'L.A. Law' Star Larry Drake Dead at 66

Posted at 3:31 AM, Mar 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 03:31:43-04

Emmy Award-winning actor Larry Drake has died, his agent Michael Eisenstadt confirmed to ABC News.

He was 66 years old.

"Larry was such a nice man and a great and versatile actor," Eisenstadt said.

Drake was perhaps best known for playing Benny Stulwicz, a developmentally delayed law firm employee on "L.A. Law" from 1987 to 1994. He won two Emmys for the role, in 1988 and 1989.

Stulwicz allowed Drake to tap into "the simpler part of yourself and the child part in you," he told the Washington Post in 1988. "I think this is the reason this is getting to be such a big deal and people warm up to Benny so much. It is the childlike, the unedited part of ourselves is a better way to say it. The unstructured part of ourselves."

Born in Tulsa, Drake, who was 6'3", discovered a love of acting as a teenager after a groin injury forced him to quit football. During his decades-long acting career, he appeared on TV shows including "7th Heaven" and "Six Feet Under," and the films "Darkman," "Bean," and "American Pie 2." He also acted in theater productions, including playing Lennie in a San Diego production of "Of Mice and Men."

Despite his success, however, Drake told the L.A. Times in 1988 that he wasn't interested in living ostentatiously.

"I don't want my life to be about a house and a car," he said.