On the Passing of Larry Drake

On February 21, 1949 Larry Richard Drake entered our world through the portal city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Born of a drafting engineer and a homemaker, he graduated from Tulsa Edison High School and the University of Oklahoma before moving on to an acting career.

Drake, who is best known for portraying Benny Stulwicz in the former TV series L.A. Law, began his acting career by playing small parts in films during the early 1970s and made his first television appearance in 1983 in a series called The Skin of our Teeth, which featured on PBS’ American Playhouse.

Although the actor is also recognized for playing the part of the villain Robert G. Durant in the 1990 action film Darkman  and its sequels, he played in various horror films, which include the memorable 1981 made for TV film Dark Night of the Scarecrow, Dr. Giggles  (1992), and Dead Air (2009). Drake also appeared regularly in ABC’s 1998 sci-fi series Prey, where he portrayed Dr. Walter Atwood.  Other notable film appearances include roles in Batman Beyond: The Movie, American Pie 2, Green Lantern: First flight, and of course, L.A. Law: The Movie. Over the course of his career, Larry Drake appeared in some 46 films and had involvement in 29 TV productions.

During the 2000s Drake landed a series of voice roles for animated TV series. He also provided voice work for the character Kazdan Paratus in the  2008 video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Over the course of his acting career, Larry Drake won two Primetime Emmy Awards for his role in L.A. Law, which he received in 1988 and 1989. He was also nominated for the same in 1990.

According to a recent USA Today article, Mr. Drake enjoyed teaching improvisational technique in acting, which he began at the Stephen Book Acting Workshop in 2006.

After such a distinguished career, Larry R. Drake was found dead by a friend at his Hollywood home on March 17, 2016. At the time of this writing no cause of death has been released. It has been reported however, that Drake was struggling with health issues due to obesity. He was 67 years of age at his passing.


Photo by Renaissance Pictures – © 1990


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