June 20, 1940 - February 4, 2018
John Mahoney was born in Blackpool, England where his mother was evacuated to escape Nazi bombing raids during World War Two. After the war, the family moved back to Manchester. Mahoney grew up in the Withington area of the city and discovered acting at the Stretford Children's Theatre. Mahoney moved to America at age 18 in 1959. John was sponsored by his sister, Vera, who was a war bride living in rural Illinois. He studied at Quincy University and joined the Army. Upon completing his studies, he taught English at Western Illinois University in the early 1970s. He first settled in Forest Park, Illinois and later in Oak Park. He became a US citizen in 1971 and served as editor of a medical journal through much of the 1970s.
Mahoney grew restless in his career and decided to take up acting classes at St. Nicholas Theatre, where he caught the bug and soon did what most are told not to do- he quit his day job. John Malkovich is to blame for encouraging him to join the Steppenwolf Theatre. Mahoney went on to win Broadway's Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves. The bug stuck & was there to stay. Mahoney had a storied career in film & television. He found great success on the stage, admitting in his later life that he preferred theater work to television, particularly Broadway and the Chicago theater scene. But it was on the small screen where he won the hearts of comedy lovers for his role as Martin Crane.
Some theater credits include: Prelude to a Kiss (American Airlines Theater), Better Late (Northlight Theatre), Orphans (Steppenwolf Theatre), The Outgoing Tide (Northlight Theatre), The Birthday Party (Steppenwolf Theatre), Chapatti (Northlight Theatre), The Herd (Steppenwolf Theatre), 10 out of 12 (Theater Wit), The Rembrandt (Steppenwolf Theatre), among others.
Mahoney died in a Chicago hospice on February 4, 2018, of complications from throat cancer, originally diagnosed in 2014. He was 77 years old.