Alan Rachins

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Alan Rachins
Alan Rachins (cropped).jpg
Rachins in 1992
Born (1942-10-03) October 3, 1942 (age 72)
Cambridge, Massachusetts,
United States
Spouse(s) Joanna Frank (1978-present)

Alan Rachins (born October 3, 1942) is an American television actor, best known for his role as Douglas Brackman in L.A. Law which earned him both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations, and his portrayal of Larry (Dharma's hippie father) on the hit television series Dharma & Greg.


Rachins graduated from Brookline High School.[1] He enrolled the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, ultimately dropping out, but managed to graduate from Empire State College in 1974.[2][3] A passion for acting compelled him to move to New York to study with teachers William Ball, Warren Robertson, Kim Stanley and Harvey Lembeck, among others. Over the next decade, he performed in a succession of plays, including the original Broadway productions of After the Rain and H'adrian the Seventh, as well as the original off-Broadway productions of The Trojan Women and the controversial Oh! Calcutta!.

In 1972, Rachins put his acting career on hold when he was accepted as a fellow in the writing and directing programs at the American Film Institute. He went on to sell scripts to a variety of shows, including Fall Guy, Hill Street Blues, Knight Rider, Quincy, and Hart To Hart.

Despite these successes as a writer and director, Rachins returned to his acting career with a leading role in Henry Jaglom’s independent film, Always. This critically acclaimed film brought him widespread attention and ultimately led to his role on L.A. Law. Rachins continued to working in feature films such as Heart Condition co-starring with Denzel Washington and Bob Hoskins, Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls and Rob Reiner’s North. He also provided the voice for the Clock King in two episodes of Batman: the Animated Series and later one episode of Justice League Unlimited.

Recent theatre appearances include the world premiere of Arthur Laurents’ two-hander “Attacks Of The Heart” at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, N.J. directed by David Saint. At the Cape Playhouse, he played the part of Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit The Wind. Additionally, he tackled the role of ‘Albin’, the flamboyant transvestite in the famed Jupiter Theater production of La Cage Aux Folles, was seen in Love Letters with Swoosie Kurtz at the Coronet Theatre in Beverly Hills and starred in the Reprise production of Promises, Promises with Jason Alexander, Jean Smart and Alan Thicke at the Freud Theatre in Los Angeles.

Rachins recently appeared on the ABC-TV series Eli Stone, playing an attorney in consultation with Eli Stone. The name "Brackman" can be seen in inverted letters on a translucent wall behind Rachins. For two seasons, he provided the voice of Norman Osborn on the cartoon series The Spectacular Spider-Man.

Rachins also appeared on the TNT TV series Rizzoli & Isles as a recurring guest star, and guest starred as Frank (Bob's father, and Gabe, PJ and Teddy's granddad) in the Good Luck Charlie episode "It's a Charlie Duncan Thanksgiving".

Personal life[edit]

Rachins was born in October 1942 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to a Jewish-American family, the son of Edward and Ida Rachins. His father was in a family food manufacturing business called Snow Crest.[4] Rachins and actress Joanna Frank have been married since 1978 and have a son, Robert. The couple has formed the production company Allofit Productions which has acquired books and original screenplays to develop for television and feature films. Rachins is a member of Mensa.[5][6]


  1. ^ Brozan, Nadine. "Chronicle", The New York Times, March 16, 1993. Accessed April 21, 2008. "The year is being bracketed by two celebratory weekends -- one last June, one this June -- that include class reunions. Last year's event brought more than 2,000 graduates back to the school, including Mr. Wallace, Alan Rachins, a star of "L.A. Law," and former Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts and his wife, Kitty."
  2. ^ Bonnabeau, Richard F. (1996). The Promise Continues: Empire State College: The First Twenty-five Years. Virginia Beach, Virginia: The Donning Company. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-89865-966-5. OCLC 34076720. 
  3. ^ Rachins, Alan (2006-12-15). "Resume". Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  4. ^ Alan Rachins Biography (1947?-)
  5. ^ "Prominent Mensans". Mensa International. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  6. ^ "They're Accomplished, They're Famous, and They're MENSANS". Mensa Bulletin (American Mensa) (476): 23. July 2004. ISSN 0025-9543. 

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