The star of the hit television sit-com Frasier, John Mahoney, has died aged 77, according to his publicist.

He was most renowned for his role as the father of Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce, Martin Crane, in the series which ran from 1993 until 2004.

For his efforts in the show, he won a SAG Award in 2000 and was also nominated for two Emmys and two Golden Globes.

Among the movies he appeared in were American President and Say Anything and Eight Men Out. He was on the stage and won the prestigious Tony award for his role in the play the House of Blue Leaves in 1986.

Born in Blackpool, England, he came to the US aged 19 after his sister who was living in Illinois sponsored him. He earned his citizenship by serving in the US army.

He came to acting late, only starting at the age of 37 having first been an English professor.

He once said: "So I was the associate editor of a medical journal in Chicago, and I was thirty seven, and all of a sudden I just sort of started going through this dark night of the soul.

"Is this going to be it for me, am I going to be spending the rest of my life writing about cataracts and hemorrhoids... and... . just not what I wanted to do, and I was just intensely depressed all the time."

His publicist said that the star died on Sunday (4 February) while in hospice care in Chicago.

John Mahoney
John Mahoney (centre) is pictured in 2010 following the screening of 'Flipped' at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis, Indiana. Getty