Fast Facts

  • Made his New York stage debut in 1955, joining the off-Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera.
  • In 1960, originated the role of El Gallo and introduced the classic "Try to Remember" in the off-Broadway show The Fantasticks.
  • His recurring character on Angela Lansbury's Murder, She Wrote led to his title role in the short-lived spin-off The Law and Harry McGraw (1987-88).
  • Auditioned twice to be a series regular on Law & Order and was passed over both times, first for George Dzundza, then for Paul Sorvino. Orbach went on to make a guest appearance as a defense attorney in 1991 and finally signed on as Det. Lennie Briscoe in 1992.
  • Inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • Recorded a solo album, Jerry Orbach—Off-Broadway, in 1961; reissued on CD in 2000.
  • Honored in 2003 by the Drama League for having "appeared in more performances of American musicals than any other living actor."
  • Named a "Living Landmark" by the New York Landmark Conservancy in 2003.
  • Arranged to have his corneas donated following his death in 2004.
  • Remember How I Love You: Love Letters From an Extraordinary Marriage, a compilation of poems he wrote to his wife, Elaine, was published in 2009.

Awards

  • 1996, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1995, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1999, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1976, Tony — Actor (Musical): Nominee
  • 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1969, Tony — Actor (Musical): Winner
  • 1997, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1990, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2000, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1994, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1992, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special: Nominee
  • 2004, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2003, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1965, Tony — Actor, Supporting or Featured (Musical): Nominee
  • 2000, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1998, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee

Relationships

  • Emily Orbach — Mother
  • Leon Orbach — Father
  • Marta Curro — Ex-wife
  • Chris Orbach — Son
  • Elaine Cancilla — Wife
  • Anthony Nicholas Orbach — Son

College

  • Attended University of Illinois, Urbana, IL; attended Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

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Details

  • Birth Name: Jerome Bernard Orbach
  • Birth Place: Bronx, NY
  • Birthday: October 20, 1935, Libra
  • Died: December 28, 2004
  • Profession: Actor, Singer
  • User Rating:4.56 out of 5 (57 ratings)
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