Richard Dysart

Richard Dysart

Date of Birth

Date of Birth: March 30, 1929
Date of Passing: April 05, 2015
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts

Richard Dysart was an actor best known for his role as Leland McKenzie on L.A. Law. The actor played a senior founding partner at the Los Angeles law firm of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak for 171 episodes from 1986 to 1994. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series four times in a row, from 1989 to 1992, finally winning in 92.

The actor got his start in radio, and then worked at New York’s off-Broadway Circle in the Square Theatre in the 1950s. He was in the Broadway play The Little Foxes as Horace Giddens opposite Anne Bancroft and E.G. Marshall, and directed by Mike Nichols. In 1972 he won a Drama Desk Award for his role as Coach in That Championship Season, which he originated and performed over 500 times.

During that time, Dysart also worked in film and television, including TV roles on All in the Family, Maude, Columbo, and a recurring part as Cogliostro, a former assassin back from the dead, on the ’90s series Spawn.

Richard Dysart was an actor best known for his role as Leland McKenzie on L.A. Law. The actor played a senior founding partner at the Los Angeles law firm of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak for 171 episodes from 1986 to 1994. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series four times in a row, from 1989 to 1992, finally winning in 92.

The actor got his start in radio, and then worked at New York’s off-Broadway Circle in the Square Theatre in the 1950s. He was in the Broadway play The Little Foxes as Horace Giddens opposite Anne Bancroft and E.G. Marshall, and directed by Mike Nichols. In 1972 he won a Drama Desk Award for his role as Coach in That Championship Season, which he originated and performed over 500 times.

During that time, Dysart also worked in film and television, including TV roles on All in the Family, Maude, Columbo, and a recurring part as Cogliostro, a former assassin back from the dead, on the ’90s series Spawn.

In film, Dysart had roles in the horror classic The Thing and Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider. He also played presidents multiple times, including Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower two times each.

Dysart died April 5, 2015, in Santa Monica, California. He was 86.

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Awards & Nominations

4 Nominations | 1 Emmy
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series - 1992
  • Winner
  • Richard Dysart, as Leland McKenzie
  • L.A. LAW
  • NBC
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series - 1991
  • Nominee
  • Richard Dysart, as Leland McKenzie
  • L.A. LAW
  • NBC
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series - 1990
  • Nominee
  • Richard Dysart, as Leland McKenzie
  • L.A. LAW
  • NBC
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series - 1989
  • Nominee
  • Richard Dysart, as Leland McKenzie
  • L.A. LAW
  • NBC
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