John Mahoney RIP

He was much more than Frasier’s dad, but here’s a clip from his favorite episode of that series. Open thread.

37 replies
  1. 1
    PST says:

    I saw Mahoney perform several times here in Chicago, most recently in 2015 at Steppenwolf. I had no idea until today that he grew up in England. I always thought of him as a local. Oddly enough, the play we saw that year, The Herd, takes place in London, and my wife and I both noticed that unlike the rest of the cast, Mahoney didn’t speak with a British accent. Very sorry to see him pass, especially since 77 doesn’t seem all that old to me anymore.

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    I knew him slightly and had dinner (in a group) with him a couple of times. Really nice guy. His health hadn’t been good for a while so we were expecting this news, but it’s still sad.


    He worked really hard to lose his accent. And the original Steppenwolf theater was in the basement of my (now-gone) Catholic school in Highland Park.

    (The Steppenwolfers who say it was in the basement of Immaculate Conception church in Highland Park are misremembering — it was in the basement of the adjacent parochial school, which is now condos.)

  3. 3
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    So many good character parts that I would see him in, a lot of times recognizing him in rematches after he blew up on Frazier

    @PST: I always wanted to see him on stage, sad I won’t now

  4. 4
    PhoenixRising says:

    Moonstruck. “I’m too old for me; that’s my predicament.”


  5. 5
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    We saw him in 2001 at the Geffen. He was good, but Lindsay Crouse blew everyone else off the stage.

  6. 6
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I remember a story that Oprah wanted to have the whole cast of Frazier on during the last season, but he thought it was a silly idea and wouldn’t do it

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    He lived in Oak Park.

  8. 8
    Tenar Arha says:

    This made me sad. The clip referenced in this tweet reminded me so much of my Dad (though there would have been more words & wordplay).

  9. 9
    Schlemazel says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Always enjoyed his work, now I like him a whole lot more.

  10. 10
    satby says:

    I always thought if my dad had lived long enough he would have been very much like Martin Crane. Mahoney wasn’t born there, but he was a Chicagoan through and through.

  11. 11
    Tokyokie says:

    He was one of my favorite character actors, able to convey genuine warmth or quiet menace with equal ability, depending on the nature of the role.

  12. 12
    OldDave says:

    Mahoney also voiced General Rogard in one of my favorite Brad Bird animations, “The Iron Giant”.

  13. 13
    satby says:

    @Tenar Arha: That’s what I mean too, that’s so like my dad. Mahoney did that so well, and then could turn around and radiate menace in a role on Burn Notice.

  14. 14
    WaterGirl says:

    @satby: Hi satby!

    This is said. He was one of thereat character actors. Now I want to find an episode of Burn Notice where he is a menace.

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:


    That’s exactly why I was acquainted with him, but I really don’t want to get too specific online. If your email is back up, feel free to email me for exact OP locations.

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    No email until I can afford to repair or replace defunct iPad, but you can PM me through the FB messenger app. Now I’m intrigued!

  17. 17
    PST says:

    @WaterGirl: if you want to see Mahoney radiate menace watch Primal Fear, a film with lots of Chicago color.

  18. 18
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @satby: That was a fun show, and I was so happy when he turned up in that role.

  19. 19
    PST says:


    We saw him in 2001 at the Geffen. He was good, but Lindsay Crouse blew everyone else off the stage.

    Funny to see her name in this context. I was trying to think of times I saw Mahoney on stage, and one was a two man play with Mike Nussbaum, a great Chicago actor even older than him. Nussbaum was in the cast of House of Games with Lindsay Crouse, a movie with scenes that have stayed with me a long time.

  20. 20
    John Revolta says:

    “Beer and pretzels, that’s our game, C-H-E-R-S!”

  21. 21
    Miss Bianca says:

    @satby: ooh! Was he “Management”, by chance?

    (Been binge-watching “Burn Notice” because I am a huge Bruce Campbell freak, but been loving the rest of the casting!)

  22. 22
    satby says:

    @WaterGirl: Hey lady! He was in the 2009 and 2010 season finales of Burn Notice, his character was referred to only as “Management”.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    WaterGirl says:

    @satby: Right! I may have to take to watching that again. I wonder if it’s on Netflix.

  25. 25
    Ruckus says:

    @Tenar Arha:
    He did make that show. Without him it would just have been 2 pompous idiots who wanted to be assholes but didn’t have the upbringing.

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    Liked him in “The House of Blue Leaves.” He won a Tony for that, IIRC.

  27. 27
    Miss Bianca says:

    @NotMax: Did he play Artie?

    (I actually played Bunny Flingus my sophomore year in high school. Looking back on it, I still can’t believe the administration let my drama teacher direct that play! Kind of racy for high school.)

  28. 28
    oatler. says:

    Look for Ken Levine’s post tomorrow morning.

  29. 29
    NotMax says:

    Here he is in Star Trek: Voyager.

    Sort of.



  30. 30
    NotMax says:

    My bad. Fix.

    @Miss Bianca


  31. 31
    Tehanu says:

    He was absolutely brilliant as William Faulkner in the Coen Bros. movie Barton Fink. I’m so sorry he’s gone, what a shame.

  32. 32

    I never watched Frasier, but I liked him as Kid Gleason in Eight Men Out.

  33. 33
    Mathguy says:

    He was great as the father in Say Anything.

  34. 34
    mainmata says:

    So sad to hear. I loved his character on Frasier. Didn’t know about his other work. RIP.

  35. 35
    John Revolta says:

    @Tehanu: Oh fuck, I TOTALLY MISSED THAT THAT WAS HIM!! Daaaammmmnnnnn………….

  36. 36
    Skippy-san says:

    “There is never an egg timer around when you need one.”-from his role in The American President.

  37. 37
    maurinsky says:

    I saw him in The House of Blue Leaves, also. What a great actor.

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