Sad news for television fans today, as an iconic actor from a long-running sitcom has sadly passed away. John Mahoney spent 11 seasons as the cantankerous Martin Crane on NBC’s Frasier, and it’s been reported that the actor died Sunday in Chicago.
Mahoney was 77 years old and was reportedly in hospice care at the time of his passing, though there are no details on his cause of death.
Frasier star Peri Gilpin was among the first of several celebrities to honor Mahoney’s legacy with a tribute on Twitter.
John singing at my wedding. Watch Moonstruck, Say Anything and/or Frasier or anything you can with him in it and raise a glass to John. Remember him well. pic.twitter.com/Tj3i5B4x13
— Peri Gilpin (@GilpinPeri) February 6, 2018
Despite his American blue-collar values and attitude on Frasier, Mahoney was actually British, born in Bispham, Blackpool, Lancashire, England in 1940.
He got his start on the stage in Chicago in 1977 before moving on to film and television work and was most proud of his theater work.
In 1986, Mahoney won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor for his performance in the Broadway play The House of Blue Leaves.
Ironically, Mahoney actually appeared in the final season of Cheers before joining Frasier, but it was in a different role — a jingle writer named Sy Flembeck who actually shared a scene with Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer).
Although he never won, Mahoney was nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for his role as Martin Crane.
After Frasier, Mahoney returned to Broadway but also had appearances in several TV shows and films, including Dan in Real Life and Flipped.
He had a co-starring role in Season 2 of HBO’s In Treatment and a memorable guest-spot as an elderly drag queen on a 2006 episode of ER.
Most recently, Mahoney had a six-episode stint on the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland and appeared on the British drama series, Foyle’s War.
His final role was on his beloved Chicago theater stage in the play The Rembrandt, which wrapped last November.