Lou Cutell, Seinfeld and Pee-wee’s Big Adventure Actor, Dies at 91

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Lou Cutell, a character actor with over 50 years of experience in Hollywood, has passed away at the age of 90. Deadline brings word of Cutell’s passing, revealing a Facebook post from friend Mark Furman confirmed the news, confirming that Cutell died over the weekend. “After 91 years, and a great life, my friend Lou Cutell went home,” Furman wrote in a post on Sunday. “A film, theater and character actor. Big Larry in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Ass Man in Seinfeld, Abe in Grey’s Anatomy S12,E4. He took me to Lucille Ball’s house in 1986. Rest in peace Lou.”

Cutell has over 100 credits to his name but many film and TV fans know him best for his one-off and surprise appearances. An iconic episode of Seinfeld featured Cutell as a doctor whose vanity license plate “ASSMAN” is accidentally picked up by Kramer, who correctly assumes that the plate belongs to a proctologist and uses it to his advantage for the length of the episode. Cutell’s Dr. Cooperman appears at the end of the episode when the switch is confirmed, cementing the episode as one of the best of hte series.

Another high profile appearance of Cutell’s is as the character “Amazing Larry,” a one-off visual gag that appears in Tim Burton’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. In the scene Cutell’s character sports a rainbow mohawk, which is never addressed, and is scolded by Pee-wee for interrupting him during the big meeting about the whereabouts of his precious bike. Larry and his mohawk aren’t mentioned again, but they make an impression.

Some film fans of a certain generation may also recognize Cutell as Dr. Brainard in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, a minor role that he played in the Disney film where he was a colleague of Rick Moranis’ Wayne Szalinski.

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Beyond those key roles, Cutell’s career began back in the 1960s with an appearance on The Dick Van Dyke Show. After that he’d appear on shows like The Wild Wild West, My Three Sons, Starsky and Hutch, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Love Boat, and Tales From the Darkside. His career would continue well into the 1990s though with appearances on Newhart, Eerie, Indiana, The Wonder Years, Mad About You, The Practice, Will & Grace, and Spin City, as well as into the 2000s with two appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm as Leo Funkhouser, plus How I Met Your Mother, The Brink, the hidden camera series Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, and his final role in Grey’s Anatomy.

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