Mahoney, who got his start at Chicago’s renowned Steppenwolf Theatre, won Best Featured Actor in a Play in 1986 for his Broadway debut as Artie, a zookeeper with songwriting ambitions, in John Guare’s “The House of Blue Leaves.”
“I’m just so proud to be a part of this whole proceedings tonight that this wasn’t really necessary, but you’ll never get it back,” a surprised and beaming Mahoney quipped in this speech, which you can watch above.
The British-born character actor went on to star in “Moonstruck” (1987), “Say Anything…” (1989) and “Barton Fink” (1991) before a 1992 guest appearance on “Cheers” helped him score his most famous role: Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and Niles’ (David Hyde Pierce) irascible dad Martin Crane on “Frasier.” Mahoney, who was on the NBC sitcom for its entire 11-year run from 1993 to 2004, nabbed two Emmy nominations, losing to Pierce in 1999 and Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) in 2003, and two Golden Globe nominations, losing to Beau Bridges (“The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom”) in 1994 and to Robert Downey Jr. (“Ally McBeal”) in 2001. He won a Screen Actors Guild Award with the “Frasier” cast in 2000.
Mahoney remained true to this theater roots, continuing to return to the stage during his career. He starred in “Prelude to a Kiss” on Broadway and various Steppenwolf productions, including “The Birthday Party” and “The Rembrandt.” The latter, which ran last September through November, was his final role.