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Larry Sherman, a ubiquitous presence in New York-based films and TV shows like North by Northwest, Midnight Cowboy and Law & Order and the very first publicist Donald Trump ever hired, has died. He was 94.
Sherman died Saturday of natural causes in New York, his son, entertainment publicist Charles Sherman, told The Hollywood Reporter.
In North by Northwest (1959), Sherman drives the cab that rushes Cary Grant away from the United Nations, and in Midnight Cowboy (1969), he was the homeless person who screams outside Tiffany’s and then drops dead in front of Jon Voight’s character, Joe Buck.
Sherman also appeared over the course of two decades as Judge Colin Fraser on Dick Wolf’s flagship Law & Order, often there only to deliver a “guilty” or “not guilty” verdict.
“My father was a glorified extra,” his son said.
Sherman also served as head writer on the original version of the 1950s quiz show The Joker’s Wild, walked on for comedy bits on Late Show With David Letterman and The Colbert Report and worked for years on the USA series Royal Pains, often as just a stand-in.
Sherman was an out-of-work sports journalist with no experience in publicity in 1982 when he applied for the job as head of PR for the New Jersey Generals of the upstart U.S. Football League. Trump, then a real-estate magnate, owned the franchise, and after just one interview, hired Sherman on the spot.
Sherman worked for Trump until the USFL went out of business after its 1985 season. The future president often called him “the best PR guy he ever had,” Charles Sherman said.
A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Larry Sherman graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received degrees in theater and journalism. In the 1940s, he appeared on Broadway in such shows as Maid in the Ozarks, The Traitor, Marriage Is for Single People and I Gotta Get Out.
Later, he worked with Humphrey Bogart in Deadline U.S.A. (1952), was a stunt driver on Butterfield 8 (1960) and served as Myron McCormick’s stunt double in The Hustler (1961).
Sherman later could be spotted on The Sopranos and in the movies Manhattan (1979), When Harry Met Sally … (1989), Reversal of Fortune (1990), Paul Mazursky’s Scenes From a Mall (1991), One Fine Day (1996), Catch Me If You Can (2002) and The Terminal (2004).
In his final film, Robert De Niro’s The Comedian (2016), Sherman said one word: “Poopie.”
As a journalist, Sherman worked for The Long Island Press (as sports editor), Newsday, The New York Herald Tribune (he covered the 1960 Summer Olympics) and The Rome Daily American. He also served as PR director of the New York Arrows of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
In addition to his son, Sherman’s survivors include Marion, his wife of 60 years; daughter Flory and grandchildren Jonathan and Brett.
Funeral services will be private. Donations in his name can be made to the World Jewish Congress.
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