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John Mahoney, The Actor Who Played Frasier's Dad, Has Died Aged 77

The British-born actor died on Sunday in a hospice in Chicago.

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Kevin Winter / Getty Images

John Mahoney, who played the cantankerous but much-loved Martin Crane in the long-running sitcom Frasier, has died aged 77.

Mahoney, who came to acting relatively late at the age of 37, played the father of the pompous intellectual brothers Frasier and Niles Crane in all 263 episodes of the show, which ran from 1993 to 2004, winning him a Screen Actors Guild Award and two Emmy nominations.

He was born in the seaside town of Blackpool, Lancashire, in the northwest of England – his family had moved there from Manchester to escape Nazi air raids. He then moved to the United States as a young man and served in the US Army for three years.

Kim Kulish / AFP / Getty Images

Mahoney only began acting professionally in his forties, after he joined the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Fellow Steppenwolf actor Gary Sinise said it was "a great pleasure to know him and work with him." Mahoney won a string of awards for his theatre work.

It was a great pleasure to know him and work with him. From Moira and I, Rest In Peace old friend.

Peri Gilpin, who played Roz, the producer of Frasier's radio show, tweeted a picture of Mahoney singing at her wedding.

John singing at my wedding. Watch Moonstruck, Say Anything and/or Frasier or anything you can with him in it and ra…

Frasier writer Joe Keenan said Martin Crane provided the show's moral centre.

John Mahoney was a lovely man. His Martin Crane was FRASIER's moral center; his cranky decency and bewildered love…

Many on social media were sharing the scene in which Martin Crane records a message for future generations of Cranes, to be viewed after he has died.

Rest in peace, John Mahoney. So much I could say, but I think this captures so much of why I love him. Martin Crane…

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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