The Spirit of Actor and Army Vet John Mahoney Might Still Be Part of the New ‘Frasier’

August 30, 2023
The Spirit of Actor and Army Vet John Mahoney Might Still Be Part of the New 'Frasier'

“Frasier has reentered the building,” declares Kelsey Grammar in an updated version of the show’s signature theme song that Paramount+ recently posted to its YouTube page. The rebooted “Frasier” debuts on the streaming service in October, but Dr. Frasier Crane will be the only thing familiar to viewers.

Former “Frasier” castmates David Hyde-Pierce (“Niles”), Jane Leeves (“Daphne”) and Peri Gilpin (“Roz”) did not join the reboot. Actor John Mahoney, who played Frasier’s gruff father, Martin Crane, died in 2018 due to complications from throat cancer at age 77.

Grammer has repeatedly mentioned the show will pay tribute to Mahoney, a real-world Army veteran, during the series. Indeed, the streaming show’s first episode is titled “The Good Father.”

In the new series, Frasier has left Seattle behind and returned to Boston to live close to his son, Freddy (Jack Cutmore-Scott, “Dunkirk,” “Oppenheimer”). The psychiatrist will also have to contend with his college buddy Alan (Nicholas Lyndhurst, “A United Kingdom”) and Freddy’s roommate Eve (Jess Salgueiro, “Letterkenny”).

Grammar has teased that Freddy Crane will be less like Niles and Frasier, and more like grandfather Martin, a retired Seattle cop whose cantankerous, down-to-earth personality was the polar opposite of his sons.

Actor John Mahoney had a lot in common with the character Martin Crane. Both served in the U.S. Army at a young age, but while Martin Crane fought in the Korean War, Mahoney didn’t fight in a war. The actor served because he loved the country. Mahoney was born in the United Kingdom in 1940 and came to visit his sister in Illinois as a teen. He joined the Army because he wanted to stay, become a U.S. citizen and get rid of his English accent.

“I knew I was going to live the rest of my life in the U.S., and I didn’t want to be on the outside looking in,” Mahoney told UK-based journalist Jasper Rees. “They make such a big deal about it: Anyone from the United Kingdom is automatically regarded as brilliant beyond belief. I didn’t want to live with that … I wanted to be like everybody else.”

This new “Frasier” is Dr. Crane’s fourth series in television history, which began with his first appearance on “Cheers” in 1984. He next appeared on “Wings” in 1992 before settling in Seattle for his own spinoff, the original “Frasier,” in September 1993. All three series ran on NBC, and “Frasier” would go on to win a then-record 37 Emmy awards over 11 seasons.

Also joining the cast is Anders Keith as Frasier’s nephew, David, and Toks Olagundoye (“Castle”) as Alan’s colleague, Olivia. The first two episodes of the new “Frasier” will be available on Paramount+ on Oct. 12, 2023.

— Blake Stilwell can be reached at blake.stilwell@military.com. He can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, or on LinkedIn.

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