Saturday, February 24, 2024

Godspeed Lanny Flaherty

Lanny Flaherty, best known for playing Big Al in the cult classic Blood In Blood Out (1993), died on February 18 2024 at the age of 81.

Lanny Flaherty was born on July 27 1942 in Potomoc, Mississippi. In the Sixties he served in the United States Army as a Military Policeman in Germany. He attended Mississippi State University and then Southern Methodist University. It was in the mid-Seventies that he moved to New York City. He was an understudy for the play Of Mice and Men on Broadway. He appeared on Broadway in the play Sweet Bird of Youth.

He made his television debut in 1984 in an episode of the daytime serial The Edge of Night. In the Eighties he guest starred on the televisions shows The Equalizer, The Dirty Dozen, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, and The Cosby Show. He played the role of Soupy Jones in the mini-series Lonesome Dove. He made his film debut in 1989 in Winter People. He appeared in the classic Miller's Crossing (1990).  On Broadway he was an understudy for the play Requiem for a Heavyweight and he was a standby for the play Joe Turner's Come and Gone.

In the Nineties Lanny Flaherty appeared in the movies The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991), Sommersby (1993), Blood In Blood Out (1993), Natural Born Killers (1994), Someone Else's America (1995), Waterworld (1995), Tom and Huck (1995), A Simple Wish (1997), Home Fries (1998), Double Parked (2000), Maze (2000), and Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000). He guest starred on the TV shows Mathnet, New York News, and Third Watch.

In the Naughts he guest starred on the TV shows The Education of Max Bickford and White Collar. He appeared in the movies Signs (2002), Forged (2010), and All Good Things (2010). He appeared on Broadway in Inherit the Wind. In the Teens he appeared in the movies Men in Black 3 (2012) and Cold in July (2014). He guest starred on the show Alpha House and Little America.

Mr.Flaherty also appeared in productions at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. He appeared in a production of Playboy of the Western World at the Steppenwolf Theatre. He also wrote several plays. His play Showdown at the Adobe Motel was produced at the Hartford Stage in Connecticut and starred Henry Fonda.

Chances are very good that Larry Flaherty will always be best remembered as Big Al in Blood In Blood Out. He was impressive in the role, making Big Al one of the best villains in a movie filled with villains. Many will also remember him as Obadiah Price, the creator of the illegal time-jump technology in Men in Black 3. He will also be remembered as Soupy on Lonesome Dove. While it was not a large part, he did well with it, making the character memorable. Many of the roles Larry Flaherty played throughout his career were small, but he always made an impression.Whether as the ill-fated Earl in Natural Born Killers or Terry in Miller's Crossing, one can not forget Lanny Flaherty.

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