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John Mahoney

John Mahoney, September 2007
Born June 20, 1940 (1940-06-20) (age 69)
Blackpool, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actor
Years active 1980–present

John Mahoney (born June 20, 1940) is a British American actor, known for playing Martin "Marty" Crane, the retired police officer father of Kelsey Grammer's Dr. Frasier Crane, in the American TV series Frasier (NBC, 1993–2004).


Life and career


Early life

Mahoney, the seventh of eight children, was born to an Irish family in the seaside resort of Blackpool, north west England - the town to which his mother was evacuated as the Mahoneys' home city of Manchester was heavily bombed during the Second World War. 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.[1] 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.[2] He lived in Macomb, Illinois and taught English at Western Illinois University in the early 1970s, before settling in Oak Park, Illinois. He served as editor of a medical journal through much of the decade.


Early career

Disillusioned with his career, 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, 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 The Manhattan Project as Lt Col Conroy, (1986), 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), She's the One (1996), and The Broken Hearts Club (2000). Although he has often played "straight-arrow good guy" roles, Mahoney has occasionally gone into villain territory, for example in Reality Bites, in which he played a diva talk show host who torments Winona Ryder's character. He also appeared as infamous New York gangster Jimmy Burke in The Ten Million Dollar Getaway in 1991. Not to mention a hateful and insufferable professor on an episode of the NBC sit-com 3rd Rock From the Sun.


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. 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.

Voice work

He also provided the voices for several characters in the animated film Antz (1998), as well as Whitmore in Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Atlantis: Milo's Return, 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 his character's sons: Sideshow Bob and Cecil, respectively.

Current career

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.[3][4] 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, himself a veteran of Chicago theatre. In March 2008 he opened in the world premiere of Better Late at the Northlight Theatre. He is also the narrator for Midwest Airlines commercials. On March 5, 2009 Mahoney made a brief appearance on USA's Burn Notice at the end of its second season. His character, referred to only as "Management", is a senior covert intelligence agency official and apparently the main mover of the conspiracy which blacklisted Michael Westen. He also appeared in the third season finale, broadcast on March 4, 2010. [5]

Mahoney joined the cast of the HBO drama, In Treatment, for the show's (2009) second season, portraying a frenetic CEO, overwhelmed by his personal and professional responsibilities, who experiences chronic physical anxiety attacks and arrives for therapy demanding a "quick fix", because his time is of the essence.

Personal life

Mahoney lost nearly all of his original Northern English 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.

Mahoney is the uncle of Illinois State Senator John Sullivan.


External links


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