RIP “DARKMAN” and “DR. GIGGLES” star Larry DrakeMovies/TV,News Michael Gingold
The genre scene has lost another of its great villain actors, as Larry Drake, who worked with directors from Herschell Gordon Lewis to Sam Raimi and beyond, has died at age 66.
Variety, off a story from TMZ, reports that Drake was found dead in his Hollywood home by a friend; a cause of death has not yet been given. The mainstream knew Drake best as Benny on the TV series L.A. LAW, for which he was nominated for three Emmy Awards and won two, but horror fans will always remember him for three key roles. In 1981, he portrayed a mentally challenged man whose murder precipitates the killing spree of the titular straw man in the TV movie DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, which has since become a cult favorite. In 1990, Raimi tapped him for the sadistic mobster Robert G. Durant in DARKMAN (pictured above), a part he reprised in the 1995 direct-to-video sequel DARKMAN II: THE RETURN OF DURANT. And in 1992, he took the title role as a mad medico with a bag full of deadly implements in the teen-slasher opus DR. GIGGLES.
Drake had plenty of other horror/exploitation flicks on his résumé, from early parts in Lewis’ THIS STUFF’LL KILL YA and Frederick R. Friedel’s KIDNAPPED COED to playing a killer Santa in the “And All Through the House” episode of TALES FROM THE CRYPT to “The Trasher” in DARK ASYLUM. His most recent fear-film appearance was in 2009’s DEAD AIR, with Bill Moseley and Patricia Tallman, directed by L.A. LAW star Corbin Bernsen. FANGORIA mourns the loss of this often scary and always talented actor.