Larry Drake

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Born

2/21/1950 , Tulsa, Oklahoma

Birth Name

Gender

Male

Biography:

Character actor Larry Drake has worked steadily on television and in feature films since making his feature-film debut in This Stuff'll Kill You (1971). Though the burly actor has played roles ranging from rednecks to murderous doctors (Dr. Giggles) to detectives (Power 98), Drake is best remembered for his convincing portrait of gentle, mentally retarded Benny on the NBC television series L.A. Law (1986-1994). The role won him two Emmy awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and turned an obscure stage career into that of a viable character player and occasional lead. Drake had migrated from Oklahoma to Dallas to perform in regional theater after graduating from college (at the University of Oklahoma). While he found regular work, he was unable to land a local TV commercial and decided to return to school. Auditioning for a university program towards a doctorate in theater, Drake was advised to abandon his plans for a teaching career and try his hand as a professional actor. Emboldened, he relocated to Southern California in 1980 and soon found employment at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre where he worked for four years. On occasion, Drake was able to snag small roles like his part in The Karate Kid (1984). Trying to capitalize on his small screen fame, Drake segued to features as the deliciously sadistic crime boss Robert G Durant, the nemesis of Liam Neeson's Darkman (1990), a role he reprised in the Neeson-less sequel Darkman II: The Return of Durant (1995). He also portrayed a murderous heart surgeon in Dr. Giggles (1992) and a wealthy plantation owner searching for a runaway female slave in The Journey of August King (1995).