John Mahoney's most memorable roles

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John Mahoney: A career in pictures

Beloved actor John Mahoney died Sunday in Chicago at the age of 77. Over the course of his career, the British transplant made a name for himself on television, film, and stage, earning multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and a Tony Award along the way. Here are some of his most memorable roles.

Frasier, 1993-2004

Mahoney was probably best known for his hilarious turn as Kelsey Grammer’s oft-grumpy father on the long-running sitcom Frasier.

Primal Fear, 1996

The actor also played a corrupt attorney in this big-screen drama following a Chicago lawyer (Richard Gere) who takes on the high-profile case of an altar boy accused of murdering an Archbishop.

Say Anything, 1989

The world remembers this rom-com for Lloyd Dobler’s epic boombox serenade (and for changing the way we’ll think about Peter Gabriel's “In Your Eyes” forever), but let’s not forget that Mahoney played the father of Lloyd’s love interest.

Fathers and Sons, 2005

This made-for-TV movie followed three families from the same street, seeing them through affairs, estrangements, and multiple generations. 

Moonstruck, 1987

During Cher’s relatively brief but prolific movie career, she and Mahoney collaborated on a rom-com about a widowed woman who falls for her new fiancé’s estranged younger brother. Can you keep that all straight?

In Treatment, 2008-2010

This HBO drama aired for three seasons and was a fascinating (dramatized) glimpse into the world of therapy. Mahoney played a successful businessman seeking treatment for a series of panic attacks. 

Reality Bites, 1994

Before millennials dominated national debates, there was Generation X. Reality Bites offered a look inside their lives post-graduation, struggling with careers and romance and everything in between. Mahoney played Grant Gubler, a local TV personality.

Barton Fink, 1991

One of the Coen Brothers’ earlier works, Barton Fink centers on a playwright attempting to write scripts for 1940s Hollywood. Mahoney played W.P. Mayhew, a character loosely based on William Faulkner. 

Eight Men Out, 1998

Hey there, sports fan! Mahoney played Kid Gleason, manager of the Chicago White Sox, in this baseball flick centered around the conspiracy to intentionally lose the 1919 World Series.

Hot in Cleveland, 2014

Mahoney reunited with several of his Frasier costars for this TV Land sitcom — meanwhile, he got to stand in as Betty White’s love interest. 

House of Blue Leaves, 1986-7

A barely recognizable young Ben Stiller made his theater debut opposite Mahoney in this Broadway play. Mahoney won a Tony for his performance, and the production was adapted as a PBS telefilm.