×

‘L.A. Law’ Star Larry Drake Dies at 66

Emmy-winning actor Larry Drake, who played Benny on “L.A. Law,” died Thursday, his rep confirmed. He was 66.

A cause of death has not yet been revealed. According to TMZ, which first reported the news, Drake was found dead by his friend in his Hollywood home.

Drake played the developmentally disabled office assistant Benny Stulwicz on “L.A. Law.,” which was praised for handling Benny’s odyssey in a very progressive fashion, especially for the time, as he gets the job, finds his own apartment and gets a girlfriend over time, sometimes having to fight for his legal rights with the help of the attorneys who employ him. Drake recurred on the series from 1987-94.

He was Emmy nominated for the role three times, in 1988, 1989 and 1990, winning the first two times out. He reprised the role for “L.A. Law: The Movie” in 2002.

The actor was equally memorable in Sam Raimi’s stylish Liam Neeson fantasy action film “Darkman” (1990) as the villainous Robert G. Durant, appearing in the sequels as well.

He also starred as the homicidal physician of the title in the 1992 horror movie “Dr. Giggles.”

Drake had a supporting role in Rowan Atkinson’s hit 1997 comedy “Bean” as Elmer, and he appeared in “American Pie 2” in 2001 as Natalie’s dad.

In television, Drake was a series regular on ABC’s sci-fi series “Prey” in 1998 as Dr. Walter Attwood. Debra Messing and Frankie Faison were also in the cast.

In the 2000s, he nabbed a handful of voicework roles for animated TV series and guested on “Six Feet Under,” “Crossing Jordan,” “7th Heaven” and “Boston Legal.”

The actor had most recently appeared in the 2009 horror film “Dead Air,” directed by and starring his “L.A. Law” co-star Corbin Bernsen.

Drake was born in Tulsa and graduated from the University of Oklahoma.

The actor began appearing in small roles in movies in the early 1970s and made his television debut in a 1983 adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth” on PBS’ “American Playhouse.”

He was married to actress Ruth de Sosa from 1989 until their divorce two years later.

More TV

  • 'Game of Thrones' Cast Calls Final

    'Game of Thrones' Cast Calls Final Season Backlash 'Media-Led Hate Campaign'

    What is life like now after “Game of Thrones?” That’s the question that fans have been asking themselves and that cast members had to answer at the show’s final Comic-Con panel. But first, Conleth Hill, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and several others cleared the air and addressed the perceived negative response to the final season. “I don’t [...]

  • SDCC Roundup: AMC Drops 'The Walking

    SDCC TV News Roundup: AMC Releases 'The Walking Dead' Season 10 Trailer (Watch)

    San Diego Comic-Con has become a hotbed of entertainment news in recent years, especially for the television industry. In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, AMC dropped a trailer for the 10th season of “The Walking Dead” and FX released a first look at “Mayans MC” Season 2. FIRST LOOKS AMC debuted the trailer for Season [...]

  • ARCHER: 1999 -- "Cubert" -- Season

    'Archer' Renewed for Season 11 at FXX

    “Archer” has been picked up for an eleventh season. The announcement was made Friday at San Diego Comic-Con. The news comes less than a week ahead of the Season 10 finale. Season 11 is slated to debut on FXX in 2020. While the show initially focused on the agents and support staff of a covert [...]

  • Carnival Row

    Amazon Debuts New 'Carnival Row' Footage at Comic-Con (Watch)

    San Diego Comic-Con attendees got an extended look at the upcoming Amazon drama “Carnival Row” during the show’s panel at the annual fanfest on Friday. Two new featurettes (see above and below) offer in-depth looks at the backstories of the two main characters — Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevigne) and Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom). Delevigne plays [...]

  • Emmys: 'Better Call Saul' Short Loses

    'Better Call Saul' Short Loses Emmy Nominations in Light of Category Rule Violation

    Better Call AMC: Two Emmy nominations for the network’s short-form series “Better Call Saul Employee Training: Madrigal Electromotive Security” have been pulled after it was deemed ineligible for competition. The Television Academy recently discovered that the series didn’t meet the minimum required runtime of two minutes for at least six episodes — a new stipulation [...]

  • The Boys Amazon Prime

    ‘The Boys’ Lands Early Season 2 Renewal at Amazon

    Amazon has renewed “The Boys” for a second season ahead of the show’s series premiere next week. The streamer also announced that Aya Cash will join the show in the second season. Season 1 of “The Boys” will debut on July 26. It is based on the New York Times best-selling comic of the same [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Big Blackout Looms as CBS, AT&T Go Down to Wire on Renewal Talks

    A blackout affecting CBS stations in major markets throughout the country looms as CBS and AT&T executives go down to the wire on negotiations for a retransmission consent deal covering 28 O&O stations. The sides have sparred publicly during the past few days as 11 p.m. PT Friday expiration of the previous contract approached. AT&T [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content