His two favourite places were Galway and Chicago – tributes pour in for John Mahoney
Tributes have been paid to Frasier star John Mahoney after he died earlier this week aged 77.
The popular actor passed away in a hospice in Chicago on Sunday.
Mahoney was best known for his role as Martin Crane, the father of the title character Frasier played by Kelsey Grammar in the long running sit-com.
He was born in the UK but had many connections to Ireland. His grandfather was from Cork, and he was a regular visitor to the Galway Arts Festival.
Speaking to the Irish Independent in 2014, Mr Mahoney spoke about his love for the Galway festival.
“I just keep coming to Galway. It all started in 2002 when I was doing Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night with the Irish Rep Company in Chicago. We were invited to bring it to the Galway Arts Festival, and performing it there was one of the highlights of my career, genuinely.
“I met Paul (Fahy, now the artistic director of the festival) the first time I came over and we struck up a friendship that goes beyond the theatre. I’m not just saying this to blow smoke up you, but my two favourite places in the world are Galway and Chicago.”
Fahy told RTE’s Morning Ireland: “We were just so shocked when we heard the news that he passed away. He was such a lovely sweet man. He always remained true to theatre.
“He always said his two favourite places in the world were Chicago and Galway. He loved Galway City and Connemara, he often came back here for a holiday, especially in the wintertime.”
Tributes have been paid by countless fans, friends and fellow actors on social media.
Mahoney won the hearts of viewers for his role as Martin Crane. The retired cop was a down-to-earth man of the people who enjoyed the simpler things in life, such a cold can of beer and a sports game on the TV.
It was the contrast in personalities with his two opera-loving, antique-collecting on-screen sons Frasier and Niles, that created so many of the show’s memorable moments.
Take a look at a short YouTube clip, showing the three actors at their best, after Niles has unexpectedly chosen to attempt a basket from halfway in front of millions of fans on Sports Center.