sunday.

A year earlier, in 1951, he had travelled to IL to visit his sister Vera - who had married an American sailor during the war - and the United States made such an impression on him that he returned eight years later under her sponsorship.

John Cusack, who appeared with Mahoney is the 1989 film "Say Anything", tweeted that he was a great actor and a "lovely kind human - any time you saw him you left feeling better". Before taking up theater and acting in 1977, he served in the US military and worked as an English teacher at Western Illinois University. For some years, he was also the editor of a medical journal.

He was invited to join Steppenwolf Theatre by founding members John Malkovich and Gary Sinise because the troupe needed an actor to play older roles. He only began acting in his late '30s, cutting his teeth at the legendary Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago before appearing in the original production of John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves (for which he won a Tony Award), and co-starring in the 2007 Broadway revival of Prelude to A Kiss, among other roles.

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Kelsey Grammer is mourning the loss of his TV dad. Mahoney starred in the Broadway revival of the play Prelude to a Kiss, as well as the plays Better Late and The Outgoing Tide at the Northlight Theatre in IL.

Mahoney starred in Frasier from its first episode in 1993 to its final show in 2004 and was twice nominated for an Emmy for the role. Mahoney's turns in films like Moonstruck, Say Anything... 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.

Mahoney's last TV appearance was in Foyle's War in 2015, where he played Andrew Del Mar.

John was intensely private about his personal life, but is thought to have never married, despite previously claiming to have been in several relationships.

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