John Mahoney was born on June 20, 1940 in Blackpool, England, but called Chicago home. His death was caused by complications from cancer, and he passed away in the windy city on February 4.
When I was a young actor in Chicago, we would all tell the John Mahoney story to make ourselves feel like we had all of the time in the world to make it. “Don’t worry, we have time. Look at John Mahoney, he didn’t start until he was 40!” Before he started acting, Mahoney taught English and was a Midwestern medical magazine editor, among other things.
John became part of the ensemble at Steppenwolf Theater in their early days with John Malkovich. He ventured out to New York for a while or more stage work and only lived in Los Angeles to work and shoot. Some of his credits included Frasier (which earned him two supporting actor nominations), The American President, Say Anything, Suspect, Eight Men Out, Moonstruck and Tin Man.
Once filming on Frasier was completed, he made his way back to Chicago despite being offered many other TV series.
It was no surprise to me to see the social media world light up with stories from people who have worked with or were friends with him. He was a great actor and touched a lot of people’s lives with his kindness and generosity.