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Larry Drake (1950 - 2016)

Getty Images / NBCU Photo Bank / NBC

Larry Drake (1950 - 2016)

Larry Drake, the Emmy Award-winning actor who portrayed a mentally challenged law clerk on “L.A. Law,” died Thursday of unspecified causes, according to People Magazine and The Associated Press. He was 66.
 
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1950, Drake embarked on a Hollywood career that dates back to 1971, with a small role in the film “This Stuff’ll Kill Ya!”

Numerous film appearances followed, including 1990’s “Darkman” and a starring turn in 1992’s “Mr. Giggles.”
 
But Drake was known best for his television work, in particular, his portrayal of “L.A. Law’s” Benny Stulwicz, the first recurring developmentally disabled character on a prime-time drama. Drake earned praised for the sensitivity of his performance in the groundbreaking role, which tackled the real-life issues that an adult with mental disabilities encounters, and he won consecutive Emmys in 1988 and 1989.
 
Some of his final performances included a guest-star appearance on “Boston Legal” in 2008 and a part in 2009’s horror-thriller “Dead Air.”

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