“Frasier” icon Kelsey Grammer breaks silence on the death of his TV dad

FRASIER -- 'Goodnight, Seattle' Episode 21 -- Pictured: (l-r) John Mahoney as Martin Crane, Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

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On Tuesday evening while it was still less than 24 hours after John Mahoney was pronounced dead, his “Frasier” co-star Kelsey Grammer memorialized the famous actor.

Mahoney, a veteran of the stage and screen died at the age of 77 on Monday at a hospice center in Illinois. In a brief statement about his co-star, Grammar expressed his appreciation for the actor.

“He was my father,” he said. “I loved him.”

Mahoney portrayed Grammer’s father on “Fraiser” from 1993-2004. Mahoney’s death was felt throughout the film, television and theatre communities.

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“It is with our deepest sorrow that we share the news that ensemble member of 39 years John Mahoney passed away,” the Steppenwolf Theatre wrote in a statement following the tragedy.

“Tonight’s opening night performance of You Got Older has been cancelled,” the venue continued. “We are instead inviting all to gather in Front Bar this evening. All are welcome to join us.”

Prior to his death, Mahoney spoke openly about his battle with cancer.

”I wasn’t going to let this cancer get me. I waited too long to do this,” he told Fox News in October. “When I was told I had cancer, I said ‘I don’t care. Let’s do whatever we need to do to beat it. It’s not going to get me.’ And the doctors  have always said that my attitude had a great deal to do with my cure.”

Among Mahoney’s many mourners was John Cusack, who famously starred with Mahoney in the 1989 film, “Say Anything.”

“He always said – it took him a long time to find out what he loved – and he loved performing – he was so happy to be there – he made everyone around him better and happier each day – blessed to know him,” Cusack tweeted.

Ben Stiller also paid tribute, tweeting, “John Mahoney has moved on. A Great actor. Incredible wicked sense of humor. And someone who made a huge difference in my life and many others. #RIPJohnMahoney #respect.”

Mahoney died on Monday in Illinois. He was 77 years old.

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