John Mahoney, the father on 'Frasier,' has passed away

    John Mahoney Los Angeles Premiere of "Flipped" held at the Cinerama Dome / ArcLight Theatre Hollywood, California - 26.07.10 Featuring: John Mahoney Where: Hollywood, California, United States When: 26 Jul 2010 Credit: WENN

    WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) -- John Mahoney has passed away at the age of 77, according to TMZ.

    Mahoney played the father on the NBC hit show "Frasier" and also had a recurring role on TV Land series "Hot in Cleveland."

    His character's name on "Frasier" was Martin Crane - a show which he starred in alongside Kelsey Grammer. Crane was a disabled ex-policeman who parked himself in a battered old armchair in Frasier's chic Seattle living room.

    Kelsey Grammer's Frasier and David Hyde Pierce's Niles, both psychiatrists with lofty views of their own intellect, squabbled constantly with their dad but, when needed, the family closed ranks.

    Martin's beloved dog, Eddie, also took up residence to annoy the fussy Frasier.

    John Cusack, who appeared with Mahoney is the 1989 film "Say Anything," tweeted that he was a great actor and a "lovely kind human — any time you saw him you left feeling better."

    The actor was born in 1940 in Blackpool, England, during World War II. That's where his pregnant mother had been evacuated for safety from Nazi attacks, but the family soon returned to its home in Manchester.

    In a 2015 interview with The Associated Press, Mahoney recounted memories of huddling in an air raid shelter and playing among bombed-out houses. The accounts his four older sisters shared with him, he said, included tucking him into a baby carriage outfitted with a shield against feared gas attacks.

    One sister, who moved to the Midwest after marrying a U.S. sailor, was responsible for Mahoney's decision to make his life in America. He visited Chicago as a college student and fell in love with it.

    "The lake, the skyline, the museums, the symphony, the lyric opera," he said in extolling the city in 2015. Add in reliably friendly Midwesterners, Mahoney said, and it's "my favorite place in the world."

    "I give up nothing (professionally) by being in Chicago," said Mahoney, who at the time was preparing to begin rehearsal on a Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of "The Herd."

    The actor won a SAG Award for his role in "Frasier" and was also nominated for Emmy and Golden Globes Awards. Mahoney also won a Tony Award in 1986 as best featured actor in a play.

    Mahoney passed away in Chicago while in hospice care.

    The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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