New York-bred character actor Larry Hankin did not decide to become an entertainer until his early 30s, when he waltzed into a Greenwich Village coffee house and thought he'd take up stand-up comedy. He also performed his stand-up act opening for rock bands like the Lovin' Spoonful, as well as jazz pioneer Miles Davis. In the early 1970s, he auditioned for the Second City comedy troupe and began studying with them in Chicago before relocating to San Francisco, where he studied acting with The Committee, an improvisational theater group. Bit parts on television shows like "Laverne & Shirley" followed, and he landed the occasional film role in productions like "Steelyard Blues" and "American Hot Wax". A notable part playing Alcatraz convict Charley Butts in the 1979 Clint Eastwood prison drama, "Escape from Alcatraz", was a memorable role for the lanky, distinctive-looking actor. A year later, a short film he wrote, directed, and starred in, "Solly's Diner", was nominated for an Academy Award. His role in the Adam Sandler comedy "Billy Madison" as Carl, the character who inherits Billy's hotel, was memorable, as was his recurring guest spot on sitcom "Friends", playing Mr. Heckles, the downstairs neighbor of Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox's characters. His most recognized role, though, was on an episode of "Seinfeld", playing an actor hired to play Kramer on Jerry's sitcom pilot within the show.