Richard Dysart

Richard Dysart

Highest Rated: 100% The Hospital (1971)

Lowest Rated: 5% Meteor (1979)

Birthday: Mar 30, 1929

Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Distinguished, bespectacled character actor who has worked steadily in theater, features and TV since the mid-1950s. Dysart has repeatedly been called upon to represent distinguished members of the community from doctors to judges, several presidents and other historical figures. Dysart has proved a reliable supporting player in numerous projects but he is perhaps most readily identifiable as Leland McKenzie, the esteemed patriarch of a prestigious law firm in the long-running courtroom drama series "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-94). The Maine native began his acting career after completing studies at Boston's Emerson College. He headed to New York in the mid-1950s where he began working off-Broadway in such celebrated productions as "The Quare Fellow" (1958), "Our Town" (1959) and "Six Characters in Search of an Author" (1963). He appeared on Broadway in "A Man For All Seasons," the 1967 revival of "The Little Foxes" and "That Championship Season" in 1972. Dysart made his feature debut in Richard Lester's stylish drama "Petulia" (1968), one of that decade's best received films. He then donned a stethoscope to play a bungling doctor in Arthur Hiller's comedy "The Hospital" (1971), a pompous surgeon in the sci-fi thriller "The Terminal Man" (1974), and a suspicious physician in Hal Ashby's satirical "Being There" (1979). On the small screen, Dysart has also worked steadily. Highlights of two decades of TV appearances include playing a slaveowner in "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" (1974), and playing movie moguls Jack Warner, in the bio film "Bogie" (1980), and Louis B. Mayer, in "Malice in Wonderland" (1985). Dysart has also impersonated several US Presidents, from Ulysses S. Grant in "The Court-Martial of General Custer" (1977) to Dwight D. Eisenhower in "The Last Days Of Patton" (1986). All of these parts seemed to serve as a warm-up for his long-running role in "L.A. Law," a part that earned him an Emmy as Best Supporting Actor. Dysart worked sporadically after the series finished its run, including a turn as J. Edgar Hoover in Mario Van Peebles' "Panther" (1995) and a supporting role in the action thriller "Hard Rain" (1998). He returned to television in a voice role on the animated series "Spawn" (HBO 1997-99), based on the Todd McFarlane character. Dysart quietly retired after a final performance in his best-known role in "L.A. Law: The Movie" (NBC 2002). Richard Dysart died on April 7, 2015, following a long illness. He was 86.

Highest rated movies

The Hospital
Being There
Pale Rider
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
The Thing




No Score Yet No Score Yet L.A. Law: The Movie Leland McKenzie (Character) - 2002
32% 34% Hard Rain Henry Sears (Character) $19.9M 1998
88% 74% Truman Henry L. Stimson (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Child Is Missing Riley Hallihan (Character) - 1995
31% 75% Panther J. Edgar Hoover (Character) $6.3M 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Marilyn & Bobby: Her Final Affair J. Edgar Hoover (Character) - 1993
80% 78% Back to the Future Part III Barbed-Wire Salesman (Character) - 1990
No Score Yet 21% Moving Target Arthur Cambridge (Character) - 1988
No Score Yet No Score Yet Six Against the Rock Warden James Johnston (Character) - 1987
78% 81% Wall Street Cromwell (Character) $41.3M 1987
No Score Yet 69% The Last Days of Patton Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower (Character) - 1986
20% 43% Warning Sign Dr. Nielsen (Character) - 1985
No Score Yet 67% Malice in Wonderland Louis B. Mayer (Character) - 1985
93% 83% Mask Abe (Character) - 1985
93% 83% Pale Rider Coy LaHood (Character) - 1985
82% 69% The Falcon and the Snowman Dr. Lee (Character) $14.9M 1985
83% 92% The Thing Dr. Copper (Character) - 1982
No Score Yet No Score Yet Missing Children: A Mother's Story Hunter Burgess (Character) - 1982
No Score Yet 88% Bitter Harvest Dr. Morton Freeman (Character) - 1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet The People vs. Jean Harris Judge Russell R. Leggett (Character) - 1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd Edwin Stanton (Character) - 1980
5% 13% Meteor Secretary of Defense (Character) - 1979
33% 36% Prophecy Isely (Character) - 1979
95% 92% Being There Dr. Robert Allenby (Character) - 1979
No Score Yet 52% An Enemy of the People Aslaksen (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet Charlie Smith and the Fritter Tree Unknown (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet It Happened One Christmas Peter Bailey (Character) - 1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet Code Name: Minus One Leonard Driscoll (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Gemini Man Leonard Driscoll (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet 0% Riding With Death Leonard Driscoll (Character) - 1976
65% 75% The Day of the Locust Claude Estee (Character) - 1975
36% 38% The Hindenburg Lehman (Character) - 1975
89% 87% The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Master Bryant (Character) - 1974
53% 42% The Terminal Man Dr. John Ellis (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder Father (Character) - 1974
100% 74% The Hospital Dr. Welbeck (Character) - 1971
86% 80% Petulia Motel Receptionist (Character) - 1968
82% 86% Love With the Proper Stranger Accountant (uncredited) (Character) - 1963


No Score Yet 85% Todd McFarlane's Spawn Unknown (Voice) 1997-1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet L.A. Law Leland McKenzie (Character) 1986-1994
No Score Yet 75% Columbo Max Duval (Guest Star) 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cannon Hartford Dunne (Guest Star) 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Maude Unknown (Guest Star) 1975
No Score Yet 89% All in the Family Unknown (Guest Star) 1972
No Score Yet No Score Yet East Side/West Side Unknown (Guest Star) 1963