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Not just a detective.
December 29, 2004 7:57 AM   Subscribe

Jerry Orbach, 1935-2004. Goodnight, Lennie Briscoe. Farewell, Lumiere.
(And Billy Flynn and Mack the Knife and Sky Masterson and ...)
posted by grabbingsand (97 comments total)

 
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posted by Juicylicious at 7:58 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:00 AM on December 29, 2004


Loved him in Crime and Misdemeanors. This is really sad.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:03 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by lola at 8:05 AM on December 29, 2004


damn.
posted by jonmc at 8:06 AM on December 29, 2004


He was the first celebrity I ever spotted when I moved to NYC, walking in front of a Gristede's on the upper west side. He will always be my favorite L&O character. Bye bye Jerry.

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posted by emjaybee at 8:08 AM on December 29, 2004


I'm bummed, he was a good guy, one of those kinds of guys you could hang out with and shoot the shit.

Another good guy gone.
posted by fenriq at 8:15 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by sbutler at 8:16 AM on December 29, 2004


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Too sad. The man who put "baby in the corner."

Dirty Dancing, notwithstanding, he has left behind a great legacy of work that we will enjoy for a long time.
posted by Lola_G at 8:16 AM on December 29, 2004


Sad. I always liked him.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:17 AM on December 29, 2004


This was my desktop for several months. RIP, Jerry.
posted by schmedeman at 8:20 AM on December 29, 2004


Gothamist loved Jerry Orbach. Their coverage is here. Orbach fans might want to check out their links if they haven't already.

I never knew too much about him aside from Law & Order but I always liked him there.
posted by DyRE at 8:20 AM on December 29, 2004


So sad. What a talented actor.

Note to NeoFites--the "." is a convention indicating one or all of the following: a) the end of something lovely; b) no words to express one's sadness; c) a depiction of the stones left at gravesites in many cultures.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:29 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by cookie-k at 8:30 AM on December 29, 2004


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:(
posted by bcwinters at 8:31 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by squeak at 8:31 AM on December 29, 2004


There's was no one else quite like him.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:32 AM on December 29, 2004


(Ugh. There. Guess I haven't quite accepted this.)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:33 AM on December 29, 2004


I was surprised by how much I was moved by the news when I heard it this morning. RIP.
posted by LairBob at 8:37 AM on December 29, 2004


Thanks for the links DyRE. I'm gonna miss him.
posted by sophie at 8:37 AM on December 29, 2004


We're going to miss him here too.

He had always been a house favorite, and his role as Lumiere would always be good for a quick snort of amused disbelief while we were loyally watching for "the body shot" on Law and Order...

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posted by Samizdata at 8:43 AM on December 29, 2004


A Hirschfeld or two to remember him by.
posted by nj_subgenius at 8:44 AM on December 29, 2004


He said he didn't know "where I stop and Lennie starts, really. ... I know he's tougher than me and he carries a gun. And I'm not an alcoholic. I know I wouldn't want to be him," Orbach sumed up. "I guess THAT'S where I stop and he starts."

Losing Lennie is what makes me sad cause I never had a chance to know Jerry.
posted by oh posey at 8:44 AM on December 29, 2004


:(((

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posted by sugarfish at 8:46 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by digaman at 8:49 AM on December 29, 2004


How terrible. My fandom of L&O aside, I just read an article last week about his revealing to his fellow castmates that he had cancer, about how everyone 'knew' he could beat it, how touched Jerry was at the outpouring of love and support he got from the cast and crew, and how even after breaking the news, managed to break up the mood and make everyone laugh.

R.I.P.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:52 AM on December 29, 2004


Why couldn't it have been Elisabeth Röhm?

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posted by mazola at 8:53 AM on December 29, 2004


He was also one of very few celebrity enthusiasts for the sport of pool. He loved the game, its players and stories, and did pro-am events fairly regularly, charming the socks off the audiences. I've a feeling he'll be missed in many, many ways -- he seemed like a genuine good guy.
posted by dragstroke at 8:56 AM on December 29, 2004


Great old-school character actor and—in the few interviews I'd seen—a funny, warm guy.

Also, Lenny's sardonic remark at the end of each L&O opening has become a regular ritual in our house; as they fade to opening credits, we still turn to each other, incline our heads, and gently say "Oh, Lenny...."

I'll miss him.
posted by merlinmann at 9:06 AM on December 29, 2004


The guy was a hell of a singer, too. Here's to you, Mr. Orbach.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:12 AM on December 29, 2004


this sucks :-(
posted by t r a c y at 9:13 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by LeeJay at 9:16 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by menace303 at 9:20 AM on December 29, 2004


I believe he was also the originator of the amazing role of El Gallo in the musical The Fantasticks, way back when it started at the Sullivan Street Playhouse.

I heard a story that when Jesse L Martin started playing the other detective, he was so in awe of Orbach that he told him he'd welcome any acting tips Orbach could give him. Orbach supposedly said, "You want a tip? Stay out of my light!"
posted by jasper411 at 9:24 AM on December 29, 2004


mazola, you owe me a new keyboard! Everyone at my house hates Elizabeth Röhm, too.

And, what everyone else said about Mr. Orbach. He will be missed.
posted by Daddio at 9:28 AM on December 29, 2004


"Maybe some guy didn't wear his aluminum hat and some rays told him to knock on doors and kill people."
Lenny Briscoe Quotes (sorry, aol home page)


posted by exlotuseater at 9:31 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by Smart Dalek at 9:34 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by Coffeemate at 9:42 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by enrevanche at 9:43 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 9:49 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by sdrawkcab at 9:51 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by mdeatherage at 9:53 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:57 AM on December 29, 2004


Thank you for the Gothamist link with the L&O stuff, DyRE.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:57 AM on December 29, 2004


A favorite around the household. My dad's appreciation grew when he found out Jerry drove a Ford LTD. Anyone remember the old L&O where Orbach played a defense attorney?
posted by yerfatma at 10:00 AM on December 29, 2004


"...You looked wonderful out there."
posted by bodabutton at 10:03 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by thejoshu at 10:06 AM on December 29, 2004



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posted by Sk4n at 10:12 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by arse_hat at 10:20 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by Stunt at 10:26 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by lilboo at 10:26 AM on December 29, 2004


Noooooo! *sobs*

Does anyone know if they'll dim the lights on 42nd Street tonight for him? He was an amazing talent and one of Broadway's biggest stars. I'll be listening to my "Fantasticks" cast album all day today in his memory--when I'm not listening to him breaking everyone's hearts as the lonely, depressed Paul in "Carnival". Those shows, and many others, simply would not have been the same without him and his wonderful voice.

"Deep in December / our hearts should remember / and follow"
posted by Asparagirl at 10:37 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by stefnet at 10:42 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by Faint of Butt at 10:44 AM on December 29, 2004


Briscoe [to homeless man]: "You hear anything?"
Man: "Yeah. St. Francis of Assisi told me to keep up the good work."
Briscoe pats the man on the shoulder: "Been there, pal."


/stopped watching L&O after Orbach left the show.
posted by NoMich at 11:04 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by Luther Blissett at 11:08 AM on December 29, 2004


I first knew him as the "Naughty, bawdy, gaudy, sporty 42nd Street!" singer. Boy, was he great on that recording. He should have gotten the tough guy who can sing/dance accolades like Walken does.
posted by DonnieSticks at 11:25 AM on December 29, 2004


Chris Noth's character: I drove a taxi to put myself through police college. Some nights when I got lonely, I'd go over to my girlfriend's house, park the cab, leave the meter running, go in, have my fun, then pay off the fare myself.

Lennie: Yeah, but that would have only cost what, two or three dollars?
posted by orange swan at 11:25 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by oaf at 11:33 AM on December 29, 2004


Does anyone know if they'll dim the lights on 42nd Street tonight for him?

They will, according to his obit in Playbill.

"Deep in December, it's nice to remember without a hurt the heart is hollow..."

Indeed.
posted by bradlands at 11:38 AM on December 29, 2004


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posted by inky at 11:40 AM on December 29, 2004


:O
:(
:'(
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:02 PM on December 29, 2004


PBS's recent film on Broadway, hosted by Julie Andrews, touched upon him briefly.
posted by of strange foe at 12:09 PM on December 29, 2004


RIP, Detective.
posted by armage at 12:36 PM on December 29, 2004


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sigh...
posted by paddbear at 12:37 PM on December 29, 2004


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posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:39 PM on December 29, 2004


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posted by Robot Johnny at 1:10 PM on December 29, 2004


I liked him, too. So, add my period to the roster.

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And let me add that this custom of the ''.'' here, at which I sometimes used to sneer, now brings to mind the something Shevek said in Ursula K. LeGuin's The Dispossessed--

I'm trying to say what I think brotherhood is. It begins--it begins in shared pain. ...The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share.... We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand.... All you have is what you are, and what you give..

Shared pain is diminished, shared joy increased. And that is what we are here to do: share.

ObitFilter has its place in the scheme of things here, I think.

posted by y2karl at 1:16 PM on December 29, 2004


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posted by mr.marx at 1:28 PM on December 29, 2004


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posted by everichon at 1:53 PM on December 29, 2004


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Me no likee ObituaryFilter, but I enjoyed the links and especially the quotes, and the Broadway references. I missed that while he was alive.
posted by zpousman at 1:58 PM on December 29, 2004


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I just realized a few weeks ago that Dirty Dancing can be pretty good if you suspend disbelief concerning Patrick Swayze's sleaze.
posted by blasdelf at 2:43 PM on December 29, 2004


Sad.
posted by interrobang at 2:52 PM on December 29, 2004


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posted by monkeyhead at 3:40 PM on December 29, 2004


Aww, damn.

Uniform: Drove up the block, like a bat out of h-e-double hockey sticks.
Lennie: What precinct are you from, Sesame Street?


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posted by Aster at 3:52 PM on December 29, 2004


The three years that NBC did crossovers between L&O and Homicide were probably the greatest examples of what's usually a crap *cough Las Vegas/Crossing Jordan cough* promotional stunt.
posted by billsaysthis at 4:05 PM on December 29, 2004


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I think tonight I'll drink a club soda in Lenny's honour-- and a large Scotch in Jerry's.



billsaysthis, that was unnecessary.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:28 PM on December 29, 2004


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posted by bluedaniel at 4:28 PM on December 29, 2004


Nobody puts Baby's dad in the coroner's.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:17 PM on December 29, 2004


That was excellent mr_crash_davis. Very funny.
posted by bodabutton at 5:24 PM on December 29, 2004


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posted by tomcosgrave at 5:52 PM on December 29, 2004


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posted by foonie at 6:10 PM on December 29, 2004


Briscoe and Logan walk into an office to arrest the suspect, who's on a the phone. Briscoe grabs the phone from him, says into it "He'll call you back in 25 years," hangs up, and helps Logan cuff him. One of the most funny and Lennie-esque moments of the show.


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posted by Snyder at 6:50 PM on December 29, 2004


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"I grieve with thee."
posted by unrepentanthippie at 7:18 PM on December 29, 2004


Life...
posted by semmi at 7:50 PM on December 29, 2004


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posted by maggieb at 10:28 PM on December 29, 2004


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I really like that show. It's on tonight. I will be watching.
posted by bdave at 11:16 PM on December 29, 2004


L&O just ain't L&O without Lenny. He *made* the "Law" part of it, for me...Waterston is the "Order."

And his voice as Lumiere: PERFECT.

What a great personality Orbach leaves us to remember.
posted by davidmsc at 11:54 PM on December 29, 2004


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posted by ajpresto at 2:23 AM on December 30, 2004


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posted by The God Complex at 2:46 AM on December 30, 2004


These two pages out of the L&O coloring book always made me giggle.

I'll miss ya, Jerry. Thanks for all the laughs.
posted by jennak at 6:12 AM on December 30, 2004


I had the pleasure of working with him once on L&O. (I played a detective on one episode last year.) He didn't have to, but he made me, an unknown/non-famous actor who was there only for the day, feel comfortable and welcome on the set.

He was a warm and gracious man.

He will be missed.
posted by fiend angelical at 7:21 AM on December 30, 2004


Slate remembrance of Orbach.
posted by matildaben at 8:29 AM on December 30, 2004


First film in which I noticed him was F/X. ("Don't screw up.") Good mobster portrayal, set a good standard for up until The Sopranos. (Film also had Mason Adams, who used to be the voice on margarine commercials.) I think that, after Steven Hill, he was the longest running actor in Law 'n' Order.
Enough with the . already!
posted by palancik at 10:32 AM on December 30, 2004


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posted by pluma moos at 12:58 PM on December 30, 2004


Palancik, not to quibble, but from this page I think Orbach was on a few more episodes than Hill. Not to mention he had a much larger role (screen time, one liners).
posted by billsaysthis at 3:27 PM on December 30, 2004


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posted by bangalla at 4:08 AM on January 1, 2005


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