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John Larroquette Biography

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Birth Name: John Larroquette
Born: 11/25/1947
Birth Place: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

John Bernard Larroquette was born on Nov. 25, 1947 in New Orleans, LA to Bertha Oramous, a department store clerk, and John Edgar Larroquette, who served in the U.S. Navy. As a child, the actor loved music and played reed instruments while growing up in the South. After a brief time in the Naval Reserve, he started working as a radio disc jockey immediately after high school, soon landing several jobs in film and television doing voiceovers. In 1974, a year after moving to Los Angeles, CA, Larroquette narrated Tobe Hooper's cult flick "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," yet his role was uncredited. Several years later, the actor finally got the credit he deserved when he was asked to narrate the horror film's 2003 remake, and again three years later with "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" (2006).

The mid 1970s marked a major change in Larroquette's career; moving from voiceover work to appearing on camera. He made his network TV debut as Dr. Paul Herman in the soap opera "Doctor's Hospital" (NBC, 1975-76), followed by a recurring role in "Baa Baa Black Sheep" (NBC, 1976-78), where he played Lt. Robert Anderson. Larroquette rounded out the rest of the decade and up to the early 1980s with appearances in several hit TV shows of that time, including "Three's Company" (ABC, 1977-1984), "Fantasy Island" (ABC, 1978-1984), and "Dallas" (CBS, 1978-1991).

While delivering memorable performances in various primetime programs, Larroquette eventually caught the attention of NBC and the producers of "Night Court," who cast him as the hilariously ill-mannered Dan Fielding. The role was a career highlight for the New Orleans native, and one that earned him a record-making four Emmy wins in a row between 1985 and 1988. The actor asked not to be considered for the award in 1989, yet remained a central part of the show's ratings success and an unlikely audience favorite. Larroquette, along with costars Harry Anderson and Richard Moll, appeared in every episode of the series - but with Fielding, it was often spent leering at women or hitting on his fellow attorney, Christine Sullivan (Markie Post). The rare instances when Fielding wore his heart on his sleeve were even highly effective, but the greatest laughs derived from his callous disregard for anything other than winning his case or getting laid.

After "Night Court" ended in 1992, Larroquette was offered his own show on the peacock network. "The John Larroquette Show" (NBC, 1993-96) had a much darker tone compared to the slapstick comedy of "Night Court," with the actor playing the role of John Hemingway, a recovering alcoholic who worked at a St. Louis, MO bus station. It was a character that hit close to home for Larroquette, who battled alcoholism as a young man. "I was known to have a cocktail or 60," he once joked. Apart from TV, Larroquette also gave notable performances on the big screen throughout his career. His first acting job was in the movie "Follow Me, Boys" (1966), succeeded by the narrating role in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" a few years later. Both those roles were uncredited, but Larroquette's TV performances helped him get meatier movie roles later on. The 1980s kept the actor busy with film work, where he appeared in comedies such as "Stripes" (1981), "Meatballs 2" (1984), and Blake Edwards' "Blind Date" (1987). In 1984, Larroquette entered the final frontier by joining the cast of "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock," appearing as Klingon officer Maltz. In 1991, the actor played a Johnny Carson-type talk show host in Oliver Stone's "JFK," but his part was cut from the theatrical version. The scene was later added in the director's cut on DVD, and the actor wrote a letter to Carson himself, telling him how he inspired the role.

After years acting in film and television, Larroquette showed his theatrical talent, starring in the 1989 production "Happy Jack." It was the first time since moving to Los Angeles and appearing in local theater productions of "The Crucible" and "Enter Laughing" that the actor had acted on stage. "Happy Jack" was a critical success, receiving several Dramalogue nominations after its release. It also gave Larroquette the opportunity to work opposite his wife, actress Elizabeth Ann Cookson. The couple had three children and lived in L.A., where the actor stored his collection of rare books, and antique fountain pens, cameras, photographs, and watches. His love for collectibles - including over 5,000 first edition books by writers such as Samuel Beckett, Charles Bukowski, and Anthony Burgess - made him the ideal host of A&E's "The Incurable Collector" a series that ran from 2001-04.

Larroquette collected much praise for his work, with memorable appearances throughout the 1990s and 2000s. His portrayal of a wisecracking psychopath who killed his gay lovers on a 1998 episode of "The Practice" won the actor his fifth Emmy and his first for a non-comedic role. The character returned in 2002, and sure enough, Larroquette was again nominated for an Emmy for his brilliant performance. He then went on to star in a series of crime-solving movies as Mike McBride for Hallmark Channel's "McBride" between 2005 and 2007, as well as appear in independent films such as "Southland Tales" (2006) and "The Rapture of the Athlete Assume into Heaven" (2007).

"The Practice" creator David E. Kelley must have been so impressed by Larroquette's body of work and award-winning performances that the actor was asked to join the cast of its spin-off show, "Boston Legal" in 2007. He played Carl Sack, a senior partner from the New York offices of Crane Poole & Schmidt, who transfers to the Boston office. The role reunited Larroquette with his former "Star Trek" costar William Shatner and the two proceeded to one-up each other to great effect on screen.