Actor John Mahoney, who played Frasier's Martin Crane, dies aged 77

The actor was best known for his role as Frasier and Niles Crane's father in the hit comedy show which ran for 11 seasons

Actor John Mahoney passed away on Sunday
Actor John Mahoney passed away on Sunday

John Mahoney, the actor best known for playing Martin Crane in the US sitcom Frasier, has died aged 77.

The actor died on Sunday in Chicago, after a brief hospitalization, his longtime manager Paul Martino said on Monday. The cause of death was not immediately announced.

Mahoney’s portrayal of Marty earned him two Emmy nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, and a Screen Actors Guild award. He also has a distinguished career in theatre, winning a Tony award and took part in a long list of movies and TV credits.

Mahoney was best known for his role in Frasier
Mahoney was best known for his role in Frasier

The actor was born in Blackpool, England but moved to the US as a young man. He served in the US army for three years, which he credited with eradicating his native British accent.

It was only in his 40s that he became a professional actor, after actors John Malkovich and Gary Sinise invited him to join the new Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

The company announced on social media that Mahoney had passed away "due to complications from cancer".

"John was a beloved member of our Steppenwolf family who was known for his extraordinary kindness, generosity of spirit and quick smile," it said in a statement.

In a 2004 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Mahoney had said he preferred his theatre work to the high-profile national television scene, saying "I don't care if I never go in front of a camera again."

Mahoney’s most recent work included guest appearances on Hot in Cleveland and a 2015 episode of Foyle’s War.

Tributes to the actor pouring in on social media.

Jeff Greenberg, the casting director for Frasier, called him a "brilliant actor".

Peri Gilpin, who played Roz Doyle in Frasier, tweeted a photo of Mahoney singing at her wedding.