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Charles John Mahoney (June 20, 1940 – February 4, 2018) was an English-American actor of stage, film, and television.
Mahoney in September 1994
|Born||Charles John Mahoney
June 20, 1940
Blackpool, Lancashire, England
|Died||February 4, 2018
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Born in Blackpool, England, Mahoney started his career on the stage in 1977, and moved into film in 1980. He was best known for playing the blue-collar patriarch Martin Crane in the American sitcom Frasier, which aired on NBC from 1993 to 2004. In addition to his film and television work, Mahoney also worked as a voice actor and was particularly passionate about his stage work on Broadway and in Chicago theatre.
The family had been 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 family 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 baker who 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, fueled Mahoney's interest in acting and he vowed to leave Manchester.
Mahoney moved to the United States aged 18 in March 1959 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. After graduating from Quincy, 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 became a US citizen in 1971 and served as editor of a medical journal through much of the 1970s.
Dissatisfied with his career, Mahoney took acting classes at St. Nicholas Theatre, which inspired him to resign from his day job and pursue acting full-time. After a stage production in Chicago in 1977, John Malkovich encouraged him to join the Steppenwolf Theatre. He did so and went on to win the Clarence Derwent Award as Most Promising Male Newcomer. Gary Sinise said in an interview for Bomb Magazine that Lyle Kessler's play Orphans "kicked John Mahoney, Kevin Anderson and Terry Kinney off into the movie business" after their Steppenwolf performance of the play for which he won the Derwent Award and the Theatre World Award. Mahoney won Broadway's Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves.
Mahoney's first major film role was in the 1987 Barry Levinson film Tin Men. He went on to have prominent roles in a number of acclaimed films throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, including Moonstruck, Eight Men Out, Say Anything..., In the Line of Fire, Reality Bites, and The American President. He appeared in two Coen brothers films, Barton Fink and The Hudsucker Proxy.
Mahoney appeared in Frasier from its debut in 1993 until the final episode in 2004; Mahoney received two Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for the role of Martin Crane, the father of Frasier Crane and Niles Crane. NBC executives held Mahoney in such high esteem that Warren Littlefield declared he was pre-approved when the Frasier creative team suggested casting him as the father. Prior to appearing on the series, Mahoney had appeared in an episode of Cheers – from which Frasier was a spin-off – as an inept jingle writer who has a brief conversation with Frasier. Mahoney also appeared as a priest in Becker, which starred Cheers star Ted Danson.
Mahoney's first voice job was in W. B. Yeats' "The Words upon the Window-Pane" for the award-winning National Radio Theater of Chicago. He provided the voices for several characters in Antz (1998), Preston Whitmore in Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Atlantis: Milo's Return, General Rogard in The Iron Giant (1999), and Papi in Kronk's New Groove (but was succeeded by Jeff Bennett in The Emperor's New School for an unknown reason). In 2007, Mahoney provided the voice of Dr. Robert Terwilliger, Sr. (Sideshow Bob's father) in The Simpsons episode "Funeral for a Fiend." This reunited him with his Frasier co-stars Kelsey Grammer (Sideshow Bob) and David Hyde Pierce (Cecil, Sideshow Bob's brother).
Mahoney co-starred as the Old Man in the Broadway revival of Prelude to a Kiss at the American Airlines Theater in a limited-run engagement running from previews on February 17, 2007, through to April 29, 2007. He appeared as an elderly drag queen in the ER season 13 episode "Somebody to Love," and co-starred with Steve Carell (himself a veteran of Chicago theatre) as the father of Carell's character in Dan in Real Life. In March 2008, he opened in the world premiere of Better Late at the Northlight Theatre. He was also the narrator for Midwest Airlines commercials. Mahoney also made two appearances on USA's Burn Notice in the second (2009) and third (2010) season finales. His character, referred to only as "Management," is a senior intelligence agency official who is the apparent main mover of the conspiracy which blacklisted Michael Westen.
Mahoney joined the cast of In Treatment for the series' second season (2009) as a frenetic CEO who is overwhelmed by his personal and professional responsibilities and experiences chronic physical anxiety attacks. In 2010, he made a guest appearance on $#@! My Dad Says as homophobic retired naval officer Lt. Commander Wally Durham. Despite the numerous successes throughout his career, Mahoney has maintained that his early work in Lyle Kessler's play Orphans has "affected people more than any other play I've ever done. I still get mail from it, I still get people stopping me on the street, and it's 20 years later."
Beginning in April 2011, Mahoney began rehearsing The Outgoing Tide, a new play by Bruce Graham at Northlight Theatre in Skokie, Illinois (suburban Chicago). The play also stars fellow Chicago actors Rondi Reed and Thom Cox. In 2011, he had two guest appearances on Hot in Cleveland as Roy, a waiter and a love interest for Betty White's character Elka. This reunited him with his Frasier co-star Jane Leeves, as well as Wendie Malick whose character he eventually married in Frasier and his co-star in the movie The American President. Mahoney was a featured ensemble cast member in The Birthday Party, playing in Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre from January 24 to April 28, 2013. Mahoney portrayed his last role in the play The Rembrandt, from September to November 2017.
Along with David Hyde Pierce, Mahoney was godfather to Frasier co-star Jane Leeves' son Finn. Mahoney rarely spoke publicly about his private life, but in a 2002 article he revealed he had been in several relationships, although he had never married, citing his parents' unhappy marriage as something he feared he would repeat. He suffered from colon cancer in the mid-1980s and felt unable to have sex following a colostomy. His Catholic faith was at the center of his life and work.
Mahoney died in a Chicago hospice on February 4, 2018, of complications from throat cancer, originally diagnosed in 2014. He was 77 years old. According to his friend Anna Shapiro: "He was fragile and he was supposed to be having a routine procedure. But having just beat Stage 3 throat cancer, I think he was just too weak… By the time he did The Rembrandt he was clean of cancer... But other health issues came up and he was just too fragile.”
Kelsey Grammer, who played Dr. Frasier Crane, remembered Mahoney, who played his TV dad, Martin Crane, with a poignant photo and an emotional statement. “He was my father. I loved him,” the actor wrote on Twitter, accompanied by a photo of the two embracing. In a statement Jane Leeves called Mahoney, “the dearest sweetest man I have ever known.”
|1982||Mission Hill||Michael Doyle|
|1985||Code of Silence||Prowler Representative|
|1986||The Manhattan Project||Lt. Col. Conroy|
|Streets of Gold||Linnehan|
|1987||Suspect||Judge Matthew Bishop Helms|
|Tin Men||Moe Adams|
|1988||Frantic||Williams, U.S. Embassy Official|
|Eight Men Out||William "Kid" Gleason|
|1989||Say Anything...||James Court|
|The Russia House||Brady|
|1991||Barton Fink||W. P. Mayhew|
|1992||Article 99||Dr. Henry Dreyfoos|
|1993||In the Line of Fire||Sam Campagna|
|Striking Distance||Capt. Vince Hardy|
|1994||A Hard Rain||Ross Stewart||Short film|
|Reality Bites||Grant Gubler|
|The Hudsucker Proxy||Chief|
|1995||The American President||Leo Solomon|
|She's the One||Mr. Fitzpatrick|
|Mariette in Ecstasy||Dr. Claude Baptiste|
|1999||The Iron Giant||General Shannon Rogard|
|2000||The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy||Jack|
|2001||Almost Salinas||Max Harris|
|Atlantis: The Lost Empire||Preston B. Whitmore||Voice|
|2003||Atlantis: Milo's Return||Whitmore|
|2005||Kronk's New Groove||Papi|
|2007||Dan in Real Life||Poppy|
|1982||Chicago Story||Lt. Roselli||13 episodes|
|1985||Lady Blue||Capt. Flynn||TV movie|
|1986||Trapped in Silence||Doctor Winslow||TV movie|
|1987||Saturday Night Live||Fast Eddie Felson / Paul Newman||Episode: "Charlton Heston/Wynton Marsalis"|
|1987||American Playhouse||Artie Shaughnessy||Episode: "The House of Blue Leaves"|
|1988||Favorite Son||Lou Brenner||Episode: "Part One"|
|1990||The Image||Irv Mickelson||TV movie|
|1990||H.E.L.P.||Chief Patrick Meacham||6 episodes|
|1992||The Human Factor||Dr. Alec McMurtry||5 episodes|
|1992||The Water Engine||Mason Gross||TV movie|
|1992||Screenplay||Walter Partin||Episode: "Buying a Landslide"|
|1992||Cheers||Sy Flembeck||Episode: "Do Not Forsake Me, O' My Postman"|
|1992||Unnatural Pursuits||Paddy Quinn||Episode: "I Don't Do Cuddles"|
|1993–2004||Frasier||Martin Crane||263 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2000)
Nominated–Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film (1994, 2001)
Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1999, 2003)
Nominated–Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Comedy Series (1998, 2000)
Nominated–Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy (2001)
Nominated–Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (1995–1999, 2001–2004)
Nominated–TV Guide Award for Supporting Actor of the Year in a Comedy Series (2001)
|1995||Biography||Narrator||Episode: "Al Capone: Scarface"|
|1996||3rd Rock from the Sun||Dr. Leonard Hamlin||Episode: "Body & Soul & Dick"|
|1997||Tracey Takes On...||Jeffrey Ayliss||Episode: "Childhood"|
|1998||Nothing Sacred||Vince Reyneaux||Episode: "The Coldest Night of the Year"|
|2000||Becker||Father Joe D'Andrea||Episode: "Crosstalk"|
|2000||Teacher's Pet||Narrator / Tim Tim Tim (voice)||Episode: #1.12|
|2003||Gary the Rat||Steele (voice)||Episode: "Strange Bedfellows"|
|2005||Fathers and Sons||Gene||TV movie|
|2006||ER||Bennett Cray||Episode "Somebody to Love"|
|2007||Mobsters||Narrator||Episode: "Al Capone"|
|2007||The Simpsons||Dr. Robert Terwilliger, Sr. (voice)||Episode: "Funeral for a Fiend"|
|2009||In Treatment||Walter Barnett||7 episodes
Nominated–PRISM Award for Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline
|2009, 2010||Burn Notice||Management||2 episodes|
|2010||$#*! My Dad Says||Lt. Col. Wally Durham||Episode: "The Manly Thing to Do"|
|2011, 2014||Hot in Cleveland||Roy||6 episodes|
|2015||Foyle's War||Andrew Del Mar||Episode: "High Castle"|
- In U.S. Naturalization papers, he signed his name "Charles John Mahoney"
- "John Mahoney obituary". The Guardian. February 6, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- "The Rembrandt".
- Dobson, Charlotte (6 February 2018). "Frasier actor John Mahoney's early life in Greater Manchester". Manchester Evening News.
- Gorman, Sophie (June 29, 2014). "Sitcom star John Mahoney all set for festival return". The Irish Independent. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
- "John Mahoney (Martin Crane)". Personal.umich.edu. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- Kogan, Rick (May 17, 1996). "The Curse of John Mahoney". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
- Lane, Harriet (August 4, 2002). "Take a chance on me". The Guardian. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
- Illinois, Federal Naturalization Records, 1856-1991 for Charles John Mahoney, Petition Number: 479030
- Matthew Dessem (2018) "Actor John Mahoney Has Died at 77", Slate, February 6, 2018; accessed February 7, 2018.
- Northern District, Illinois, Naturalization Index, 1926-1979. Name: Charles John Mahoney Age: 31 Birth Year: 1940 Naturalization Year: 1971 Naturalization Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA
- Chris Jones (2018) "John Mahoney, Steppenwolf and 'Frasier' actor who walked away from Hollywood, dead at 77" Chicago Tribune, 5 February 2018. Accessed 5 February 2018.
- Julie Miller (2018) "John Mahoney, Beloved Frasier Father, Dies at 77", Vanity Fair, 5 February 2018. Accessed 6 February 2018.
- Loud, Lance. "BOMB Magazine: Gary Sinise by Scott Elliott". Bomb. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
- "In 1986". Steppenwolf.org. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- Associated Press (2018) "John Mahoney, Who Played Cranky Dad on 'Frasier,' Dies at 77" The New York Times, 6 February 2018. Accessed 6 February 2018.
- "John Mahoney, who played Frasier's Martin Crane, dies aged 77" The Guardian, 8 February 2018. Accessed 8 February 2018.
- Christoper Orr (2014) "30 Years of Coens: Barton Fink", The Atlantic, September 11, 2014. Accessed February 6, 2018.
- Christoper Orr (2014) "30 Years of Coens: The Hudsucker Proxy", The Atlantic, September 12, 2014. Accessed February 6, 2018.
- Levine, Ken (December 15, 2010). "How Frasier Came to Be". Kenlevine.blogspot.com. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- The Broadway League. "Internet Broadway Database: ''Prelude to a Kiss''". Ibdb.com. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "Mahoney, Parisse, Tudyk to Headline Roundabout's ''Prelude to a Kiss''". Broadway.com. August 1, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "Northlight Theatre set for The Outgoing Tide". Theatre in Chicago. Associated Press. April 20, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "ACTUAL ARTICLE TITLE BELONGS HERE!". usanetwork.com. October 8, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- Sepinwall, Alan (June 23, 2011). "Review: 'Burn Notice' – 'Company Man': Back in from the cold?". hitfix. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "Associate Artistic Director Curt Columbus Speaks With Kevin Anderson and John Mahoney | Watch & Listen | Steppenwolf Theatre Company". Steppenwolf.org. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- Rousseau, Caryn (March 14, 2014). "After 'Frasier,' John Mahoney happy to be back in roles onstage". The Columbus Dispatch. John F. Wolfe. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- "The Birthday Party". Archived from the original on April 24, 2013.
- "The Rembrandt". Steppenwolf.
- "Frasier Finale 10th Anniversary: The Cast Then and Now". musicnewshq.com.
- "John Mahoney - Interview". Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People Cathleen Falsani, Author . Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux (272p) ISBN 978-0-374-16381-5
- "Steppenwolf ensemble member John Mahoney has died, starred in 'Frasier'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
- Chuba, Kirsten (February 5, 2018). "'Frasier' Star John Mahoney Dies at 77". Variety.
- Morton, Victor (February 5, 2018). "'Frasier' dad John Mahoney reportedly dies at 77". The Washington Times.
- "John Mahoney, the Cantankerous Dad on 'Frasier,' Dies at 77". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
- "John Mahoney, Steppenwolf and 'Frasier' actor who walked away from Hollywood, dead at 77". Chicago Tribune. February 6, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
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