Jerry Orbach dies

by Eszter Hargittai on December 29, 2004

Jerry Orbach, star of Law & Order for many seasons, died last night of prostate cancer. Just last week NBC rebroadcast his last episode in the series. Even though he had left the show, he was taking part in the production of the new upcoming spinoff “Law & Order: Trial by Jury”, which will start airing in 2005 with Orbach performing in three episodes.



Richard Bellamy 12.29.04 at 7:22 pm

You know, up until 5 minutes ago, I though Jerry Orbach was also the guy who played “Cigarette Smoking Man” on the X-Files. Apparently not.

He was, however, Jennifer Grey’s father in “Dirty Dancing,” which I did not know, but is even better than being Cigarette Smoking Man.


David Salmanson 12.29.04 at 7:56 pm

Orbach was first and foremost a stage actor. He was the original young man in the original production of The Fantastiks and played the Narrator in the final production. His pairing with Angela Lansburry (sp?) in Beauty and the Beast was an amazing bit of genius.


Nat Whilk 12.30.04 at 3:36 pm

I figure I’ve spent about 500 hours watching Lenny give the bad guys what for on L&O. Was it wrong of me to spend so much time–and wrong of NBC to tempt me into spending so much time–admiring Orbach’s talents rather than me contemplating the 3 million people who died during those 500 hours as the new all-death-all-the-time NBC gave them each their half-second of fame?


nadezhda 12.31.04 at 7:36 am

Jerry Orbach wasn’t just first and foremost a stage actor, as David Salmanson notes. Orbach was the creator of some of the most memorable characters in Broadway musicals over a span of more than 40 years. The lights on Broadway were dimmed in his memory. The Glittering Eye offers an appreciation and overview of his remarkable career on the stage.

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