Kelsey Grammer is grieving the loss of John Mahoney, who played his dad on the sitcom Frasier.
“He was my father,” Grammer, 62, tells PEOPLE in a statement. “I loved him.”
Mahoney died Sunday in Chicago, Illinois, his manager confirmed to PEOPLE. He was 77.
Born in Blackpool, England, in 1940, Mahoney became best known for his role as Martin Crane in NBC’s Frasier from 1993-2004.
Throughout his run with the show, Mahoney received two Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations.
Jane Leeves, who also starred on the series as Daphne Moon, Frasier’s housekeeper, and Martin’s physical therapist and eventual daughter-in-law after she married his other son Niles (David Hyde Pierce), paid tribute to Mahoney in a statement.
“John was the dearest sweetest man I have ever known. His wicked sense of humor, usually whispered in your ear or spoken just loud enough that only you could hear could bring you to tears,” she said. “And his smile. Oh my god. He was lit from within. How lucky I am to have had him in my life. I loved him so much and will miss him so terribly.”
Mahoney also had a prolific career as a voice actor, featuring in several animated films including Antz, Atlantis: The Lost Empire and The Iron Giant. On stage, he starred in the Broadway revival of the play Prelude to a Kiss, Better Late and The Outgoing Tide at the Northlight Theatre in Illinois.
Throughout his life, Mahoney traveled to and from Los Angles and New York for various work projects but remained loyal to his home in Oak Park, Illinois.
“It is quiet here,” he said. “I get bored out of my mind in L.A. It’s such an industry town. Here I have old friends who aren’t in the business. I can walk to all sorts of good places where the waiters and waitresses don’t want me to read their screenplays.”
Mahoney was never married and did not have any children.