Where Is Mr. Heckles From 'Friends' Today? Larry Hankin Has Moved Up From The Downstairs Apartment
It's OK to admit that by now you've marathon watched Friends enough times that Ross, Rachel, and company have long felt like your friends, and subsequently, Mr. Heckles feels like your grumpy downstairs neighbor. Oh, you probably haven't forgetting the dearly departed curmudgeon, but, in case you need an refresher: Mr. Heckles lived below Monica and Rachel's apartment. Those crazy kids were constantly interrupting his alleged oboe-playing (spoiler: he probably wasn't playing the oboe) until he died in, well, "The One Where Heckles Dies." And with ballpark 20 years since his last appearance, you may be wondering where the actor who played Mr. Heckles is now.
Short answer: you may have already unknowingly seen him if you're a fan of Breaking Bad. Larry Hankin, the actor behind Heckles, had a recurring role as Old Joe, a junkyard owner that aids Walter and Jesse in a slew of situations during season three and five. Since then, Hankin has continued to pick up small parts here and there, with his last television appearance being on TruTV's Adam Ruins Everything. He currently has a few projects on the slab, and even if they're maybe not Friends or Breaking Bad caliber, it's great to see that he's keeping active.
The real twist that the longtime television and film actor — you may have caught his cameos in John Hughes films like Home Alone and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles — has actually parlayed his talents to the Internet. Yes, even though Hankin is tap-dancing on 76-years-old, he's spent the last few years casually bolstering his web presence. His YouTube Channel offers a variety of mini web series, the primary focus being on a character named Emmett Deemus, an aging, homeless biker who gives off serious Don Quixote vibes. He also has a few videos that tell the stories of another character, Sometimes Jones.
While Emmett Deemus is a character born on the Internet, the majority of the Sometimes Jones stories really go back to Hankin's earlier career ("Solly's Diner" was actually nominated for an Academy Award for best live action short film way back in 1979). Either way, Hankin has carved out a space to his original ideas to take flight.
Beyond that, Hankin has also garnered a few credentials on websites like Funny or Die and College Humor. In fact, he's taken on one of the most iconic roles for the latter, portraying Gandalf the Grey in the short "Gandalf Street Magic." This features, as you would imagine, the Lord of the Rings wizard pulling the same coin-in-your-pipe magic tricks that your "fun" uncle used to. Hankin already portrayed Gandalf's lesser known brother Randalf the Grey in another YouTube video, so suffice to say he was quite qualified for this job.
So OK, maybe Hankin isn't at the post-Friends fame level of Jennifer Aniston or even like, Matthew Perry. But it's good to know that he's still acting in his old age and presumably having a lot of fun.
Images: Warner Bros. Television; Giphy