Richard Dysart

Actor
Distinguished, bespectacled character actor who has worked steadily in theater, features and TV since the mid-1950s. Dysart has repeatedly been called upon to represent distinguished members of the community from ... Read more »
Born: 03/30/1929 in Augusta, Maine, USA

Filmography

Actor (59)

Proteus: A Nineteenth Century Vision 2005 (Movie)

The Ancient Mariner (Voice)

L.A. Law: The E! True Hollywood Story 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

L.A. Law: The Movie 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Todd McFarlane's Spawn 1996 - 1999 (TV Show)

Voice

Hard Rain 1998 (Movie)

Henry (Actor)

Panther 1995 (Movie)

Hoover (Actor)

L.A. Law 1986 - 1994 (Tv Show)

Actor

Learning in America: Education on Trial 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The "L.A. Law" 100th Episode Special 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Back to the Future III 1990 (Movie)

Barbwire Salesman (Actor)

Day One 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Mickey's 60th Birthday Special 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1988 Miss America Pageant 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Jay Leno's Family Comedy Hour 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Moving Target 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Wall Street 1987 (Movie)

Cromwell (Actor)

Blood & Orchids 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Malice in Wonderland 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Mask 1985 (Movie)

Abe (Actor)

Pale Rider 1985 (Movie)

Coy LaHood (Actor)

The Falcon and the Snowman 1985 (Movie)

Dr Lee (Actor)

Warning Sign 1985 (Movie)

Dr Nielsen (Actor)

Norma Rae 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

The Seal 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

The Thing 1982 (Movie)

Dr Copper (Actor)

Bitter Harvest 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Being There 1979 (Movie)

Dr Robert Allenby (Actor)

Meteor 1979 (Movie)

Secretary of Defense (Actor)

Prophecy 1979 (Movie)

Bethel Isley (Actor)

An Enemy of the People 1977 (Movie)

Aslaksen (Actor)

Gemini Man 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

The Day of the Locust 1974 (Movie)

Claude Estee (Actor)

The Hindenburg 1974 (Movie)

Lehmann (Actor)

The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder 1973 (Movie)

Vrooder's Father (Actor)

The Terminal Man 1973 (Movie)

Dr John Ellis (Actor)

The Hospital 1971 (Movie)

Dr Welbeck (Actor)

The Sporting Club 1970 (Movie)

Spengler (Actor)

The Lost Man 1969 (Movie)

Barnes (Actor)

Petulia 1968 (Movie)

Motel Receptionist (Actor)

Love With the Proper Stranger 1963 (Movie)

Accountant (Actor)

A Child Is Missing (TV Show)

Actor

Bogie (TV Show)

Actor

Concealed Enemies (TV Show)

Actor

Day One (Movie)

Harry S. Truman (Actor)

First You Cry (TV Show)

Actor

Gemini Man (Movie)

(Actor)

It Happened One Christmas (TV Show)

Actor

People vs. Jean Harris (TV Show)

Actor

Sandburg's Lincoln (TV Show)

Actor

Six Against the Rock (TV Show)

Actor

The Last Days of Patton (TV Show)

Actor

The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd (TV Show)

Actor

The Wild West (TV Show)

Voice

Truman (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Distinguished, bespectacled character actor who has worked steadily in theater, features and TV since the mid-1950s. Dysart has repeatedly been called upon to represent distinguished members of the community from doctors to judges, several presidents and other historical figures. Dysart has proved a reliable supporting player in numerous projects but he is perhaps most readily identifiable as Leland McKenzie, the esteemed patriarch of a prestigious law firm in the long-running courtroom drama series "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-94). The Maine native began his acting career after completing studies at Boston's Emerson College. He headed to New York in the mid-1950s where he began working off-Broadway in such celebrated productions as "The Quare Fellow" (1958), "Our Town" (1959) and "Six Characters in Search of an Author" (1963). He appeared on Broadway in "A Man For All Seasons", the 1967 revival of "The Little Foxes" and "That Championship Season" in 1972. Dysart made his feature debut in Richard Lester's stylish drama "Petulia" (1968), one of that decade's best received films. He then donned a stethoscope to play a bungling doctor in Arthur Hiller's comedy "The Hospital" (1971), a pompous surgeon in the sci-fi thriller "The Terminal Man" (1974), and a suspicious physician in Hal Ashby's satirical "Being There" (1979). On the small screen, Dysart has also worked steadily. Highlights of two decades of TV appearances include playing a slaveowner in "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" (1974), and playing movie moguls Jack Warner, in the bio film "Bogie" (1980), and Louis B. Mayer, in "Malice in Wonderland" (1985). Dysart has also impersonated several US Presidents, from Ulysses S. Grant in "The Court-Martial of General Custer" (1977) to Dwight D. Eisenhower in "The Last Days Of Patton" (1986). All of these parts seemed to serve as a warm-up for his long-running role in "L.A. Law", a part that earned him an Emmy as Best Supporting Actor. Dysart worked sporadically after the series finished its run, including a turn as J. Edgar Hoover in Mario Van Peebles' "Panther" (1995) and a supporting role in the action thriller "Hard Rain" (1998). He returned to television in a voice role on the animated series "Spawn" (HBO 1997-99), based on the Todd McFarlane character. Dysart quietly retired after a final performance in his best-known role in "L.A. Law: The Movie" (NBC 2002). Richard Dysart died on April 7, 2015, following a long illness. He was 86.

Relationships

Kathryn Jacobi

Wife

EDUCATION

Emerson College

Boston , Massachusetts

Emerson College

Boston , Massachusetts

Milestones

1997

Played Cogliostro on HBO's animated adaptation of Todd McFarlane's "Spawn" comics

1986

Debut in a regular role on a drama series, "L.A. Law"

1981

Debut in a TV miniseries, "People vs. Jean Harris"

1974

TV-movie debut, "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman"

1974

First featured role in a film, "The Terminal Man"

1968

Feature debut, "Petulia"

Born and raised in Maine

Began career on the off-Broadway stage in such productions as "The Quare Fellow" (1958) and "Our Town" (1959)

TV debut in an historical series, "Sandburg's Lincoln"

Served for four years in the Air Force during the Korean War

Founding member of the American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, CA

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