|John Mahoney played the iconic role of no-nonsense father Martin Crane for all 11 seasons of the popular sitcom "Frasier" until 2004. — AFP Photo
CHICAGO — Actor John Mahoney, who portrayed the no-nonsense father in the TV sitcom Frasier, has died in Chicago at the age of 77, his longtime theatre company said Monday.
Mahoney played the iconic role of Martin Crane for all 11 seasons of the popular sitcom until 2004. He won numerous acting accolades including nominations for Emmys and Golden Globes.
The Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago said Mahoney, who was a member of the ensemble for 39 years, died Sunday due to complications from cancer while in hospice care.
The character actor was born in England, but moved to the United States at the age of 19 to teach English at a college in Illinois, according to Variety.
Chicago was his longtime home, and he had said he felt happiest when in the Windy City.
"John Mahoney was a fixture on the Chicago stage," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in remembrance. "Even as his fame grew through his fantastic work in movies and television, John stayed connected to his artistic home here in Chicago.
"Though he will be missed, his work and impact will endure for generations to come."
Mahoney got his acting start in Chicago relatively lately, when he was 40 in the late 1970s, after fellow actors John Malkovich and Gary Sinise invited him to join the then-nascent Steppenwolf, according to the Chicago Tribune.
"So many wonderful plays together over the years," Sinise reminisced on Twitter. "A wonderful actor I’ll never forget his 1985 performance in Orphans (Chicago and New York)."
Mahoney appeared in more than 30 productions at the prestigious theatre, including The Rembrandt in September.
"John was a beloved member of our Steppenwolf family who was known for his extraordinary kindness, generosity of spirit and quick smile," Steppenwolf spokeswoman Madeline Long said in a statement.
"John’s impact on this institution, on Chicago theatre, and the world of arts and entertainment is great and will endure."
Mahoney appeared in numerous films and TV shows, and continued to appear on television as recently as 2015 in the TV series Foyle’s War.
His more than three decades-long career in film saw him appear in movies such as The American President, Moonstruck and Say Anything.
"Rest In Peace, John Mahoney. Say Anything is one of my favourite films of all time," said actor Ken Jeong.
Mahoney won a number of acting awards, including Tony and Screen Actors Guild trophies. — AFP