Richard Dysart, the Patriarchal Senior Partner of ‘L.A. Law,’ Dies at 86 (Hollywood Reporter)

richard dysart emmy

L.A. Law patriarch Richard Dysart died this past week at the age of 86 due to cancer. I always loved his character Leland. From Hollywood Reporter,

Richard Dysart, the Emmy-winning actor who portrayed the cranky senior partner Leland McKenzie in the slick, long-running NBC drama L.A. Law, has died. He was 86.

Dysart, who also played Coach in the original 1972 Broadway production of Jason Miller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning That Championship Season, died Sunday at home in Santa Monica after a long illness, his wife, artist Kathryn Jacobi, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The acclaimed L.A. Law — created by Steven Bochco (who eventually handed off the series to David E. Kelley) and Terry Louise Fisher — aired for eight seasons from 1986 to 1994. For playing the founder of the firm McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak, Dysart was nominated for the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for four straight years, finally winning the trophy in 1992.

“I always had him in mind for that role,” Bochco said in a 2002 interview with the Archive of American Television. “He’s so avuncular. So I reached out to him. You know, Dick is sort of an old hippie. So he went into his closet and tried to find a lawyer outfit, and he came to meet us wearing a suit and tie. He was perfect.”

Read the full article.

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