John Mahoney, 'Frasier' star, dies at 77, Chicago theatre says

CHICAGO -- Oak Park native and "Frasier" star John Mahoney has died at the age of 77, after starring in a play at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre. The theater confirmed Mahoney's death to ABC7 Monday.

In the play, "The Rembrandt," a museum guard touches a painting, and the audience is taken on an artistic spiritual ride through centuries, meeting Rembrandt and the poet Homer.

"I wish I could tell you how funny it is and moving - it really is," said Mahoney.

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"Mr. Mahoney is fantastic to watch, he makes it look so easy you forget it's tough work," said Grabriel Ruiz, an ensemble member of Chicago's Latino theatre Teatro Vista.

"It's kind of hard when you get to my age...all of a sudden you look at this page after page after page of dialogue to learn and trying to get that into your brain, it's pretty tough," Mahoney said.

In September, Mahoney told ABC7 his future plans were to do absolutely nothing - just kicking back at his home in Oak Park.

"First of all I want to stay in Chicago. I learned my lesson about traveling with Frasier... 11 years living out of a suitcase in New York. Having the only car in the Paramount lot with an Oak Park sticker on it. I just want to be back home. Be onstage where I enjoy it," Mahoney said in the fall.
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