After a decade on the mean streets of Manhattan, many a police officer are ready to pack it in. However, Jerry Orbach, who has played dry-witted Det. Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order since 1992, has no intention of turning in his badge and retiring.
"It may sound a little off the wall to say this, but having the opportunity to do this in this long an arc has given me and is continuing to give me a feeling that I'm doing something for the city and for the people of it and for the cops," the 66-year-old Bronx native says. "I see it every day on the street the profile of Law & Order has gotten bigger and bigger. And the way the city feels about us [cast members]... it's like we're part of the good things that happen in the city."
In the wake of the Twin Towers tragedy, Orbach believes that his small-screen crime-fighting is an especially big deal. If Gothamites must see Osama's scary mug on the tube, then by God, Orbach is going to make sure that they continue to see his reassuring face as well. "I can't go down and physically remove I-beams from the rubble of 9/11, but I get a sense that [my colleagues and I are] helping in some way by the image that we're projecting," he explains. "It's the old line of the cops saying to me, 'Keep making us look good.'"As long as we continue to do that," he concludes, "it's a joy to go to work."