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Actor John Mahoney

Updated on September 14, 2014

John Mahoney

I have always been a big fan of the TV show Frasier, and actor John Mahoney is a big reason why. Mahoney is an award-winning, English-American actor best known for playing Martin Crane, the retired police officer father of Kelsey Grammer's Dr. Frasier Crane, in the popular series that ran from 1993-2004.

Creative Commons photo courtesy Wikimedia/liz bustamante

Quick Mahoney Bio

Public domain photo courtesy Wikimedia/alan Light

Mahoney, the seventh of eight children, was born in Blackpool, England, the town to where his mother was evacuated as the Mahoneys' home city of Manchester was bombed during the Second World War and the town where he started school at St Joseph's College, Blackpool. After the war, the Mahoneys moved back to Manchester. Mahoney grew up in the Withington area of the city and discovered acting at the Stretford Youth Theatre. His father, Reg, was a baker. Mahoney moved to the United States as a young man 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 to speed up the citizenship process and to become a U.S. citizen; he received citizenship in 1959. He lived in Macomb, Illinois and taught English at Western Illinois University in the early 1970s, before finally settling in Oak Park, Illinois. He served as editor of a medical journal through much of the decade.

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Mahoney's Career

Bio courtesy Wikipedia

Ready for a change, Mahoney took acting classes at St. Nicholas Theater that inspired him to quit his day job and pursue acting full time, and after a stage production in 1977, fellow actor John Malkovich encouraged him to join Steppenwolf Theatre. He did so, and went on to win the Clarence Derwent Award as Most Promising Male Newcomer, and, in 1986, Broadway's Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves.

He made his film debut in 1980, and has played supporting roles in such films as Suspect and Moonstruck (both 1987 and both starring Cher), Eight Men Out, Frantic and Betrayed (all three 1988), Say Anything... (1989), Barton Fink (1991), The Water Engine (1992), In the Line of Fire (1993), Striking Distance (1993), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), The American President (1995), Primal Fear (1996), Antz (1998) and The Broken Hearts Club (2000). Although he has often played "good guy" roles, Mahoney has occasionally gone into "bad guy" territory, for example in Reality Bites, in which he played a diva talk show host who torments Winona Ryder's character.

He appeared in Frasier from its inception in 1993 until the final episode in 2004, and received numerous Emmy and Golden Globe award nominations for this role. Incidentally, Mahoney also appeared in an episode of Cheers as an inept jingle writer, including a brief conversation with Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer), whose father he would later play.

He also provided the voices for several characters in the animated film Antz (1998), as well as Whitmore in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, General Rogard in The Iron Giant (1999), and Kronk's Papi in Kronk's New Groove (succeeded by Jeff Bennett in The Emperor's New School). In 2007, he provided the voice of Sideshow Bob's father, Dr. Robert Terwilliger Sr. in "Funeral for a Fiend", an episode of The Simpsons. This reunited him with his Frasier co-stars Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce, who voiced the characters of Sideshow Bob and Cecil, respectively.

Mahoney co-starred as The Old Man in the Broadway revival of the play Prelude to a Kiss at the American Airlines Theater in a limited-run engagement from previews February 17, 2007 through April 29, 2007. He appeared in season 13 of ER as an elderly drag queen in the episode, "Somebody to Love", and in the 2007 romantic comedy film Dan in Real Life, co-starring as the father of Steve Carell and Dane Cook. In March of 2008 he opened in the world premiere of Better Late at the Northlight Theatre. He is also the narrator for Midwest Airlines commercials.

Mahoney lost all traces of his original Mancunian accent while serving in the U.S. Army, but he did resurrect it once on Frasier, while mocking Daphne Moon (played by English actress Jane Leeves) in the episode Look Before You Leap. In 2003, he returned to his home in Oak Park, Illinois, to work with the Chicago Steppenwolf Theatre again.

Only for the Serious "Frasier" Fan....

The complete series (1993-2004) on a 44 disc DVD set.

Mahoney Videos

Mahoney Movies

John Mahoney Quote

"People say there's no trace of an accent anymore, and there isn't because I worked very hard to lose it. And the reason I did that is a British accent in America is a real status symbol". - John Mahoney.

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Any Thoughts on This Hub? - Feel free to leave your comments here.

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    • profile image

      Omar 3 years ago

      Virtually every Jewish community in the world has a Chevra Kadisha which sees to that exact fncuiotn. When apersons family cannot bury them, or the person has no family to bury them- it is the communties responsibility to do so. As long as the community knows the person is Jewish- they will be buried. Teh Chevra Kadisha is also generally responsible for the Tahoros (bating and washing the body) befor eburial and organising shomrim (people to stay with the body until burial). If your community does not have a Chevra Kadisha, it is a great mitzvah to be the person to set one up!

    • JeanJohnson LM profile image

      JeanJohnson LM 5 years ago

      Would be cool if you added some of his movies on this lens, hes a great actor and in a lot of movies. Enjoyed your lens.

    • NanLT profile image

      Nan 7 years ago from London, UK

      I never would have guessed he came from England.

      Added to "Another 100 Lenses for my 200th Lens"