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John Mahoney

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Title: John Mahoney  
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Subject: Suspect (1987 film), The Russia House (film), Frasier, Flipped (film), Primal Fear (film)
Collection: 1940 Births, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, 21St-Century American Male Actors, American Male Film Actors, American Male Television Actors, American People of Irish Descent, British Male Television Actors, Clarence Derwent Award Winners, English Emigrants to the United States, English People of Irish Descent, Living People, Male Actors from Chicago, Illinois, People from Bispham, Blackpool, Quincy University Alumni, Tony Award Winners, United States Army Soldiers, Western Illinois University Faculty
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John Mahoney

John Mahoney
Mahoney in 1994
Born (1940-06-20) June 20, 1940
Blackpool, Lancashire, England
Citizenship American
Occupation Actor
Years active 1977–present

John Mahoney (born 20 June 1940) is an English-born American actor. Born in Blackpool in North West England, Mahoney started his career on the stage in 1977 as the body double for Steve McQueen and moved into film in 1980. He played Martin Crane in the American sitcom Frasier on NBC from 1993 to 2004. He has also worked as a voice actor, and performed on Broadway and in Chicago theatre.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Early work 2.1
    • Frasier 2.2
    • Voice acting 2.3
    • Post-Frasier 2.4
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Mahoney, the seventh of eight children, was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England.[1] The family was evacuated to Blackpool from the Mahoneys' home city of Manchester which 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 Children's Theatre. His Irish father, Reg, was a baker[2] who played classical piano, and his mother, Margaret, was a housewife who loved reading. His parents' marriage was not happy and they either would not speak to each other or have heated arguments. The family situation accompanied with the war fueled Mahoney's intrigue for acting and he vowed to leave Manchester.[3][4] 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 U.S. citizenship process; he received citizenship in 1959.[5] He lived in Macomb, Illinois, and taught English at Western Illinois University in the early 1970s, before settling in Forest Park, Illinois, and later in Oak Park, Illinois. He served as editor of a medical journal through much of the decade.


Early work

Dissatisfied with his career, Mahoney took acting classes at St. Nicholas Theatre, which 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. Gary Sinise, co-founder of Steppenwolf, said in an interview for Bomb Magazine that Lyle Kessler's play Orphans "kicked John Mahoney, Kevin Anderson and Terry Kinney off into the movie business"[6] after their Steppenwolf performance in it where he won the Derwent Award and the Theatre World Award.[7] He won Broadway's Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves.


Mahoney appeared in Frasier from its inception in 1993 until the final episode in 2004; Mahoney received numerous Emmy and Golden Globe award nominations for this role. He played the role of Martin "Marty" Crane, the father of Frasier Crane and Niles Crane. NBC executives so highly esteemed Mahoney that Warren Littlefield declared he was pre-approved when the Frasier creative team suggested casting him as the father.[8] Prior to appearing on the series, Mahoney appeared in episode 5 season 11 of Cheers as inept jingle writer Sy Flembeck and has a brief conversation with Frasier Crane. Mahoney also appeared as a priest in Becker which starred Cheers regular Ted Danson.

Voice acting

Mahoney voice acting in September 2007

Mahoney's first voice job was in W. B. Yeats' "The Words upon the Window-Pane" for the award-winning National Radio Theater of Chicago. He provided the voices for several characters in the animated film Antz (1998), Preston 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 (but is succeeded by Jeff Bennett in The Emperor's New School). In 2007, he provided the voice of Dr. Robert Terwilliger Sr. (Sideshow Bob's father) in The Simpsons episode "Funeral for a Fiend". This reunited him with his Frasier co-stars Kelsey Grammer (Sideshow Bob) and David Hyde Pierce (Cecil, Sideshow Bob's brother).


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.[9][10] He appeared as an elderly drag queen in the ER season 13 episode "Somebody to Love", and co-starring as Steve Carell's father (himself a veteran of Chicago theatre) in the 2007 romantic comedy film Dan in Real Life. In March 2008, he opened in the world premiere of Better Late at the Northlight Theatre.[11] He is also the narrator for Midwest Airlines commercials. Mahoney also made two appearances on USA's Burn Notice in the second (2009) and third (2010) season finales. His character, referred to only as "Management", is a senior intelligence agency official that is the apparent main mover of the conspiracy which blacklisted Michael Westen.[12][13]

Mahoney joined the cast of the HBO drama In Treatment for the show's second season (2009) as a frenetic CEO who is overwhelmed by his personal and professional responsibilities and experiences chronic physical anxiety attacks. In 2010, he made a guest appearance on $#@! My Dad Says as homophobic retired naval officer Lt. Commander Wally Durham. Despite the numerous successes throughout his career, Mahoney has maintained that his early work in Lyle Kessler's play Orphans has "affected people more than any other play I've ever done. I still get mail from it, I still get people stopping me on the street, and it's twenty years later."[14]

Beginning in April 2011, Mahoney began rehearsing The Outgoing Tide, a new play by Bruce Graham at Northlight Theatre in Skokie, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). The play also stars fellow Chicago actors Rondi Reed and Thom Cox. In 2011, he had two guest appearances on the TV Land sitcom Hot In Cleveland as Roy, a waiter and a love interest for Betty White's character, Elka.[15] This reunited him with his Frasier co-star Jane Leeves as well as Wendie Malick whose character he eventually married in Frasier and his co-star in the movie The American President. Mahoney was a featured ensemble cast member in The Birthday Party, playing in Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre from January 24 to April 28, 2013.[16]

Personal life

Along with David Hyde Pierce, Mahoney is godfather to Frasier co-star Jane Leeves's son Finn.[17] Mahoney has scarcely talked about his private life,[3] but in a 2002 article he revealed he has been in several relationships, although he has never married.[4] Mahoney lives in Oak Park, Illinois.[18]


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Code of Silence Prowler Representative
1986 The Manhattan Project Lt. Col. Conroy
1987 Suspect Judge Matthew Bishop Helms
1987 Tin Men Moe Adams
1987 Moonstruck Perry
1988 Frantic U.S. Embassy Official
1988 Betrayed Shorty
1988 Eight Men Out William 'Kid' Gleason
1989 Say Anything... James Court
1990 Love Hurts Boomer
1990 The Russia House Brady
1991 Barton Fink W.P. Mayhew
1992 Article 99 Dr. Henry Dreyfoos
1993 In the Line of Fire Sam Campagna
1993 Striking Distance Lt. Vince Hardy
1994 Reality Bites Grant Gubler
1994 The Hudsucker Proxy Chief
1995 The American President Leo Solomon
1996 Primal Fear Shaughnessy
1996 She's the One Mr. Fitzpatrick
1998 Antz Grebs Voice
1999 The Iron Giant General Shannon Rogard Voice
2000 The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy Jack
2001 Atlantis: The Lost Empire Preston B. Whitmore Voice
2007 Dan in Real Life Poppy
2010 Flipped Chet Duncan
Year Title Role Notes
1982 Chicago Story Lt. Roselli
1985 Lady Blue Capt. Flynn Movie
1986 Trapped in Silence Doctor Winslow Movie
1987 Saturday Night Live Fast Eddie Felson
Paul Newman
Episode: "Charlton Heston/Wynton Marsalis"
1987 American Playhouse Artie Shaughnessy Episode: "The House of Blue Leaves"
1988 Favorite Son Lou Brenner Episode: "Part One"
1990 The Image Irv Mickelson Movie
1990 H.E.L.P. Chief Patrick Meacham 6 episodes
1992 The Human Factor Dr. Alec McMurtry 5 episodes
1992 The Water Engine Mason Gross Movie
1992 Screenplay Walter Partin Episode: "Buying a Landslide"
1992 Cheers Sy Flembeck Episode: "Do Not Forsake Me, O' My Postman"
1992 Unnatural Pursuits Paddy Quinn Episode: "I Don't Do Cuddles"
1993–2004 Frasier Martin Crane 264 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2000)
Nominated–Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film (1994, 2001)
Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1999, 2003)
Nominated–Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Comedy Series (1998, 2000)
Nominated–Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy (2001)
Nominated–Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (1995–1999, 2001–2004)
Nominated–TV Guide Award for Supporting Actor of the Year in a Comedy Series (2001)
1995 Biography Narrator Episode: "Al Capone: Scarface"
1996 3rd Rock from the Sun Dr. Leonard Hamlin Episode: "Body & Soul & Dick"
1997 Tracey Takes On... Jeffrey Ayliss Episode: "Childhood"
1998 Nothing Sacred Vince Reyneaux Episode: "The Coldest Night of the Year"
2000 Becker Father Joe D'Andrea Episode: "Crosstalk"
2000 Teacher's Pet Narrator / Tim Tim Tim (voice) Episode: #1.12
2003 Gary the Rat Steele (voice) Episode: "Strange Bedfellows"
2005 Fathers and Sons Gene Movie
2006 ER Bennett Cray Episode "Somebody to Love"
2007 Mobsters Narrator Episode: "Al Capone"
2007 The Simpsons Dr. Robert Terwilliger, Sr. (voice) Episode: "Funeral for a Fiend"
2009 In Treatment Walter Barnett 7 episodes
Nominated–PRISM Award for Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline
2009, 2010 Burn Notice Management 2 episodes
2010 $#*! My Dad Says Lt. Col. Wally Durham Episode: "The Manly Thing to Do"
2011, 2014 Hot in Cleveland Roy 6 episodes
2015 Foyle's War Andrew Del Mar Episode: "High Castle"
Year Title Role Notes
2003 Atlantis: Milo's Return Preston B. Whitmore Voice
2005 Kronk's New Groove Papi Voice


  1. ^ Gorman, Sophie (29 June 2014). "Sitcom star John Mahoney all set for festival return". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "John Mahoney (Martin Crane)". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  3. ^ a b Kogan, Rick (1996-05-17). "The Curse Of John Mahoney". Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  4. ^ a b Lane, Harriet (2002-08-04). "Take a chance on me". Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  5. ^ "John Mahoney Biography (1940-)". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  6. ^ Loud, Lance. "BOMB Magazine: Gary Sinise by Scott Elliott". Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  7. ^ "In 1986". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  8. ^ Levine, Ken (2010-12-15). "How Frasier Came to Be". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  9. ^ The Broadway League. "Internet Broadway Database: ''Prelude to a Kiss''". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  10. ^ "Mahoney, Parisse, Tudyk to Headline Roundabout's ''Prelude to a Kiss''". 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  11. ^ Associated Press (Apr 20, 2011). "Northlight Theatre set for The Outgoing Tide". Theatre in Chicago. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  12. ^ "". 2012-10-08. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  13. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (Jun 23, 2011). "Review: 'Burn Notice' - 'Company Man': Back in from the cold?". Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Associate Artistic Director Curt Columbus Speaks With Kevin Anderson and John Mahoney | Watch & Listen | Steppenwolf Theatre Company". Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  15. ^ Rousseau, Caryn (14 March 2014). "After ‘Frasier,’ John Mahoney happy to be back in roles onstage".  
  16. ^ "The Birthday Party". Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Frasier Finale 10th Anniversary: The Cast Then and Now". 
  18. ^

External links

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