John Mahoney (June 20, 1940-February 4, 2018), a native of Manchester, England, remembered huddling in an air raid shelter and playing among bombed-out houses during the war. One sister, who moved to the Midwest after marrying a U.S. sailor, was responsible for Mahoney's decision to make his life in America. He visited Chicago as a college student and fell in love with it, and become a U.S. citizen. But editing a medical journal did not seem like a life for him. So, in his mid-30s, he began taking acting lessons, and joined the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
He told the Chicago Tribute in 2004, "By the time I started my career, most people had given up and started selling insurance. I didn't have so much competition."
He would appear on stage in "I Never Sang for My Father," "Orphans," "The Seafarer," "The Dresser," "Balm in Gilead," "Prelude to a Kiss," "The Diary of Anne Frank," "Long Days Journey into Night," and "After the Fall." For his Broadway debut, "The House of Blue Leaves," he won a Tony Award for Best Actor.
His film roles included "Moonstruck," "Eight Men Out," "Tin Men," "Say Anything" and "Barton Fink." Mahoney is most recognizable as the father on the TV sitcom "Frasier," playing the grumpy dad of Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce. He earned two Emmy nominations for his portrayal.