Larry Drake, who was known for playing Benny on L.A. Law, died Thursday, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed. He was 66.
The actor played Benny Stulwicz, a mentally challenged law clerk, from 1987 until the NBC drama’s end in 1994. The memorable role earned Drake two Emmy Awards, in 1988 and 1989, and a nomination in 1990. He reprised the role for the reunion movie, L.A. Law: The Movie, which aired in 2002.
Drake, who was born in Tulsa, Okla., was also a series regular on the 1998 sci-fi TV show Prey and appeared in several films, including Darkman (1990) — as a ruthless villain — and its sequel; as a murderous doctor in Dr. Giggles (1992); Bean (1997); and American Pie 2 (2001).
Later in his career, the actor lent his voice to animated TV parts, including the role of Pops in the Cartoon Network sitcom Johnny Bravo from 1999 to 2004. He also made guest appearances on Six Feet Under, Crossing Jordan and 7th Heaven, with his last credited TV appearance on Boston Legal in 2008.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Drake’s manager, Lighthouse Entertainment founder Steven Siebert, spoke about the actor’s most recent role, as an acting coach: “Larry Drake was a gentle and kind soul who loved the students he was teaching acting to with Stephen Brook. It was a newfound love and he was grateful for the career he had on television, in films and on stage. He was optimistic about the future and had many pastimes including baseball. We will always remember Larry for his big heart!”
TMZ first reported that Drake was found dead at his Hollywood home.