Though born in England to Irish parents, actor John Mahoney has made Illinois (specifically Chicago) his home for over 50 years since he first came stateside to live with his sister in the late 1950s. Mahoney has been a fixture in the Chicago theater scene through the world famous Steppenwolf, which he parlayed into his most famous gig, as the gruff father of Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce in the critically acclaimed (and often annoying) Frasier. Ironically, while playing the supposedly uncultured Martin Crane, it was Mahoney who first introduced Pierce to high art like the opera.
But with his gravelly voice, paternal demeanor, and occasional beard, it led Mahoney to being repeatedly cast as authority figures such as Lieutenant Vince Hardy in the Bruce Willis garbage fest Striking Distance, or as state’s attorney Shaughnessy in the Chicago-set and massively underrated Primal Fear. But bearded or not, Mahoney always brings his A-game to any production he’s in either on stage or screen, and can often be seen around town.