Prior to the series, Denny had a one-night stand with a woman who was allegedly pregnant by him and sued Denny in a successful paternity case. She gave birth to a boy, Donny Crane, but admitted years later that Donny wasn`t really her son. Nevertheless, Denny supported Donny, who graduated from law school and became a lawyer, financially and even said his name out loud, just like Denny. Denny Crane is a legendary lawyer and partner at Crane, Poole & Schmidt, who is also friends with Alan Shore. He is portrayed by William Shatner. Denny often underscores his statements by announcing his own name « Denny Crane ». (Another character created by David E. Kelley, Charlie Bixby, also showed this oddity in Boston Public.) He does this so often that he sometimes mumbles his name in his sleep, and as the episode « The Cancer Man Can » proves, he even calls his own name during sex. Denny even has a talking teddy bear who, when in a hurry, exclaims « Denny Crane! » Denny first shot the aforementioned man, who threatened Alan with a gun, directly into the offices of Crane, Poole & Schmidt.  In another episode, he was forced against his will by a judge to portray pro bono a child rapist/accused murderer. The killer privately bragged to Denny that he had committed the crime, and Denny responded by shooting the man`s two kneecaps in « self-defense » with a gun he had smuggled past courthouse security in his briefcase.
 Denny also shot a homeless man in the head with a paintball gun after the man threw a stone at his head because Denny had ignored his demands for change.  Eventually, Denny shot his psychologist on two separate occasions: first in self-defense, when the psychologist brandished a gun after Denny first drew his gun, and then again in a courtroom after the psychologist threatened to shoot Alan.  Lori Colson: Your Honour, if we had wanted to argue insanity, we could have simply invoked it. Lori Colson: I`m sure you`ll do the right thing about insanity. Later, in « Happy Trails », while in Utah with Alan, after accidentally taking Viagra instead of his usual medication, he discovers a wild sheep standing in front of their tent and lovingly heading towards it while playing romantic music before Alan makes him return to the tent. When they return to Boston, Denny is so caught up in the sight of Katie Lloyd in a sheep costume for Halloween that he throws his arms around her and possibly bites her before Alan, Jerry and Carl tear him away from her. Judge Phillip Stevens: Unless you don`t want to argue about that, defence counsel. They don`t want to plead guilty and have insanity as a relapse. Two tusks for the price of one.
Many jokes have been made about the proximity of Donny and Denny`s name. Just like Denny, Donny used his own name as an exclamation at inopportune times. However, Denny has made it clear to Donny that he considers Donny his son, even though he may not have fathered Donny. Denny also had a long and tumultuous relationship with Shirley Schmidt, dating back a quarter of a century. Denny remembers swimming together in Nantucket and allegedly having a threesome with Shirley and Barbra Streisand, but Shirley remembers that she was actually a hired impersonator. On numerous occasions, Denny negligently unloaded various firearms, although no one was ever harmed by his negligence. However, he has a penchant for using his weapons against living people and has done so more than once. As Paul Lewiston famously said, « He [Denny] shoots people. » Justice Phillip Stevens: Yes. And I`m sure the jury will listen. After completing his military service, Denny studied law and began practicing in 1957 with his father, who was also a renowned lawyer, but also disapproved of Denny`s fraudulent tactics and then suffered from the later stages of Alzheimer`s disease until he finally received a deadly morphine infusion from his doctor. insisting on ending his suffering.
Denny and his main partner and founder Shirley Schmidt had a brief relationship many years ago, though she calls it a gamble to sleep with him, which she lost. He once claimed that he had a threesome with Shirley and Barbra Streisand; Shirley then told him that she had hired a male Barbra Streisand impersonator. Denny often interprets seemingly meaningless friendly conversations between them as sexual movements and often makes advances to sleep with her. He also has a life-size doll in the form of Shirley, which he called « Shirley Schmidt-tto ». In the fifth season, a criminal attempted to steal Denny and Jerry Espenson`s wallets at gunpoint. When Denny handed over his wallet, he pulled out a gun and shot the potential thief three times in the legs, resulting in Denny`s arrest for carrying a concealed weapon. Denny arranged for Jerry to make a strong closing argument in favor of guns, hoping to lose, so they could challenge the case in the Supreme Court as part of Denny`s program to change gun laws. Nevertheless, the jury found Denny not guilty anyway. While vacationing in Utah with Alan, Denny (and Boston himself) are insulted by a man with a strong New York accent, prompting Denny to shoot him in the knee with a soothing gun and knock him out.
In the series finale, Denny discovered that the company had been bought by a Chinese company, which he strongly refused. During a meeting with the company, Denny opened fire on her with a paintball gun and chased her out of the conference room. When a concerned customer and friend of Denny`s company accused Denny`s company of not being environmentally conscious, Denny opened fire on him with a paintball gun and shot him repeatedly with an air pistol at a subsequent meeting. He then shot Carl Sack with the same pistol.  Another lawyer, Donny Crane, is said to be Denny`s illegitimate son, the product of an affair with an anonymous woman. However, Denny confessed to Alan that when Donny`s mother beat him with a paternity lawsuit, he calmed down, and Donny`s mother later admitted that Denny was not the father. Upon hearing this conversation, Donny learned that Denny had not fathered him. Denny tries to engrave his own name on the Stanley Cup Denny strongly opposes gun control, claiming that « it`s for communists. » On the recommendation of his friend Tom DeLay, he keeps a variety of loaded weapons in his office (including the disguised AR-7 he used to save Alan in the episode « Hired Guns »). In addition to his infamous womanizer curve, Denny has shown a bizarre obsession with sheep that borders on sexual attraction. In « The Bad Seed », Denny fantasizes about a vacation at a guy`s ranch and seems to be passionate about sheep.
Denny`s explanation for this habit is that people often can`t believe they`re actually in the room with the legendary Denny Crane, so he says his name out loud to reassure them that it`s real (as he says in his appearance on The Practice). Alan Shore originally claimed (in The Practice) and Shirley Schmidt later confirmed that Denny said his name out loud to remember in reference to his MCI.