Denny Crane

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Denny Crane is an eccentric lawyer on the popular television show, "Boston Legal," produced by David E. Kelley, and played by William Shatner. Denny first made an appearance on the show, "The Practice," before its success spawned Boston Legal as a spin-off.


Denny is a 70-year old named partner in the law firm which is the subject of Boston Legal, Crane Poole & Schmidt. He is portrayed as a legend in his own time, who has perhaps lived past his time, and now, in his declining years, must face the reality that he can no longer live up to the legendary persona he has sculpted for himself.

He makes up for this decline by becoming even more eccentric than usual. Aside from his extremely conservative views, which are often at odds with the liberal lawyers of his firm, Denny is self-obsessed and ego-maniacal, seeking to continue to propagate his own myth by his actions, to "go out with a bang." He believes that his name is an inoculation against failure - that the mere mention of the two words, "Denny Crane," will send his opponents running scared - and his lawyering is characterized by a belief in his own immunity to failure, and his flouting of legal norms towards that end. As he is fond of mentioning, he has never lost a case. In the first season, he discovers that he has the onset symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease. Refusing to believe in his own frailty, he instead refers to it as Mad Cow Disease.

Many of the episodes prominently featuring Denny Crane focus on how he has become a parody of himself. However, an emphasis of his character remains his base humanity and desire to be loved, and his personal knowledge of his eccentricity as, at root, a facade. His best friend in the show, Alan Shore, serves as a reality check for himself and for the audience, as a serious foil to his status as a comic relief character.

Famous Quotes

  • "Denny Crane."
  • "Never lost, never will."
  • "Who's your daddy?"
  • "Lock 'n load."
  • "Koo-koo for Cocoa Puffs."
  • "Trix are for kids."
  • "Mad Cow."