Larry Drake (February 21, 1950 – March 17, 2016) was an American actor and best known to horror fans as the titular Doctor Giggles in the 1992 film of the same title.
To the general public, he is best known for his portrayal of developmentally disabled Benny Stulwicz on the TV show L.A. Law from 1987 until the show’s end in 1994.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Drake’s fledgling acting career began in 1971 in Herschell Gordon Lewis’ moonshine exploiter, This Stuff’ll Kill Ya playing Bubba, a character name he also played in Frank De Felitta’s well-regarded 1981 TV movie adaptation of his own novel, Dark Night of the Scarecrow, although the role necessitated him wearing a sack over his head. That said, he emoted well using just his eyes.
Another adaptation of a novel, Peter Benchley’s Beast (filmed in 1996 as TV mini-series The Beast) gave Drake the role of Lucas Coven, who kills a giant squid. Unfortunately, there’s an even bigger monster squid lurking in the ocean.
He was particularly memorable as ruthless mobster, Robert Durant in Sam Raimi’s superhero action horror film Darkman (1990) and its first sequel, Darkman II: The Return of Durant (1995).
Genre TV series roles included Tales from the Crypt – episodes “And All Through the House” and “The Secret” and as the voice of Moss T. Meister in the What’s New Scooby-Doo? episode “Recipe for Disaster” (2004).
Besides minor parts in dark thrillers such as Paranoia (1998) and Pathology (2008, as the unfortunately named “Fat Bastard”), Drake’s other notable horror role was in Dark Asylum (aka Maniac Trasher, 2001) as The Trasher.
However, for most horror aficionados, Larry Drake will be most affectionately remembered as Doctor Giggles.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES & MANIA