“Larry Drake, the actor best known for his award-winning role on ‘L.A. Law,’ died Thursday in his Los Angeles home, according to his manager Steven Siebert,” reports Entertainment Weekly.
Drake, who won two Emmys for playing Benny Stulwicz on the legal drama, was 66. No cause of death has been released. His death was first reported by TMZ.
“’He was a great person,’ screenwriter and friend Charles Pogue tells EW, ‘genuine sweet, smart, gentle man. A very loyal, good friend.’”
The EW story continues, “He began his professional acting career in 1971, playing bit parts in movies and TV. Drake landed a role on the former NBC drama ‘L.A. Law’ as Benny Stulwicz, the developmentally disabled office messenger. Benny evolved as a recurring character in season 2 to a series regular through the rest of the show’s eight-season run. His performance garnered back-to-back Emmys for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 1988 and 1989.”
Writes USA Today, “In addition, he also starred in movies including ‘Bean’ (with Rowan Atkinson), ‘The Journey of August King’ (with Jason Patric), ‘Darkman’ (with Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand), and ‘Darkman II: The Return of Durant.’
“Whitney Smith, who worked in Drake’s management office, said that the actor had struggled with weight issues. Drake used to joke about how it affected his lack of roles.
“‘(Larry) was aware that overweight people are under-represented in Hollywood,’ said Smith. ‘He would say that people in casting calls acted as if they might catch the fat from him.’”