'His two favourite places were Chicago and Galway' - Tributes paid to 'Frasier' star John Mahoney as he dies aged 77
John Mahoney has died aged 77.
The former ‘Frasier’ star - who was known for his role as Martin Crane, the father of the titular character, in the NBC sitcom - passed away on Sunday whilst in hospice care in Chicago, his publicist has told TMZ.
No other details are known about John’s passing at the time of writing, and his publicist has yet to put out a statement with regards to his death.
The British-born actor starred as Martin Crane alongside his on-screen sons Kelsey Grammar, who played the titular Frasier, and David Hyde Pierce, who played Niles, in the sitcom for a whopping 11 seasons, from 1993 to 2004.
The actor had many Irish connections; his grandfather was from Cork and he was a regular at the Galway International Arts Festival since 2002.
Speaking to the Irish Independent in 2014, Mr Mahoney spoke about his love for the Galway festival.
"I just keep coming to Galway. It all started in 2002 when I was doing Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night with the Irish Rep Company in Chicago. We were invited to bring it to the Galway Arts Festival, and performing it there was one of the highlights of my career, genuinely.
"I met Paul (Fahy, now the artistic director of the festival) the first time I came over and we struck up a friendship that goes beyond the theatre. I'm not just saying this to blow smoke up you, but my two favourite places in the world are Galway and Chicago."
In 2000, he was awarded a SAG Award for his work on the show, and was also nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes.
Besides starring in the hugely popular sitcom, John also had a lucrative film career, with roles in productions including 'American President,' ‘Say Anything…' and ‘Eight Men Out’.
Most recently, John had a recurring role in TV Land’s ‘Hot In Cleveland’, where he appeared as Roy in six episodes between 2011 and 2014.
His last TV appearance was in ‘Foyle’s War’ in 2015, where he played Andrew Del Mar.
Aside from his careers in film and television, John was also active in theatre, and won a Tony in 1986.
John was intensely private about his personal life, but is thought to have never married, despite previously claiming to have been in several relationships.
Tributes have been paid to the much-loved actor following the news of his passing.
Paul Fahy, artistic director of Galway International Arts Festival, said the Mr Mahoney would be "truly missed".
We are so sad to hear of the death of our dear friend John Mahoney. He performed so many memorable roles at the Festival and often holidayed in Galway. A truly brilliant actor. What a wonderful, sweet and gentle man he was. We loved him dearly. @NorthlightThtr @SteppenwolfThtr pic.twitter.com/062DVDYhrl— Galway Int Arts Fest (@GalwayIntArts) February 6, 2018
RIP John Mahoney. Great memories from the Galway International Arts Festival. Wonderful patron of GIAF. pic.twitter.com/Tr09vr7Jim— Noel Martyn (@NoelMartyn) February 6, 2018
It was cool to see John Mahoney in an Irish play in Galway that one time. pic.twitter.com/M9MNbDhtf2— Keene Short (@PreachyKeene) February 6, 2018
So sad to hear of the passing of John Mahoney, he was a great supporter of the Galway Arts Festival, I always loved seeing him here when he was in a production. So brilliant in Frasier too. Rest in peace xx #Frasier— Robert Craig-Morgan (@rcraigmorgan) February 6, 2018
This is what I have always remembered about John Mahoney's work (along with an incredible performance in "Long Day's Journey Into Night" in Galway, Ireland). What an excellent actor. pic.twitter.com/u7fwKBwp0C— Alison MacAdam (@ajmacadam) February 6, 2018
"We were just so shocked when we heard the news that he passed away," he told RTE's Morning Ireland.
Mr Fahy saw the American actor just before Christmas and said he had been in great form.
"He was such a lovely sweet man," he said. "He always remained true to theatre.
"He always said his two favourite places in the world were Chicago and Galway. He loved Galway City and Connemara, he often came back here for a holiday, especially in the wintertime."