Frasier actor John Mahoney dies aged 77

John Mahoney, the Anglo-American actor who starred as Martin Crane in the hit US sitcom Frasier, has died, his manager said on Tuesday.

The 77-year-old, who appeared in the long-running series for 11 years, died in Chicago on Sunday.

Mahoney was born in Blackpool in 1940 to a family evacuated from wartime Manchester. He later emigrated to the US where he was granted citizenship after service in the military.

Mahoney won a Screen Actors Guild award for his portrayal of retired detective and army veteran Marty, father of Kelsey Grammer's Frasier. He was joined in 193 episodes by Eddie, Marty's beloved terrier.

Jeff Greenberg, the show's casting director, tweeted: "I've not known a kinder man nor more brilliant actor. We were all blessed to have spent 11 glorious years together."

Peri Gilpin, who appeared alongside Mahoney in the long-running comedy, tweeted a picture of her former costar singing at her wedding.

"Watch Moonstruck, Say Anything and/or Frasier or anything you can with him in it and raise a glass to John. Remember him well," she said.

Mahoney appeared in several films including the Coen Brothers' Barton Fink and worked as a voice actor and narrator.

His most recent portrayal was in 2015, playing businessman Andrew Del Mar in an episode of ITV drama Foyle's War. While filming for Foyle's War in Blackpool he revisited parts of North West England from his childhood.

A latecomer to acting, he began learning his craft on stage aged 40 and won a Tony award for best featured actor in a play in 1986.

Mahoney starred in Frasier from its first episode in 1993 to its final show in 2004 and was twice nominated for an Emmy for the role.