John Mahoney was an award-winning American actor. He was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England, the seventh of eight children of Margaret and Reg, a baker. His family was evacuated to the sea-side resort to avoid the Nazi bombing of their native Manchester. The Mancunian Mahoneys eventually returned to Manchester during the war. Visiting the States to see his older sister, a “war bride” who had married an American, the young Mahoney decided to emigrate and was sponsored by his sister. John eventually won his citizenship by serving in the U.S. Army.
Long interested in acting, Mahoney didn’t make the transition to his craft until he was almost forty years old. Mahoney took acting classes at the St. Nicholas Theater and finally built up the courage to quit his day job and pursue acting full time. John Malkovich, one of the founders of the Second City’s distinguished Steppenwolf Theatre, encouraged Mahoney to join Steppenwolf, and in 1986, Mahoney won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in John Guare’s American Playhouse: The House of Blue Leaves (1987).
Mahoney made his feature film debut in 1980, but he was best known for playing the role of the father of the eponymous character Frasier (1993) from 1993 until 2004. He later concentrated on stage work back in Chicago, and appeared on Broadway in 2007 in a revival of Prelude to a Kiss (1992).
John died on February 4, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois.
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