John Mahoney, the veteran actor best known for his role as Martin Crane in the TV comedy series Frasier, has died in the US at the age of 77. He passed away on Sunday in his adopted hometown of Chicago after a brief hospitalisation.
Born into an Irish family in Blackpool, Lancashire, Mahoney emigrated to the US as a teenager to join his sister.
Mahoney, the seventh of eight children, was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England on June 20, 1940.The family was evacuated to Blackpool from the Mahoneys’ home city of Manchester, when it was heavily bombed during the Second World War.
He started school at St Joseph’s College, Blackpool. After the war, the Mahoneys moved back to Manchester. Mahoney grew up in the Withington area of the city and discovered acting at the Stretford Children’s Theatre. His Irish father, Reg, was a bakerwho played classical piano, and his mother, Margaret, was a housewife who loved reading. His parents’ marriage was not happy and they either would not speak to each other or have heated arguments. The family situation, combined with the war, fuelled Mahoney’s interest in acting and he vowed to leave Manchester.
Mahoney moved to the United States as a young man when his older sister, Vera, a war bride living in rural Illinois, agreed to sponsor him. He studied at Quincy University, Illinois, before joining the United States Army to speed up the U.S. citizenship process; he received citizenship in 1959.He lived in Macomb, Illinois, and taught English at Western Illinois University in the early 1970s,before settling in Forest Park, Illinois, and later in Oak Park, Illinois. He served as editor of a medical journal through much of the decade.
The actor only got into the profession in his late 30s after he returned to Manchester and saw Albert Finney and Leo McKern in Uncle Vanya. When he came back to Chicago he took an acting class which was run by David Mamet. The playwright and John Malkovich eventually convinced Mahoney to join the Steppenwolf group alongside the likes of Laurie Metcalf, Joan Allen and Gary Sinise.
The actor played in a great number of movies, stage plays and TV Shows. But he will always be remembered as Martin Crane, retired cop and father of Psychiatrists Niles and Frasier Crane.
We could not mention Martin Crane without mentioning his 4 legged companion, Eddie.
For 11 seasons you made us laugh. There has not been one bad episode. Although your lines were always witty . funny and often sarcastic they were also sometimes very touching and profound.
Martin Crane thank you for all the laughs. John Mahoney thanks for being a great actor. let’s hope you can fulfill your dreams wherever you are now.
Rest in Peace.
Ending with one of my favourite scenes.
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