Actor Jerry Orbach, best known as sharp-tongued Detective Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order, has died at the age of 69. He passed away Tuesday night in Manhattan after undergoing weeks of treatment for prostate cancer. A song-and-dance man at heart, Orbach made his Broadway debut in The Threepenny Opera and went on to originate the roles of El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Billy Flynn in Chicago and Julian Marsh in 42nd Street. He earned three Tony nominations and won for Promises, Promises in 1969. Orbach also appeared in more than 40 films, most notably as Jennifer Grey's overprotective pa in Dirty Dancing. Last March he retired from Law & Order after 12 years, although plans called for him to appear on Law & Order: Trial by Jury, to start in March. "I'm immensely saddened by the passing of not only a friend and colleague, but a legendary star of screen, stage and television," said L&O creator Dick Wolf in a statement. "His loss is irreplaceable."
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