Jerry Orbach

Jerry Orbach

69 (passed away Dec. 28th, 2004)
Oct. 20th, 1935
Born in
New York City, New York, USA
6' 2

Jerry Orbach's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Law & Order TV Show
Law & Order
Law & Order: Trial by Jury TV Show
Law & Order: Trial by Jury
The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers TV Show
The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers
Later with Bob Costas TV Show
Later with Bob Costas
Diana TV Show
Our Family Honor TV Show
Our Family Honor

Main Movie Roles

2000 - Chinese Coffee
1992 - Straight Talk
1992 - Universal Soldier
1991 - Delirious
1991 - Beauty and the Beast
1991 - Delusion
1991 - Toy Soldiers
1989 - Last Exit to Brooklyn
1989 - Crimes and Misdemeanors
1987 - Dirty Dancing
1987 - Someone to Watch Over Me
1986 - FX
1985 - Brewster's Millions
1981 - Prince of the City
1977 - The Sentinel
1961 - Mad Dog Coll
1955 - Marty

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
Lumiere (Voiced)
Harry McGraw
Detective Lennie Briscoe
Detective Lennie Briscoe
J.P. Loring
Sal Scarlatti
[Complete List]


Jerome Bernard "Jerry" Orbach (October 20, 1935 – December 28, 2004) was an American actor and singer.

Born in the Bronx, the only child of Emily (née Olexy), a greeting card manufacturer and radio singer, and Leon Orbach, a restaurant manager and vaudeville performer. His family moved frequently and eventually settled in Waukegan, Illinois where he went to high school. The constant moving made him the new kid on the block and forced him to become "a chameleon" to blend in his new settings. He studied drama at the University of Illinois and at Northwestern. He then went to study acting in New York and got constant work in musicals. He slowly pushed to get acting roles in tv and movies, but was frequently overlooked because of his musical roots.

He is best known on television for his starring role as Detective Lennie Briscoe in Law & Order and his recurring role as Harry McGraw in Murder, She Wrote, as well as for film roles such as Detective Gus Levy in Prince of the City, Dr. Jake Houseman in Dirty Dancing and the voice of Lumière in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Orbach was equally noted as a musical theatre star, creating roles such as El Gallo in The Fantasticks, the longest-running musical play in history; Chuck Baxter in Promises, Promises (for which he won a Tony Award); Julian Marsh in 42nd Street; and Billy Flynn in Chicago.

Orbach was married in 1958 to Marta Curro, with whom he had two sons, Anthony Nicholas and Christopher Benjamin; they divorced in (1975). Elder son Tony is a crossword puzzle constructor for The New York Times and also guest starred on the Law & Order episode "Doubles" as a reporter. Younger son Chris Orbach, who is an actor and singer, played Lennie Briscoe's nephew Ken Briscoe on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Orbach married Broadway dancer Elaine Cancilla, in 1979 whom he met while starring in Chicago.

  • Along with 'Jesse L. Martin' (qv), 'Fred Dalton Thompson' (qv) and 'Leslie Hendrix' (qv), he is one of only four actors to play the same character (Detective Lennie Briscoe) on all four "Law & Order" series (_"Law & Order" (1990)_ (qv), _"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999)_ (qv), _"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (2001)_ (qv) and _"Law & Order: Trial by Jury" (2005)_ (qv)).
  • Along with 'Chris Noth' (qv), 'Dann Florek' (qv) and 'Fred Dalton Thompson' (qv), he is one of four _"Law & Order" (1990)_ (qv) cast members who later joined the regular cast of one of the spin-off series. He played Detective Lennie Briscoe in _"Law & Order" (1990)_ (qv) from 1992 to 2004 and was a member of the original cast of _"Law & Order: Trial by Jury" (2005)_ (qv).
  • Played the uncle of his real-life son, 'Chris Orbach' (qv), in _"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999)_ (qv).
  • Created the roles of El Gallo in "The Fantasticks," Billy Flynn in "Chicago" and Julian Marsh in "42nd Street" on the New York stage.
  • Announced on March 26, 2004, that he would be leaving _"Law & Order" (1990)_ (qv) after 12 years on the series.
  • In 1976, he was nominated for the Tony Award for "Best Actor in a Musical" for his performance in "Chicago."
  • Is one of four cast members from _"Law & Order" (1990)_ (qv) whose character became a regular on a "Law & Order" spin-off. He played Det. Lennie Briscoe in both "Law & Order" and _"Law & Order: Trial by Jury" (2005)_ (qv). Although he was signed as a regular cast member in L&O:TBJ, he died unexpectedly after shooting only two episodes.
  • In 1969, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor (Musical) for his 1968 role of Chuck Baxter in the 'Burt Bacharach' (qv)/'Hal David (II)' (qv) musical "Promises, Promises", a stage adaptation of 'Billy Wilder' (qv)'s _The Apartment (1960)_ (qv). This was preceded by a 1965 Tony nomination as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Musical) for a revival of "Guys and Dolls," and followed by a 1976 Best Actor (Musical) nomination for the original production of "Chicago."

Related sites for this celeb
» BuddyTV
» TVGuide
» AceShowbiz
You are successfully logged out.

ShareTV Login

Enter the text in the image shown if you are human.
WARNING: after 2 more failed attempts you will be locked out

Create Account

Verify Password

Verification code (check your email for the verification code)

Verification code has been sent to the following email address:
If you didn't receive the verification code:

1. Check your bulk/spam folder.

2. Try to whitelist our email address (

3. Resend verification email

If you mistyped your email address change it here
Create a free ShareTV account to make a personalized schedule of your favorite TV shows, keep track of what you've watched, earn points and more.
Verify your username and email to complete your Registration
Enter the text in the image shown if you are human.
WARNING: after 2 more failed attempts you will be locked out

Forgot Your Password?

Enter the email address you used to create the account and your password will be emailed to you.