John Mahoney who Frasier’s father on the hit for 13 seasons, from 1993 to 2004, passed today aged 77 after a short illness.
He had a strong relationship with Ireland, and particularly the Galway Film Fleadh, at which he appeared regularly. His father was born in Cork and emigrated to Blackpool, England, where John was born the seventh of eight children.
John himself emigrated to the USA when he was 18. He worked as a professor of English, before beginning a relatively late career in acting, aged 37. He joined Steppenwolf Theatre and won a Tony Award for his performance in The House of Blue Leaves in 1986.
Although Mahoney was known for playing the cranky Martin Crane on Frasier, he played a role in The Broken Hearts League, which was more in line with the man people knew off-screen.
His character in the film, which was a centrepiece screening at GAZE in 2000, served as a beloved father figure to a tightknit group of gay friends grappling with various romances.
The film’s director Greg Berlanti praised Mahoney for being “so kind and supportive of me early in my career”, and helping him to greenlight The Broken Hearts Club.
“I’ve been blessed in my life but can’t imagine a greater blessing than to work with someone as wonderful as John at the start of my career,” said Berlanti.
I’ve been blessed in my life but can’t imagine a greater blessing than to work with someone as wonderful as John at the start of my career
— Greg Berlanti (@GBerlanti) February 6, 2018
As well as Frasier and The Broken Hearts Club, Mahoney also had beloved roles in Cheers and 3rd Rock From The Sun, as well as big screen classics including, In the Line of Fire, Moonstruck and Say Anything.
Actor Zach Braff, who starred with him in The Broken Heart’s Club tweeted: “I was so honoured to work with the legendary John Mahoney on “The Broken Heart’s Club.” I was so nervous because “Say Anything” is one of my favourite films ever. He could not have been a kinder man.”
I was so honored to work with the legendary John Mahoney on “The Broken Heart’s Club.” I was so nervous because “Say Anything” is one of my favorite films ever. He could not have been a kinder man. #RIPJohnMahoney pic.twitter.com/DFp8Dpj6uz
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) February 6, 2018
Mahoney, who never married, was intensely private and only once referred to having been in several relationships in an interview.
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