Wednesday, December 29, 2004

RIP, Jerry Orbach

One of the Monkette2B's favorite actors passed away yesterday -- Jerry Orbach.

Orbach is probably most widely known as Detective Lenny Briscoe on Law & Order -- a role he played for 12 years. He worked with all three of the young detectives of the young/old pairing formula the show used (Chris Noth, Benjamin Bratt and Jesse L. Martin); both the lead ADAs (Michael Moriarty, Sam Waterston); and all of the secondary ADAs (Richard Brooks [still the best of the bunch], Jill Hennessey, Carey Lowell, Angie Harmon and Elisabeth Rohm [no comment]). He had a number of episodes of another L&O spinoff, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, in the can and had planned to go back to work on more episodes in January.

But Orbach was a long-time (and acclaimed) stage actor, primarily in musicals: Chicago (Tony nomination, he created the Billy Flynn role that Richard Gere played in the movie), 42nd Street, Guys and Dolls (Tony nomination), and Promises, Promises (Tony award win). He put his musical talents on the big screen as the voice of Lumiere in Disney's most highly acclaimed animated movie, Beauty and the Beast.

Orbach announced his prostate cancer diagnosis in early December and died from the cancer yesterday. He was 69. According to the IMDB biography, he is survived by his wife, Elaine Cancilla, and his son Chris.

Rest in peace.

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