Larry Hankin

Last updated

Larry Hankin
Born (1937-12-07) December 7, 1937 (age 85)
New York City, U.S.
Alma mater Syracuse University
  • Actor
  • director
  • producer
  • comedian
  • artist
  • author
Years active1963–present

Larry Hankin (born December 7, 1937) [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] is an American character actor, performer, director, comedian, and producer. He is known for his major film roles as Charley Butts in Escape from Alcatraz (1979), Ace in Running Scared (1986), and Carl Alphonse in Billy Madison (1995). He had smaller roles as Doobie in Planes, Trains and Automobiles , Sergeant Larry Balzak in Home Alone , Mr. Heckles in Friends , and Joe in Breaking Bad and El Camino . [6]


Early life and career

Hankin was born in New York City on December 7, 1937, [1] and grew up in a Jewish family in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens. [7] He graduated from Far Rockaway High School and Syracuse University, where he befriended Carl Gottlieb. [8] He was homeless at one point.[ when? ] [9] [ time needed ]

Notable film and television roles

Hankin was an early member of the Second City, training with improvisational theater legends Viola Spolin and Paul Sills, and in 1963 moved to San Francisco to co-found another influential improv troupe, The Committee. [10] His first notable supporting role was as Pt. Romero in Viva Max! in 1969. [11]

He is known for his roles in TV shows Breaking Bad , Matlock , Friends (as Mr. Heckles) and Seinfeld (as Tom Pepper), as well as for his major role in Escape from Alcatraz (1979) with Clint Eastwood. [6] He also acted in How Sweet It Is! (1968) with Debbie Reynolds and James Garner and the Adam Sandler movie Billy Madison (1995). He had cameo appearances in three John Hughes films, Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987); She's Having a Baby (1988); and Home Alone (1990); which coincidentally featured Roberts Blossom (playing Old Man Marley), whom he co-starred with in Escape from Alcatraz. He had brief appearances in Pretty Woman as the landlord (1990), as well as minor roles in Loose Shoes (1980), as "handicap" in 'The Sting II (1983), The Sure Thing (1985), and Running Scared (1986). Hankin also appeared in Married... with Children , as well as one of the Halloween specials of Home Improvement . Hankin also appeared in three episodes of Star Trek: Voyager as Gaunt Gary and one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation . Hankin and Curtis Armstrong played the hippie entrepreneurs who purchased "Buy the Book" (the bookstore where the titular character works at) on Ellen .

On Seinfeld, Hankin portrayed Tom Pepper, the actor cast as Kramer on the pilot-within-a-TV-show Jerry . He portrayed a homeless man in season 5 of Malcolm in the Middle . He then appeared again with Bryan Cranston in seasons three and five of Breaking Bad as junkyard owner Old Joe. He reprised his old role from Breaking Bad in the Netflix sequel film El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie .

Other work

One of Hankin's earliest roles was playing the lead character of Farley in the 1964 educational film Too Tough to Care .

In 1977, Hankin appeared in the episode "The Bums vs. the Reds" of the situation comedy The San Pedro Beach Bums . He also played Mickey the Bartender in a WKRP in Cincinnati episode called "Hotel Oceanview" that also has a cameo appearance by Dr. Joyce Brothers as "Vicky Von Vicky".

In 1982, he played the dog catcher that tries to take Sandy in Annie .

In 1980, Hankin's short film Solly's Diner earned him and the film's producers a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

Hankin was a founding member of the commedia dell'arte improvisation group The Committee in 1963, located at an indoor bocce ball court in San Francisco's North Beach district.

He appeared in the Janet Jackson music video for her 1986 hit single "What Have You Done for Me Lately" as a cook/waiter.

He portrayed a depressed Chechen hitman in the HBO series Barry in 2018.

In 2021, he appeared in Friends: The Reunion .

Other interests

He has been doing work with the online comedy group "Magic Hugs", and has appeared in a number of their sketches, as well as the series Baby Mentalist for Channel 101.[ citation needed ]



1964 Too Tough To Care Farley
1967 Funnyman Roger
1968 Yours Mine and Ours Grocery Clerk
1968 How Sweet It Is! 1st Policeman
1969 Viva Max! P.t. Romero
1977 China DeSade AgentAdult film. Credited as Lance Hunt
1979 Escape From Alcatraz Charley Butts
1979 The Jerk Circus HandUncredited
1980 Loose Shoes 2nd Veteran
1980 Solly’s Dinner Sometimes JonesShort film. Also Writer and Producer. Academy Award nominee for Best Short Film, Live Action.
1982 Annie Pound Man
1983 The Star Chamber Det. Kenneth Wiggan
1983 The Sting II Handicap
1985 The Sure Thing Trucker
1986 Ratboy Robert Jewell
1986 Running Scared Ace
1986 Armed and Dangerous Kokolovitch
1987 Amazon Women on the Moon Man in Pub
1987 Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Doobie
1988 She's Having a Baby Hank
1990 Home Alone Sgt. Larry Balzak
1990 Pretty Woman The Landlord
1990 Death Warrant Mayerson
1991 Black Magic Woman Hank Watfield
1992 T Bone N Weasel Rev. GluckTelevision Film
1994 The Shadow Taxi Driver
1995 Billy Madison Carl Alphonse
1997 Vegas Vacation Preacher
1997 Money Talks Roland
2000 The Independent William Henry Ellis
2003 Nobody Knows Anything! Blind Man
2008 Reach for Me Elliot
2013 Pain & Gain Pastor Randy
2015 The Parting Shot AaronShort Film. Nominated: LAIFF April Award for best Actor in a lead role.
2019 El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie Old Joe
2021 Bengal HankShort Film.
2021 The Eden Theory Farmer Joe
2021 Friends: The Reunion Himself/Mr. HecklesTelevision Reunion Special
2022I Hear the Trees WhisperingDale

Television series

1969 The Music Scene Himself/host7 Episodes
1978 Free Country Unknown1 Episode
1981 Barney Miller Earl KelsoEpisode: "The Psychic"
1982 Family Ties PickpocketEpisode: "No Nukes is Good Nukes"
1986 Matlock Clayton HoodEpisode: "The Ex"
1986 ALF (TV series) Andrew Seminick, BurglarEpisode: "Strangers in the Night"
1986 Joe Bash Stu2 Episodes
1990 Singer & Sons Homeless ManEpisode: "Our's Not to Reason Why Shmy"
1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation Wind DancerEpisode: "Cost of Living"
1993 Seinfeld Tom Pepper (Kramer)Episode: ‘The Pilot’
1994 Married... With Children MaryEpisode: "Sofa So Good"
1994 The George Carlin Show KennyEpisode: "George Goes Too Far"
1994-1996 Friends Mr. Heckles5 Episodes
1995 Star Trek: Voyager Gaunt Gary3 Episodes
1996 Home Improvement LarryEpisode: "I Was A Teenage Teenager"
1996 Ellen LarryEpisode: "Give Me Equity or Give Me Death"
1997 Claude's Crib AlSupporting Cast (9 Episodes)
2005 Joan of Arcadia Homeless Man GodEpisode: "Secret Service"
2006 My Name is Earl Tom SparksEpisode: "Van Hickey"
2010-2012 Breaking Bad Old Joe2 Episodes
2016 Bad Internet HimselfEpisode: "Which of The 'Friends' Are You?"Web Series
2018 Barry StovkaEpisode: ‘Chapter Three: Make the Unsafe Choice
2018Junk Drawer Magical AdventuresMagic AlEpisode: "The Magician Audition"
2019 Baskets MorticianEpisode: "Common Room Wake"

Music videos

1986Janet Jackson What Have You Done for Me Lately Cook/Waiter
1992Reba McEntire Take It Back Lawyer

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  1. 1 2 "Larry Hankin Songs, Albums, Reviews, Bio & More". AllMusic . Retrieved April 11, 2023. Born December 7, 1937 in New York, NY.
  2. Michaelson, Herb (January 12, 1964). "The Comedian with a Yo Yo Career". The Oakland Tribune . p. 9-EL. Larry Hankin is 26...
  3. Eichelbaum, Stanley (May 31, 1971). "After Five Years, a Logical Reason to Return". The San Francisco Examiner . p. 23. With his hair much longer, Hankin doesn't look 33.
  4. Carroll, Jerry (April 28, 1996). "Committee of One: Larry Hankin, Co-Founder of '60s Comedy Troupe, Bring Solo Show to S.F.". The San Francisco Examiner . p. Theater 30. Now 58...Hankin is a health food nut...
  5. Smith, Gar (July 11, 2021). "SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces". The Berkeley Daily Planet . ...Larry Hankin—now silver-haired and 83...
  6. 1 2 Hal Erickson (2016). "Larry Hankin". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times . Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  7. "Breaking Bad's Junkyard Dog: Actor Larry Hankin". September 25, 2013.
  8. "Anchor - The easiest way to make a podcast". Anchor. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  9. "Larry Hankin Find Your Audience and Remember What Makes Them Laugh". May 31, 2021. Archived from the original on October 7, 2022.
  10. "Breaking Bad's Junkyard Dog: Actor Larry Hankin". September 25, 2013.
  11. "Viva Max (1969)". IMDb.