Larry Drake, a prolific actor who won two Emmys for playing the mentally challenged office worker Benny on NBC’s L.A. Law, died today, Deadline has confirmed. He was 66.
L.A. Law anchored NBC’s Must-See TV Thursday lineup at 1o PM for most of its run. Drake joined the show created by Steven Bochco and Terry Louise Fletcher as a recurring in its second season. He was upped to regular for Season 3 in 1988-89 and remained with the show until it ended in 1994. He would reprise the role in a 2002 TV movie.
Born on February 21, 1950 in Tulsa, OK, Drake also appeared in scores of films and TV series during a nearly 40-year career. He starred as a rampaging psych ward patient in the 1992 cult horror comedy Dr. Giggles and co-starred opposite Liam Neeson in Sam Raimi’s 1990 feature Darkman. He also appeared on the big screen in films ranging from the 1984 crowd-pleaser The Karate Kid to the broad comedies Bean and American Pie 2.
Drake also was a regular on the short-lived 1998 ABC drama Prey and had voice roles in such animated fare as Batman Beyond, Justice League and What’s New, Scooby-Doo? and recurred as Pops in more than two dozen episodes of Cartoon Network’s Johnny Bravo. His many guest roles on TV included Boston Legal, 7th Heaven, Six Feet Under, Stargate SG-1, Star Trek: Voyager, Tales From the Crypt and Hardcastle and McCormick.