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John Mahoney, 'Frasier' actor, dead at 77

John Mahoney, 'Frasier' actor, dead at 77

Millions of people thought they knew the actor John Mahoney from his work in the NBC sitcom “Frasier” — for 11 hit seasons from 1993 through 2004, he played a cranky Seattle police officer who’d taken a bullet in the hip and then been forced to live with his neurotic son. But the famously private Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member was far more than the Hollywood gossip columnists ever knew.

Mahoney died Sunday at the age of 77 of complications from throat cancer.

For one thing, Mahoney was born British, despite his having no trace of a discernible accent. He was a child of Manchester, England, a wartime evacuee to Blackpool on the Lancashire coast. Born in 1940, he first came...