John Mahoney, the gravel-voiced, Tony Award-winning, British-born actor who came to embody all-American grass-roots fatherhood on the hit sitcom “Frasier,” died on Sunday in Chicago. He was 77.
The death, in a hospital, was confirmed by Paul Martino, his longtime manager, who did not specify the cause.
Mr. Mahoney was trained at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago and worked frequently onstage. But he was best known as Martin Crane, the blue-collar father of two painfully pretentious white-collar sons on “Frasier,” seen on NBC from 1993 to 2004.
While Frasier and Niles Crane, both psychiatrists, worried about wine vintages, cappuccino bars and opening nights, Marty, a retired police officer, cherished his dog, his duct-tape-accented recliner chair and the solid values of his generation. Once, when his younger son declared a certain restaurant’s cuisine “to die for,” Marty corrected him. “Niles, your country and your family are to die for,” he said. “Food is to eat.”
Mr. Mahoney received two Emmy nominations for the role.
His Tony Award, for best featured actor in a play, honored his performance as Artie Shaughnessy, a Queens zookeeper who dreams of being a songwriter, in the 1986 Broadway revival of John Guare’s “The House of Blue Leaves.”