Tuesday, February 6, 2018

#BreakingNews Catholic Actor John Mahoney of Frasier Dies at age 77 - RIP “I’ve always prayed to the Holy Ghost for wisdom..."

He told The Chicago Tribune, (who interviewed him in 1996)
“I was raised a Catholic and still practice, though probably not as often as I should,” he told the paper. “But when I say my prayers every day, I ask for love and respect and dignity. And I try to give those things too.”

John Mahoney (June 20, 1940 – February 4, 2018) was an English-American stage, film, voice and television actor. He was born in Bispham, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, Mahoney started his career on the stage in 1977 and moved into film in 1980. He was best known for playing the father of Frasier as Martin Crane in the American sitcom "Frasier", from NBC during the period of 1993 to 2004. He was the seventh of eight children in the family. His Irish father, Reg, was a baker and his mother, Margaret, was a housewife. John received citizenship in 1959. He lived in Macomb, Illinois, and taught English at Western Illinois University. Mahoney took acting classes at St. Nicholas Theatre. He acted in films such as, Moonstruck, Eight Men Out, Say Anything..., In the Line of Fire, Reality Bites, and The American President.  Mahoney received two Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for this role. Mahoney also appeared as a priest in Becker, which starred  Ted Danson.
 Mahoney was godfather to Frasier co-star Jane Leeves' son Finn. Mahoney died on February 4, 2018 at the age of 77 while in hospice care in Chicago, after an illness.
Excerpts from the book The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006) some  things he mentioned about his faith: 
 “I’ve always prayed to the Holy Ghost for wisdom and for understanding and knowledge. I think he answered my prayers when I stopped in the church that day. My life was totally different from that day on. I saw myself as I was, and I saw into the future and saw what I wanted to be. And I sort of rededicated myself to God and begged him to make me a better person. It wasn’t fear of hell or anything like that. I just somehow knew that to be like this, like what I was, wasn’t the reason I was created. I had to be better. I had to be a better person. And I think I am now. I like myself,” he says, 
Before John goes onstage each night, he says a prayer. “‘Most glorious Blessed Spirit, I thank you for all the gifts and talents that you’ve given me. Please help me to use all these gifts and talents to their fullest. And please accept this performance as a prayer of praise and thanks to you.’ I always say that.”
While he can’t put an exact date on it, John believes his mind began to change when his heart did, around the time he had what he describes as an “epiphany” in a Roman Catholic church in downtown Chicago around 1975. “I was in the Loop, and I went into St. Peter’s and went to Mass, and it was just about the most emotional thing that ever happened to me. I don’t know where it came from, I just had a little breakdown of some sort, and after that, made a conscious effort to be a better person, to be a part of the world, and to try to revolve around everyone else in the world instead of expecting them to revolve around me. 

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