John Hancock, 51; TV, Movie Actor

John Hancock, a burly actor who portrayed the tough judge on “L.A. Law” and more recently was the bartender in the new CBS television comedy “Love and War,” has been found dead in his Los Angeles home.

Hancock’s body was found in front of his television set Tuesday. He was 51 and died of a massive heart attack, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said.

The body was found after Hancock failed to report to the set of “Love and War,” one of the season’s few new hits.

Production has been halted for at least a week. Four unbroadcast episodes featuring Hancock will be shown later, a spokesman said.


Hancock also appeared in the feature films “A Soldier’s Story” and “Foul Play.” On stage, he played Willie Loman in an African-American presentation of “Death of a Salesman” and in 1977 portrayed Joe in an American Conservatory Theater production of “Showboat” staged in Solvang.

Hancock is survived by his parents. Funeral arrangements are pending.