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Larry Riley Birthday and Biography


Born:   June 20, 1952

Place of Birth:   Memphis, TN

Died:  June 6, 1992

Zodiac Sign:  Cancer

Larry Riley was an American actor and musician best known for his role as C.J. Memphis in the film A Soldier's Story (1984) and as Frank Williams in the prime-time TV soap opera Knots Landing.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Riley began acting in high school before studying drama at Memphis State University.

He made his professional stage debut in 1971. He appeared in various stage productions on and off-Broadway, including A Broadway Musical, Shakespeare's Cabaret, I Love My Wife, and Big River, a musical based on Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

In 1982, Riley won a Clarence Derwent and Obie Award for his A Soldier’s Play performance. He later reprised the role in the 1984 film based on the play.

From 1984 to 1985, Riley portrayed the role of Curtis Taylor, Jr. in the national touring company of Dreamgirls.

He also appeared as the leading player in the U.S. touring company of Pippin.

From 1980 to 1982, Riley portrayed Calvin Barnes in the NBC daytime soap opera The Doctors.

He later had guest roles on Hill Street Blues and Miami Vice and appeared in Louis Malle's 1984 film Crackers.

In 1985, Riley starred in the short-lived sitcom Stir Crazy, based on the 1980 film of the same name.

In 1988, he won the role of Frank Williams on the long-running nighttime soap Knots Landing, becoming the series' first regular African American cast member.

The role garnered Riley a Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Actor in a Primetime Supporting Role 1991.

Riley also created a musical tribute to Louis Jordan entitled "Let the Good Times Roll,” which enjoyed success at the Cinegrill of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 1988.

He also voiced the arch-villain Dumping Jack Trash in the children's animated series Fantastic Max.

In addition to acting, Riley was also a musician and singer. He performed two songs as Reverend Gillis in the Emmy-nominated Polly and the following year's sequel, Polly! Comin' Home. He sang in Knots Landing episodes and composed the score for episodes.