His face is recognizable from over a 100 television and film appearances. His name is Larry Hankin and he is stopped all the time in the street by people saying— “You’re that guy!” Hankin is a writer, performer, director, producer and Oscar-nominee. Through the years he has portrayed many zany characters, in standup comic clubs, on the legit stage, in A-list features, and on some of televisions’ top rated situation comedies.
On Friends he played “Mr. Heckles” and Seinfeld, he portrayed Tom Pepper, the actor cast as Kramer on the pilot-within-a-TV-show, Jerry. In real life, he had actually auditioned for the role of Kramer when Seinfeld began production. Larry David initially felt that Hankin best matched his idea of what the character would be like in comparison to his real-life inspiration, Kenny Kramer, but Michael Richards ultimately landed the role. He recently appeared in Season 3 of Breaking Bad as a junk yard owner, Old Joe.
He has appeared as many comic characters, often providing comic relief. Hankin was in Escape from Alcatraz with Clint Eastwood, a significant role in the movie Billy Madison along with Adam Sandler, cameo appearances in three John Hughes films, Home Alone, Planes, Trains and Automobiles and She’s Having A Baby, as well as minor roles in The Sure Thing and Running Scared. In 1980, he shared an Academy Award nomination for Best Short Film, Live action for Solly’s Diner.
Larry Hankin is now on Kickstarter raising funding for his new hilarious movie, “Larry Hankin’s Street Stories.” He is offering a role in the movie for a donation of $2,500 and other rewards such as t-shirts and signed DVD’s.
“I’ll tell you how I got here. A couple of years back, I was looking for some character to play that I could write for myself and tell a story or many stories about and with. Hopefully a tall skinny old guy.” Hankin said. “I thought of my favorite hero of all time, Don Quixote. I think Don Quixote is really funny. Emmett Sagittarius Deemus, a 72 year-old, homeless- poet-by-trade who sleeps on and around the beach in Venice, California, started to appear on pages, in stories, and doodles in my notebooks, and then having adventures in my short films and now my first feature film.”
Writer, performer, director, producer and Oscar-nominee, Larry Hankin, is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces in the world of character actors. Through the years he has made us laugh with his memorable portrayals of zany characters, in standup comic clubs, on the legit stage, in A-list features, and on some of televisions’ top rated situation comedies.
And, so began his odyssey to Hollywood where his long, lean, lanky, buffoonish frame began getting him plum roles in film and television; parts in soon-to-be-classic television shows such as “Laverne & Shirley,” “Eight Is Enough,” “Family Ties,” and “Alf,” with early film appearances in “American Hot Wax” with Jay Leno and “Yours, Mine and Ours” with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda, leading to his featured role as Charlie Butz, the man in the cell next to Clint Eastwood in “Escape from Alcatraz.”
But comedic storytelling still called to him, so with his Alcatraz paycheck, his biggest to date, he decided to write, direct and star in “Solly’s Diner,” debuting his wry comedic alter-ego, Sometime Jones, on film. The production was a huge success leading to an Oscar nomination in the ‘Live Action Short’ category, by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
On a roll, he went on to appear in John Huston’s “Annie,” “Running Scared” with Billy Crystal, three John Hughes’ pictures “She’s Having My Baby” with Kevin Bacon, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” with Steve Martin and John Candy, and “Home Alone” with Mcaulay Culkin, as well as “Billy Madison” and “Pretty Woman.”
Television guest shots led to his recurring role of Mr. Heckles, the downstairs neighbor on “Friends” and to his impersonation as ‘the Other Kramer,’ who stole the raisins, on “Seinfeld,” in the ‘TV Show within The Show,’ episode and now can be seen on Breaking Bad.