Though his may not have been a household name, the face and inimitable presence of character actor Lou Cutell – who died last weekend at the age of 91 – was likely recognizable to most every fan of popular productions on both the big and small screens over the past several decades.
According to Variety, Cutell’s passing was announced by the performer’s good friend, Mark Furman, who wrote on Facebook, “After 91 years, and a great life, my friend Lou Cutell went home.”
Paul Reubens, popularly known as Pee-wee Herman, also confirmed his former colleague’s death, writing on Twitter, “Lou Cutell, the actor who played The Amazing Larry in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, passed away on Sunday.”
Relating memories of his past collaborations with Cutell, Reubens added, “I was lucky enough to be able to tell him how much he meant to me and that I’d never forget him. It’s obvious and corn to say, but nevertheless true: he was amazing.”
Lou Cutell, the actor who played The Amazing Larry in “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” passed away on Sunday. During a career that spanned well over fifty years, he acted in an extraordinary number of diverse movies and television shows. (thread) pic.twitter.com/kDvGJmdMu6
— Pee-wee Herman (@peeweeherman) November 24, 2021
Though most will recognize Cutell from film and television roles, his early career began in the theater, with a turn as William Berry in a short-lived Broadway run of The Young Abe Lincoln, though he soon started winning guest roles in popular television series such as The Dick Van Dyke Show, My Three Sons, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Golden Girls and feature films including Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
In more recent years, he appeared in Grey’s Anatomy, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, and Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, as Fox News noted.
For many, however, Cutell’s most enduring role will always be that of protcologist Dr. Howard Cooperman in a 1995 episode of Seinfeld, in which there was a mixup involving the character’s vanity license plates, emblazoned with the word“ASSMAN,” which were inadvertently — and to hilarious effect — given to Michael Richards’ preternaturally kooky character, Cosmo Kramer.
Though he will certainly be missed by all of those who knew, loved, and worked with him as a professional colleague over the years, Cutell will long be remembered for the great joy and hours of entertainment he brought to millions all over the world.