Kelsey Grammar wrote: 'He was my father, I loved him'
Tributes have been paid in memory of Frasier actor John Mahoney, who died this week at the age of 77. His cause of death has now been revealed.
Mahoney was most well known for his role as Martin Crane in seminal sitcom Frasier, where he played the often disgruntled but unpretentious and good-humoured father of the title character and Niles – often outsmarting his well educated sons. The show ran for 11 seasons between 1993 and 2004.
A member of Steppenwolf for 39 years, the theatre company announced his death on social media.
“It is with our deepest sorrow that we share the news that ensemble member of 39 years John Mahoney passed away,” they wrote. “Tonight’s opening night performance of You Got Older has been cancelled. We are instead inviting all to gather in Front Bar this evening. All are welcome to join us.”
Kelsey Grammer, who played the titular character on the sitcom, simply wrote: “He was my father. I loved him.”
TMZ has since reported that Mahoney’s death caused by multiple health complications, which included brain disease and lung cancer.
Born in Blackpool where his mother was evacuated to escape Nazi bombing raids during World War Two, Mahoney moved to America as a young man. After serving in the US Army for a number of years, he became a professional actor. He found great success on the stage, admitting in his later life that he preferred theatre work to television.
But it was on the small screen where he won the hearts of comedy lovers for his role as Martin Crane.
“I’ve not known a kinder man nor more brilliant actor,” wrote Frasier casting director Jeff Greenberg. “We were all blessed to have spent 11 glorious years together.”
Peri Gilpin, who played Roz Doyle in Frasier, shared a photo of Mahoney singing at her wedding – praising his good humour and urging fans to ‘remember him well’.
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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 never wavered in his belief in me – a first time director,” said Berlanti. “And he was even more kind than he was brilliant.”
Other stars to pay tribute included Ben Stiller, John Cusack and Zach Braff.
As well as Frasier, he also had beloved roles in Cheers and 3rd Rock From The Sun, as well as big screen classics including The American President, Moonstruck, In the Line of Fire, and Say Anything.
Mahoney died at the age of 77 in hospice care in Chicago. He never married and had no children.