John Mahoney is an award-winning American actor who was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. The seventh of eight children, Mahoney's family had been evacuated to the sea-side resort to avoid the Nazi bombing of their native Manchester. The Mancunian Mahoneys eventually returned to Manchester during the war. Visiting the States to see his older sister, a "war bride" who had married an American, the young Mahoney decided to emigrate and was sponsored by his sister. He eventually won his citizenship by serving in the U.S. Army.
Long interested in acting, Mahoney didn't actually make the transition to his craft until he was almost 40 years old. Mahoney took acting classes at the St. Nicholas Theater and finally built up the courage to quit his day job and pursue acting full time, John Malkovich, one of the founders of the Second City's distinguished Steppenwolf Theatre, encouraged Mahoney to join Steppenwolf. In 1986, Mahoney won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in John Guare's "American Playhouse: The House of Blue Leaves (#6.8)" (1987).
Mahoney made his feature film debut in 1980, but he is best known for playing the role of the father of the eponymous character "Frasier" (1993) from 1993 until 2004. He is concentrating on stage work back in Chicago and has appeared on Broadway in 2007 in a revival of Prelude to a Kiss (1992).
Lost his English accent after he joined the U.S. Army.
Received a bachelor of arts degree from Quincy College (Quincy, Illinois, now Quincy University) and a masters in English from Western Illinois University (Macomb, Illinois).
Met actor John Malkovich in a Chicago acting class, who encouraged him to join the Steppenwolf theater company.
Was a member of the Stretford Civic Theatre in Manchester, England in his teens.
After "Frasier" (1993) ended, Mahoney claims he was approached for other TV series offers, but declined. Citing that "Frasier" (1993) comfortably gave him enough money, he wanted to return to the theater, which he considers his home.
Won Broadway's 1986 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for "American Playhouse: The House of Blue Leaves (#6.8)" (1987).
Came to the United States to visit his sister who was a war bride
He was formerly an English professor who taught at many colleges.
While approaching middle age, he finally decided to become an actor by quitting his job as a medical journalist and enrolling in acting classes at the St. Nicholas Theater, which has since closed.
His favourite sitcom is "Rising Damp" (1974).
He joined the Army after he moved to the U.S. Once out of the service, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Quincy College and a Master of Arts degree in English from Western Illinois University.
He joined the ensemble at Steppenwolf Theatre in 1979 and has appeared in over 20 productions there, including "The Dresser," "I Never Sang For My Father," "The Drawer Boy," "Balm in Gilead," "Orphans," "Of Mice and Men," "Born Yesterday," "The Song of Jacob Zulu," "Death and the Maiden." "Supple in Combat," and "The Man Who Came to Dinner". He made his Steppenwolf directing debut in 1994 with "Talking Heads".
He was nominated for a 1980 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in "Death of a Salesman" at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
He was nominated for a 1984 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for "The Hothouse" at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
He was nominated for a 1989 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role for "After the Fall" at the National Jewish Theater in Chicago, Illinois.
He was nominated for a 2004 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for "I Never Sang for My Father" at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
Is the uncle of Illinois State Senator John Sullivan.
Became famous for playing father to Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce on "Frasier" (1993). Grammer was also known for playing "Sideshow Bob" on "The Simpsons" (1989). Pierce would go on to play Sideshow Bob's brother "Cecil" on "The Simpsons" (1989) and then, to complete the joke, Mahoney played their father, again.
He was nominated for the 2011 Equity Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for "The Outgoing Tide" at the Northlight Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
Did not start acting until he was 37 years old.
(on his decision to pursue an acting career) So I was the associate editor of a medical journal in Chicago, and I was thirty seven, and all of a sudden I just sort of started going through this dark night of the soul... where I just... . Is this going to be it for me, am I going to be spending the rest of my life writing about cataracts and hemorrhoids... and... . just not what I wanted to do, and I was just intensely depressed all the time.
People say there's no trace of an accent anymore, and there isn't because I worked very hard to lose it. And the reason I did that is a British accent in America is a real status symbol.
(May 2003) Lives in Oak Park, Illinois
(May 2004) Having wrapped up "Frasier" (1993), he returned to Chicago to play Tom Garrison in Steppenwolf Theatre Company's "I Never Sang for My Father." Mahoney is an ensemble member of Steppenwolf.
(November 2004) Playing 'Sir' in "The Dresser" at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago
(February 2007) Starring in Roundabout Theater Company production of "Prelude to a Kiss" at the American Airlines Theater in New York.
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