From 1993 to 2004, the world fell in love with the massively successful Cheers spin-off sitcom “Frasier.” The show quickly became even more popular than its parent show, and followed Dr. Frasier Crane back to his hometown of Seattle, where he worked as a radio psychiatrist and lived with his dad.
The show took home 37 Emmy awards throughout its 11-season run, beating Cheers to become one of the top 5 most award-winning shows of all time.
But news of the passing of a beloved star of the show made headlines early Jan. 6. John Mahoney, the actor best-known for playing Frasier’s dad, Martin Crane, has passed away at age 77.
RIP, John Mahoney. Thank you for many years of laughter. We’ll miss you Marty Crane. pic.twitter.com/QaJu9YpmdO
— NBC (@nbc) February 6, 2018
Mahoney passed away on Sunday in Chicago after a quick hospitalization. The details of his death are still unknown.
The actor first found his passion for performing as a member of a children’s theater, but wouldn’t return to that passion for many years.
Born in Blackpool, England, Mahoney moved to America and joined the army at age 19. After earning both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, he began working as a college professor and hospital attendant.
But by 30 years old, Mahoney quit his job to pursue a career in acting once again. After working his way through the theater ranks, Mahoney took home a Tony award for his role in “The House of Blue Leaves,” at 37 years old.
Theater companies Mahoney was involved with shared their sentiments on his passing. Steppenwolf Theatre decided to cancel a show in the actor’s honor, as he was a 39-year member of their ensemble.
It is with our deepest sorrow that we share the news that ensemble member of 39 years John Mahoney passed away. 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. pic.twitter.com/k8yrrR7ICA
— Steppenwolf Theatre (@SteppenwolfThtr) February 6, 2018
Mahoney went on to play the role of Marty Crane for over a decade, taking home a SAG award as well as two Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations along the way.
In one of the last interviews before his passing, Mahoney spoke of his love for the show and his cast mates over the years.
“When I left England to immigrate to the United States, I didn’t think I would ever miss anything more at that time… But it was just as bad to leave ‘Frasier’ and those friends behind,” he said. “I can’t tell you how close we were every single day for 11 years. We just adored each other and still do.”
Mahoney’s cast mates have taken to social media in mourning, saying their farewells to their friend and sharing their fond memories of him.
Peri Gilpin, who played Roz Doyle in Frasier, shared a video of Mahoney singing at her wedding as she remembered his best moments.
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
In an interview, Jane Leeves, who played Daphne Moon on the show, also shared how meaningful Mahoney had been in her life.
“John was the dearest sweetest man I have ever known. His wicked sense of humor, usually whispered in your ear or spoken just loud enough that only you could hear could bring you to tears. And his smile. Oh my god. He was lit from within.”
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) February 6, 2018
Throughout his lifetime, the actor battled cancer twice, but never let his health issues stand in the way. “I refused to yield to it because I love what I’m doing so much,” he said. “And I refuse to sit at home and feel sorry for myself. Instead, I just want to get out there and do another job.”
We are all going to miss you, Marty Crane. Thank you for the laughs. Rest in peace, John Mahoney.
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