Steppenwolf Actor John Mahoney, a Tony Winner Known on Screen for Frasier, Dies at 77

Obituaries   Steppenwolf Actor John Mahoney, a Tony Winner Known on Screen for Frasier, Dies at 77
Mr. Mahoney was an member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company for nearly 40 years.
John Mahoney
John Mahoney Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

John Mahoney, a Tony Award winner and frequent performer at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, died February 4 at the age of 77. The Chicago theatre shared that he died while in hospice care due to complications from cancer.

Born in Manchester, England, Mr. Mahoney moved to America as a teenager. He attended Quincy University and enlisted in the military before becoming a citizen in 1959. In the ‘70s, Mahoney decided to pursue acting full-time and found his way at Steppenwolf—with John Malkovich’s encouragement.

Mr. Mahoney continued to be a member of the Steppenwolf ensemble since 1979. He performed in over 30 productions with the company, including Arms and the Man, Born Yesterday, Death of a Salesman, Of Mice and Men, Orphans (his breakthrough role), The Seafarer, and, most recently, last year’s Rembrandt.

He made his Broadway debut in 1986 with Lincoln Center Theater’s The House of Blue Leaves, earning a Tony Award for his performance as Artie Shaughnessy. Mr. Mahoney returned to the Broadway stage in 2007 in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Prelude to a Kiss.

The actor was perhaps known to most for his performance as Martin Crane on NBC’s long-running Frasier, playing father to Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce. He was nominated for Emmy Awards in 1999 and 2003 for his work on the comedy. His additional screen credits include Moonstruck, Say Anything…, Flipped, and Barton Fink.

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