Obituary of Lanny Flaherty

February 18, 2024

Lanny Flaherty passed away peacefully in New York City on Sunday, February 18, 2024. Born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, on July 27, 1942.  Memories of his childhood stayed with him throughout his life but never limited his dreams and aspirations.

Lanny served in the U.S. Army in the 1960s as an MP stationed in Germany. He attended Mississippi State University and went on to study at Southern Methodist University focusing primarily on acting and playwriting.

In the mid-1970s, Lanny moved to New York City as part of the Broadway cast of Of Mice and Men. Lanny remained a NYC resident for the rest of his life, alternating time between Mississippi and NYC.

Lanny went on to perform in several Broadway productions throughout his life including Sweet Bird of Youth, Inherit the Wind, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Requiem for a Heavyweight, and also appeared frequently in productions at the Actors Theatre of Louisville and also at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Playboy of the Western World.

As an actor on film and television, Lanny appeared in many films, most notably as Big Al in "Blood In, Blood Out." Flaherty also co-starred with Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones in "Lonesome Dove" and in Joel and Ethan Coen's "Miller's Crossing" with Gabriel Byrne and Marcia Gay Harden. Flaherty co-starred in M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs" and in Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers." He also appeared in "Tom and Huck," "Waterworld," "Home Fries," and "Bound By Honor" among many others.

Lanny wrote many plays over his lifetime. One of his plays "Showdown at the Adobe Motel" starred Henry Fonda in his last live performance at the Hartford Stage in Connecticut.

He loved the NYC libraries and especially live theater and ballet.

Lanny is survived by his daughter, Sara Suzuki, her husband, Ryosuke Suzuki and twin granddaughters who he loved dearly, and his many friends. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.


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Lanny came to New York a few years before I did, and he was very kind to me in my early time here. I worked with him only once, in the hat shop scene in LITTLE AMERICA. He was great company and a good guy. He is missed.

Posted by: Gene Jones - New York, NY - Friend February 24, 2024