John Mahoney

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John Mahoney
John Mahoney 1994.JPG
Mahoney in 1994
Born(1940-06-20) June 20, 1940 (age 74)
Bispham, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, UK
Years active1982–present
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For other people named John Mahoney, see John Mahoney (disambiguation).
John Mahoney
John Mahoney 1994.JPG
Mahoney in 1994
Born(1940-06-20) June 20, 1940 (age 74)
Bispham, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, UK
Years active1982–present

John Mahoney (20 June 1940) is an American-British actor. He started his career on the stage in 1977 and moved into film in 1980. He played Martin Crane in the American sitcom Frasier on NBC from 1993 until to 2004. He has also worked as a voice actor, and performed on Broadway and in Chicago theatre.

Early life[edit]

Mahoney, the seventh of eight children, was born in the seaside resort of Blackpool, Lancashire, England – the town to which his mother was evacuated as the Mahoneys' home city of Manchester 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[1] 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.[2][3]

Mahoney moved to the US 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.[4] 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[edit]

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"[5] after their Steppenwolf performance in it where he won the Derwent Award and the Theatre World Award.[6] 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.


Main article: Martin Crane

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.[7]

Prior to appearing on Frasier, 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[edit]

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).


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.[8][9] 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.[10] 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.[11][12]

Mahoney joined the cast of the HBO drama In Treatment for the show's second season (2009) as a frenetic CEO that is overwhelmed by his personal and professional responsibilities and experiences chronic physical anxiety attacks and arrives for therapy demanding a "quick fix" because his time is of the essence.

In 2010, he made a guest appearance on $#@! My Dad Says as anti-homosexual 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."[13]

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.[14] 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.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Along with David Hyde Pierce, Mahoney is godfather to Frasier co-star Jane Leeves's son Finn.[16] Mahoney has scarcely talked about his private life, [2] but in a 2002 article he revealed he has been in several relationships, although he has never married.[3]



1985Code of SilenceProwler Representative
1986The Manhattan ProjectLt. Col. Conroy
1987SuspectJudge Matthew Bishop Helms
Tin MenMoe Adams
1988FranticU.S. Embassy Official
Eight Men OutWilliam 'Kid' Gleason
1989Say Anything...James Court
1990Love HurtsBoomer
The Russia HouseBrady
1991Barton FinkW.P. Mayhew
1992Article 99Dr. Henry Dreyfoos
1993In the Line of FireSam Campagna
Striking DistanceLt. Vince Hardy
1994A Hard RainRoss Stewart
Reality BitesGrant Gubler
The Hudsucker ProxyChief
1995The American PresidentLeo Solomon
1996Mariette in EcstasyDr. Claude Baptiste
Primal FearShaughnessy
1998She's the OneMr. Fitzpatrick
AntzGrebs (voice)
1999The Iron GiantGeneral Shannon Rogard (voice)
2000The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic ComedyJack
2001Almost SalinasMax Harris
Atlantis: The Lost EmpirePreston B. Whitmore (voice)
2003Atlantis: Milo's ReturnPreston B. Whitmore (voice)
2005Kronk's New GroovePapi (voice)
2007Dan in Real LifePoppy
2010FlippedChet Duncan


1982Chicago StoryLt. Roselli
1985Lady BlueCapt. Flynn
1986Trapped in SilenceDoctor Winslow
1987Saturday Night LiveFast Eddie Felson
Paul Newman
American PlayhouseArtie Shaughnessy
1988Favorite SonLou Brenner
1990The ImageIrv Mickelson
H.E.L.P.Chief Patrick Meacham
1991The American Experience
The 10 Million Dollar GetawayJimmy Burke
1992The Human FactorDr. Alec McMurtry
The Secret Passion of Robert ClaytonRobert Clayton Sr.
The Water EngineMason Gross
ScreenplayWalter Partin
CheersSy Flembeck
Unnatural PursuitsPaddy Quinn
1993–2004FrasierMartin CraneScreen 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)
19963rd Rock from the SunDr. Leonard Hamlin
1997Tracey Takes On...Jeffrey Ayliss
1998Nothing SacredVince Reyneaux
2000BeckerFather Joe D'Andrea
2003Gary the RatSteele
2005Fathers and SonsGene
2006ERBennett Cray
The SimpsonsDr. Robert Terwilliger, Sr.
2009In TreatmentWalter BarnettNominated–PRISM Award for Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline
2009–2010Burn NoticeManagement
2010$#*! My Dad SaysLt. Col. Wally Durham
2011–2014Hot in ClevelandRoy


  1. ^ "John Mahoney (Martin Crane)". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  2. ^ a b Kogan, Rick (1996-05-17). "The Curse Of John Mahoney". Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  3. ^ a b Lane, Harriet (2002-08-04). "Take a chance on me". Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  4. ^ "John Mahoney Biography (1940-)". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  5. ^ Loud, Lance. "BOMB Magazine: Gary Sinise by Scott Elliott". Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  6. ^ "In 1986". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  7. ^ Levine, Ken (2010-12-15). "How Frasier Came to Be". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  8. ^ The Broadway League. "Internet Broadway Database: ''Prelude to a Kiss''". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  9. ^ "Mahoney, Parisse, Tudyk to Headline Roundabout's ''Prelude to a Kiss''". 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  10. ^ Associated Press (Apr 20, 2011). "Northlight Theatre set for The Outgoing Tide". Theatre in Chicago. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  11. ^ "". 2012-10-08. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  12. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (Jun 23, 2011). "Review: 'Burn Notice' - 'Company Man': Back in from the cold?". Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Associate Artistic Director Curt Columbus Speaks With Kevin Anderson and John Mahoney | Watch & Listen | Steppenwolf Theatre Company". Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  14. ^ Das, Lina (30 July 2010). "How Benny Hill babe Jane Leeves became the queen of U.S. TV". Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Birthday Party". Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  16. ^ Mulkerrins, Jane (2011-02-13). "Jane Leeves in Hot in Cleveland has struck sitcom gold again". Dailymail. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 

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