Another sad news that a much loved actor has passed away came to us today with the news that Lou Cutell, who appeared as Amazing Larry in Pee-wee’s great adventure, passed away at the age of 91. The actor had a fifty-year career in film, television and theater with more than 100 credits to his name. The news of his passing was shared on Facebook by friend Mark Furman who wrote: “After 91 years and a wonderful life my friend Lou Cutell went home. A film, theater and character actor. Big Larry inside Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Ass Man in Seinfeld, Abe in Grey’s Anatomy S12,E4. He took me to Lucille Ball’s house in 1986. Rest in peace Lou.”
The star was born in New York City in 1930 to Sicilian parents, who moved with their family to Los Angeles, where Cutell received his bachelor’s degree. He didn’t make his career debut until 1961 on Broadway in the play Young Abe Lincoln, and three years later he made his first television appearance as a guest star in The Dick Van Dyke Show in the role of Vinnie. From then on, that became the signature of the actor, who made unexpected guest appearances in TV series and movies for several decades.
From the 1970s, Cutell made memorable appearances in Seinfeld, The Love Boat, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Alice, The Bob Newhart Show, Rhinoceros, The World’s Greatest Lover, The Wild Wild West, The Black Marble, The Odd Couple II, My Mom’s a Werewolf and Bridget loves Bernie. If it’s about Seinfeld outwardly, Cutell’s appearance as Dr. Cooperman, who owns the vanity badge that reads “ASSMAN”, often credited as one of the best episodes of the entire series.
Like most of his roles, his appearance as Amazing Larry in the Tim Burton movie Pee-wee’s great adventure is a volatile. With a flamboyant iridescent mohawk haircut, his character is knocked over a few times by Pee-wee after interrupting him to ask about the whereabouts of his bike. The joke is that the Mohawk is never mentioned at all, nor is Larry’s character after the scene, but it’s still one of those roles that sticks in my head long after seeing the movie.
Heading into the 2000s, Cutell wrote and appeared in plays including: Sicilian Bachelor and Viagara Falls, but also continued his frequent TV and movie appearances as he entered his 70s and 80s. He appeared in the movies Laurel Canyon and Wedding Crashers, and on TV were one-off appearances in Keep your enthusiasm in check how I met your mom Betty White got rid of their rockers in which he played various characters, and his last on-screen appearance was in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Despite not appearing on screen for six years, the news of his passing is another sad loss to the industry, and our thoughts go out to his friends, fans and family at this sad time. May he rest in peace. The news was brought to us by Deadline.
A T-Rex attacks a drive-in movie theater 65 million years after dinosaurs roamed the Earth in The Prologue.
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