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John Mahoney of 'Frasier' fame dies at 77

Megan Thomas and Darran Simon

(CNN) -- John Mahoney, a veteran character actor best known for playing the curmudgeonly dog-loving father of the title character in TV's "Frasier," has died, his publicist said Monday.

He was 77 years old.

Mahoney, who played Martin Crane, father of Frasier Crane and Niles Crane on the long-running sitcom, died Sunday in Chicago after a short illness, Wendy Morris told CNN.

Mahoney was an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago for 39 years, the theater said in a tweet.

The theater, which also announced Mahoney's death, said it canceled its opening Monday night performance of "You Got Older," in Mahoney's honor.

In a tweet, actor Gary Sinise, who also performed at Steppenwolf, called Mahoney "a wonderful actor."

"It was a great pleasure to know him and work with him," Sinese tweeted.


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