Actor John Mahoney, who audiences best knew as Martin Crane on the hit Cheers spinoff Frasier, passed away in Chicago on Sunday. He was 77.
Mahoney’s manager, Paul Martino, confirmed to media that Mahoney died while in hospice care following a brief hospitalization. An official cause of death has not yet been announced publicly.
Mahoney starred on NBC’s Frasier for 11 seasons from 1993 to 2004, playing the father of Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce’s characters. During the show’s run, he was honored with two Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and also won a SAG Award.
Before Frasier, Mahoney could often be found on Chicago’s big stages, even winning a Tony Award in 1986 for Broadway’s The House of Blue Leaves.
Notable celebrity mainstays took to Twitter to pay tribute after Mahoney’s passing went public.
Mahoney first got involved with the entertainment world in 1977 and worked right up until his death.
His notable credits aside from Frasier include: The American President, In the Line of Fire and Say Anything. He used his success to help others in the industry along the way, including superhero uber-producer Greg Berlanti. Mahoney helped him get the greenlight for his directorial debut, the 2000 rom-com The Broken Heart Club.
“He never wavered in his belief in me—a first time director,” Berlanti said on social media. “And he was even more kind than he was brilliant.”
Born in Blackpool, England, Mahoney came to the U.S. when he was 19. He taught English at Western Illinois University before somehow successfully transitioning into acting in his late 30s.