'Frasier' dad John Mahoney dies at 77

ACTOR John Mahoney, who portrayed the no-nonsense father in the TV sitcom Frasier, has died in Chicago at the age of 77, his longtime theater company said Monday.

Mahoney played the iconic role of Martin Crane for all 11 seasons of the popular sitcom until 2004. He won numerous acting accolades including nominations for Emmys and Golden Globes.

His manager Paul Martino told the industry trade publication Variety that the actor died Sunday in hospice care in Chicago. His longtime Chicago theatrical home Steppenwolf Theatre Company confirmed Mahoney's death.

The character actor was born in England, but moved to the United States at the age of 19 to teach English at a college in Illinois, according to Variety.

Chicago was his longtime home, and he had said he felt happiest when in the Windy City.

"John Mahoney was a fixture on the Chicago stage," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in remembrance. "Even as his fame grew through his fantastic work in movies and television, John stayed connected to his artistic home here in Chicago.

"Though he will be missed, his work and impact will endure for generations to come."

Mahoney got his acting start in Chicago relatively lately, when he was 40 in the late 1970s, after fellow actors John Malkovich and Gary Sinise invited him to join the then-nascent Steppenwolf, according to the Chicago Tribune.

He appeared in more than 30 productions at the prestigious theater, according to the company's biography.

Mahoney appeared in numerous films and TV shows, and continued to appear on television as recently as 2015 in the TV series Foyle's War.

His more than three decades-long career in film saw him appear in movies such as The American President, Moonstruck and Say Anything.

"Rest In Peace, John Mahoney. Say Anything is one of my favourite films of all time," said actor Ken Jeong.

Mahoney won a number of acting awards, including Tony and Screen Actors Guild trophies. — AFP