NEW YORK (NYTIMES) – John Mahoney, the gravel-voiced, Tony Award-winning, British-born actor who got here to embody all-American grass-roots fatherhood on the hit sitcom Frasier, died on Sunday in Chicago. He was 77.
The dying, in a hospital, was confirmed by Paul Martino, his longtime supervisor, who didn’t specify the trigger.
Mahoney was skilled on the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago and labored continuously onstage. But he was greatest often called Martin Crane, the blue-collar father of two painfully pretentious white-collar sons on Frasier, seen on NBC from 1993 to 2004.
While Frasier and Niles Crane, each psychiatrists, apprehensive about wine vintages, cappuccino bars and opening nights, Marty, a retired police officer, cherished his canine, his duct-tape-accented recliner chair and the stable values of his technology.
Once, when his youthful son declared a sure restaurant’s delicacies “to die for,” Marty corrected him. “Niles, your country and your family are to die for,” he stated. “Food is to eat.”
Mahoney obtained two Emmy nominations for the position. He additionally gained a Tony Award for enjoying Artie Shaughnessy, a Queens zookeeper who desires of being a songwriter, within the 1986 Broadway revival of John Guare’s The House Of Blue Leaves.
Mahoney had began out with the Steppenwolf Theatre when it was in its infancy and he was nearing 40.
“I think they found me attractive only because of my age,” he as soon as stated. “Finally, they would have somebody who actually looks old enough to play a father.”
Charles John Mahoney was born on June 20, 1940, in Blackpool, Lancashire, England, one in all eight kids of Reg Mahoney, a Manchester baker, and the previous Margaret Watson. The household had been evacuated to Lancashire when Manchester was a bombing goal in World War II.
After the conflict, John travelled to the United States to go to an older sister, who had married an American and lived in Illinois. He determined he wished to make his life there when he grew up. In his late teenagers, he returned and earned his US citizenship by serving within the Army.
After his navy service (throughout which, he stated, he intentionally shed his British accent), he went to varsity, incomes a bachelor’s diploma from Quincy College in Illinois (now Quincy University) and a grasp’s in English from Western Illinois University in Macomb. He taught for some time, then settled into a lifetime of workplace work. At 37, he was an editor at a medical journal and desperately dissatisfied.
“I had to do something or I was just going to be a miserable, complaining, crabby old man,” Mahoney informed NWI Times, an Indiana publication, in 2011. He had loved doing kids’s theatre way back, so he determined to provide appearing a attempt. And, as he stated in the identical interview, “Things fell into place.”
He took appearing lessons on the St Nicholas Theatre in Chicago, the place his trainer occurred to be playwright David Mamet. That similar yr he appeared in Mamet’s The Water Engine.
One of his fellow forged members occurred to be John Malkovich, then an unknown actor, who invited him to hitch the fledgling Steppenwolf Theatre Company, based in 1974.
Mahoney appeared in dozens of Steppenwolf productions, together with Of Mice And Men, Born Yesterday, The Man Who Came To Dinner and The Dresser.
One manufacturing, Orphans, transferred to New York in 1985, and Mahoney found himself with a Theatre World Award for his efficiency as a mobster kidnapped by small-time criminals.
A yr later he was starring at Lincoln Centre, alongside Stockard Channing, Christopher Walken, Ben Stiller and Swoosie Kurtz, in The House Of Blue Leaves.
He returned to Broadway solely as soon as, in 1992, simply earlier than Frasier started. He performed the frail character, recognized solely as Old Man, who magically trades our bodies with a wholesome younger lady in Craig Lucas’ Prelude To A Kiss.
Mahoney by no means married. He informed one interviewer that his love of theatre was his household substitute – and one other that he would by no means take into account a romantic relationship after coping with severe medical issues.
He is survived by a sister, Rita Sullivan.
Mahoney appeared in some 30 movies, starting in 1981 with Hudson Taylor, a spiritual drama a couple of British missionary. The big-name administrators quickly got here calling.
For Joel and Ethan Coen, he performed an alcoholic Southern novelist in Barton Fink (1989) and a gruff newspaper editor in The Hudsucker Proxy (1994).
He had a very good yr in 1987 when Barry Levinson forged him as an aluminum-siding salesman within the extremely praised Tin Men, and he gained a small however meaty half in Norman Jewison’s Moonstruck as a silver-haired faculty professor who joins Olympia Dukakis for dinner at an Italian restaurant – and walks her home – after his student-age date had thrown a drink in his face.
Other roles included Ione Skye’s seemingly upstanding father in Say Anything (1989) and a Washington lobbyist in The American President.
After Frasier, he continued to work in tv, making memorable appearances on the HBO drama sequence In Treatment (2009) as an insomniac government with deeper issues, and on the comedy Hot In Cleveland (which additionally starred his Frasier co-star Jane Leeves) in a recurring position (2011-14) as Betty White’s love curiosity.
His final display look was in a 2015 episode of the British drama sequence Foyle’s War, set in his childhood setting, 1940s England. He performed a dying wealthy man – American, in fact.
Mahoney was by no means keen on being interviewed. “I would rather walk across broken glass,” he informed a reporter for The Chicago Tribune in 1996.
He was not loopy about Hollywood, both, and spent as a lot time as doable in Chicago, his adopted hometown, which he praised for its mixture of tradition and Midwestern friendliness.
“I can walk to all sorts of good places,” he stated, describing the restaurant scene in his longtime Oak Park neighbourhood, “where the waiters and waitresses don’t want me to read their screenplays.”