Jerry Orbach’s legacy as one of the last bona fide leading men of the Broadway musical and a versatile stage and film actor will forever be remembered.
In today’s article we take a look into his life as we find out more on his actual cause of death.
Jerry Orbach’s Biography
Jerome Bernard Orbach, better known as Jerry Orbach, was an American actor and singer who made a lasting impact on both the Broadway stage and the world of television.
Born in the Bronx on October 20, 1935, Orbach’s brilliance and versatility made him one of the most recognised performers of his day.
Orbach’s career began on Broadway, where he played famous roles in both on and off-Broadway companies. He played El Gallo in the off-Broadway hit “The Fantasticks” in 1960, and was the first singer to sing the show’s anthem, “Try to Remember.”
He later wowed audiences and reviewers as Billy Flynn in the original production of “Chicago” and Julian Marsh in “42nd Street.” Orbach’s extraordinary talent garnered him three Tony Award nominations, including one for his performance as Chuck Baxter in “Promises, Promises.”
In addition to his success on the stage, Orbach established a name for himself in film and television. He appeared in films including “Prince of the City,” “Dirty Dancing,” and “Crimes and Misdemeanours,” demonstrating his versatility and ability as an actor.
Orbach’s voice acting abilities were also on display in the renowned Disney picture “Beauty and the Beast,” when he played Lumière.
Orbach’s television career included recurrent appearances on shows such as “Murder, She Wrote,” where he played private detective Harry McGraw, and “Law & Order,” where he rose to stardom as NYPD Detective Lennie Briscoe.
His depiction of Briscoe, a gruff and committed investigator, charmed him to audiences and cemented his global celebrity status.
Orbach was nurtured in the Catholic faith after being born to a Jewish father and a Roman Catholic mother.
His childhood and mixed ethnicity inspired his character representation, especially his legendary role on “Law & Order.” Orbach’s family travelled frequently and lived in a variety of locales throughout his boyhood, including the Bronx, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.
Orbach’s acting career began while he was a student at Waukegan High School in Illinois, where he played football and discovered his love of acting in a speech class.
He worked at an Illinois theatre after high school before enrolling at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He eventually transferred to Northwestern University in Chicago, where he studied acting at Lee Strasberg’s famed Actors Studio.
Jerry Orbach left an everlasting impression on the world of entertainment with his beautiful voice, compelling stage presence, and unquestionable talent.
Despite battling illness for a decade, Orbach continued to act until his tragic death on December 28, 2004, at the age of 69. His illness was not made public until shortly before his death.
Jerry Orbach’s Cause Of Death
Jerry Orbach’s cause of death remains unknown as there is little information on what might have caused his demise.