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John Larroquette to play lawyer (again) in Fox pilot

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Image Credit: RON TOM/ABCJohn Larroquette has joined Jason Isaacs in the Fox legal thriller pilot Pleading Guilty, based on the Scott Turow novel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Larroquette will play the “patrician managing partner” of a high-powered law firm that recruits Isaacs’ character, a cop-turned-attorney, who investigates the disappearance of its top litigator. Translation: Probably not as wacky as his stint on Boston Legal — which ended with him and Candice Bergen in a double wedding with James Spader and William Shatner — but chances are he’ll still be pretty charismatic.

I chatted with Larroquette in 2007, when he joined Boston Legal, and he estimated that he’s played between 15 and 20 lawyers in his career (“certainly more than I’ve ever hired,” he joked). That, of course, includes the role of Dan Fielding on Night Court, for which he earned four straight Best Supporting Actor Emmys. He credited the timbre of his voice for the typecasting. He developed it in the late ’60s as a DJ on Mother Radio, an underground FM station in his native New Orleans. He himself was a musician before he became an actor: ”I was from New Orleans, so I had to play clarinet. I had to try to be Pete Fountain,” he said. ”At about 18, I realized that I could talk better than I can blow. I learned how to use my voice. You’d sit there with headphones on and you’d hear yourself.” (One of his earliest gigs was as the narrator of 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.)

There are advantages to playing lawyers, Larroquette admitted. “You get to wear better clothes than the other people,” he said. “Dan Fielding started with a three-piece button down. The suits were, for the day, some of the best you could buy. Brooks Bothers. Cassini. Luckily, being as tall as I am, 6’5”, I seem to be able to wear a suit fairly well.” (Note: He doesn’t always wear one. We also chatted about his love of the outdoors and his 45-foot motor home.)

Who else is psyched to see Larroquette suit up again, and, we hope, verbally spar with Isaacs? Which TV lawyers wear a suit well? I spoke to one today.

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