British-born actor John Mahoney, who starred as Martin Crane in hit US sitcom Frasier, has died, his manager said.
The 77-year-old, who appeared in the long-running series for 11 years, died in Chicago on Sunday.
Mahoney earned legions of fans and a Screen Actors Guild award for his portrayal of the cranky retired detective and army veteran Marty, father of Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier.
The sitcom’s casting director, Jeff Greenberg, tweeted: “I’ve not known a kinder man nor more brilliant actor. We were all blessed to have spent 11 glorious years together.”
US actress Peri Gilpin, who appeared alongside him throughout Fasier’s 263 episodes, tweeted a picture of Mahoney singing at her wedding, adding: “Watch Moonstruck, Say Anything and/or Frasier or anything you can with him in it and raise a glass to John. Remember him well.”
As well as his celebrated turn in Frasier, Mahoney also appeared in films including the Coen Brothers’ Barton Fink and performed as a voice actor and narrator.
He most recently appeared on TV screens in 2015, when he portrayed businessman Andrew Del Mar in an episode of ITV drama Foyle’s War.
Born in Blackpool in 1940 to a family evacuated from wartime Manchester, Mahoney later emigrated to the US where he was granted citizenship after service in the military, according to a biography on online entertainment database IMDb.
A latecomer to acting, he began learning his craft on stage aged 40 and won a Tony award for best featured actor in a play in 1986.
Mahoney starred in Frasier from its first episode in 1993 to its final show in 2004 and was twice nominated for an Emmy for the role.
He was joined in 193 episodes by Eddie, Marty’s beloved terrier.
The actor told the Associated Press in a 2015 interview that he fell in love with Chicago after visiting the Illinois city as a student.
However while filming for Foyle’s War in Blackpool he revisited parts of North West England from his childhood, the report said.