Obituaries aren’t really my thing and this is not one, so I’d encourage you to look elsewhere to read about the fascinating life and career of actor John Mahoney, who recently died at age 77. (One surprising fact I just learned — he was English!)* But before you leave please allow me to offer up my personal tribute to an actor who was so good that he could be totally believable as a villain, but could also play a character so likeable that he seemed like an old friend.
I especially want to talk about the latter, and that’s not too surprising when you consider that Mrs. BG and I just finished going through all 264 episodes of Frasier on Netflix. (We’d seen them before, but it had been years — the show was on from 1993 to 2004.) So not only did the timing of his death seem a little startling to us, but watching him almost every day for a year left me with an indelible picture of Marty Crane, his character on the show.
Maybe it’s because I identified with an occasionally cantankerous old guy with a heart of gold and a twinkle in his eye, but whatever the case he was like an old friend, and people who knew Mahoney said that persona fit him best. So for me, John Mahoney will always be Marty Crane.
* The last video below shows him using a phony British accent, probably an inside joke at the time — Frasier had a ton of those.