Kelsey Grammer Remembers ‘Frasier’ Co-Star John Mahoney: ‘He Was My Father’

Actor Kelsey Grammer had some heartfelt words to say about the passing of John Mahoney, who played his father on Frasier.

"He was my father. I loved him," Grammer told The Hollywood Reporter.

Mahoney passed away on Sunday in his long-time home in Chicago, Illinois, according to his publicist, Paul Martino. He was 77 years old. Though best known for portraying Grammer's fictitious father on the highbrow sitcom, Mahoney had a long and illustrious career as an actor on the stage and screen.

While his character on Frasier, Martin "Marty" Crane, is a gruff retired police officer with a distinct American accent, Mahoney himself was English. He had TV audiences fooled for years with his dismissive dialect, and he was nominated for two Emmy Awards for portraying the Crane patriarch.

Mahoney was nearly 40 years old when he quit his day job as a magazine editor to pursue acting. Even before that, he taught English at Western Illinois University throughout the early 1970s.

Once he entered the world of acting, Mahoney quickly became a fixture in the Steppenwolf Theatre, a staple of the mid-western city's acting scene. After that, he took the plunge and move to New York City, where he won a Theater World Award for his work in an off-Broadway production of Orphans.

In 1986, he won a Tony Award for his role in John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves. The play was filmed and broadcast on PBS as part of the network's Theatre in America series.

After that, Mahoney worked on several movies before securing his long-term and best-known job on Frasier. He was on the series from 1993 until 2004. The show surprised everyone with its longevity, as it was originally a spin-off of Cheers.

Mahoney got many offers to continue working in TV after Frasier came to a close, but he chose to return to stage acting instead. In 2007, he returned to Broadway for a revival production of Craig Lucas' Prelude to A Kiss.

Mahoney's voice may also be recognizable to younger generations, as he recorded dialogue for several animated movies in the late 90s and early 2000s, including Antz, The Iron Giant and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.


Mahoney was born in Blackpool, England in 1940. His family had recently been evacuated from Manchester following the Nazi bombing.