What is the net worth of Jerry Orbach?
Jerry Orbach was an American actor and singer who had a net worth of $10 million at the time of his death in 2004. Jerry Orbach was a stage, film, and television actor and singer. Most notably, he appeared in the original productions of the musicals “The Fantasticks,” “Chicago” and “42nd Street,” and won a Tony Award for his performance in “Promises, Promises.” Orbach’s other credits include the films “Dirty Dancing,” “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and “Beauty and the Beast,” and the police procedural television series “Law & Order,” which launched him into global stardom.
The first start of life and the beginning of the career
Jerry Orbach was born on October 20, 1935 in the Bronx neighborhood of New York. He was the only child of Leon, a Jewish restaurant manager and vaudeville performer, and Emily, a radio singer and greeting card maker. Growing up, Orbach was raised in his mother’s Roman Catholic faith. The family moved frequently, living in places such as Mount Vernon, New York; Scranton, Pennsylvania; and Springfield, Massachusetts. They eventually settled in Waukegan, Illinois, where Orbach attended Waukegan High School. He played football there. After graduating from high school, Orbach worked one summer at the Chevy Chase Country Club theater in Wheeling, Illinois. He later enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before transferring to Northwestern University. Finally,
Orbach first appeared on screen in 1955 with uncredited roles in “Guys and Dolls” and “Marty.” In the same year, he made his stage debut in a production of “The Threepenny Opera”.
In 1960, Orbach landed his first major role playing El Gallo in the original production of the decades-long hit musical “The Fantasticks.” Next, he appeared in the musical “Carnival!” and a revival of “The Cradle Will Rock.” In 1965, Orbach portrayed Sky Masterson in a revival of the musical “Guys and Dolls”, for which he received his first Tony Award nomination. Later, he was in “Carousel”, “Annie Get Your Gun”, “The Natural Look” and “Scuba Duba”. Orbach had one of his most acclaimed roles from 1968 to 1972 when he played Chuck Baxter in the musical “Promises, Promises”; for his performance, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He followed that up with the song “6 Rms Riv Vu”. In 1975, Orbach created the role of Billy Flynn in the hit musical “Chicago,” earning his third Tony nomination. Five years later, he created the role of Julian Marsh in another hit musical, “42nd Street.”
On the silver screen, Orbach had his first notable role in the 1961 biographical drama Mad Dog Coll. He then had roles in “Ensign Pulver” and “John Goldfarb, Please Come Home.” Orbach’s first leading role in a film came in 1971 when he played mobster Salvatore Palumbo in the crime comedy The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. After this, he appeared in the comedies ‘A Fan’s Notes’ and ‘Fore Play’, the supernatural horror film ‘The Sentinel’ and the ensemble comedy ‘Underground Aces’. In 1981, Orbach gave one of his most acclaimed film performances in Sidney Lumet’s neo-noir crime drama Prince of the City, playing corrupt NYPD narcotics detective Gus Levy. He later starred in the comedy ‘Brewster’
Spencer Platt/ Hulton Archive
Orbach had a big 1991, appearing in seven films. These included the fantasy comedy ‘A Gnome Named Gnorm’, the action film ‘Out for Justice’ and the comedy ‘Delirious’. Orbach’s most famous credit that year was the Disney animated musical “Beauty and the Beast,” in which he voiced the French-accented chandelier Lumiere and performed one of the film’s most memorable numbers, “Be Our Guest.” The actor went on to appear in films such as ‘Straight Talk’, ‘Universal Soldier’ and ‘Mr. Saturday night”. In the early 2000s, Orbach was in The Acting Class, The Road to El Dorado, Chinese Coffee, and Manna from Heaven. His last film role was as a police investigator in 2004’s The Protesters.
Orbach began her television career in 1961 in the television movie Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman. Six years later, she was in a television film adaptation of the musical Annie Get Your Gun, reprising her role from the stage production. Orbach later made appearances in a number of popular series, including “Love, American Style,” “Medical Center,” “Kojak” and “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” From 1985 to 1991, he had a recurring role as private investigator Harry McGraw on “Murder, She Wrote.” Orbach reprized this role from 1987 to 1988 in the spin-off series “The Law & Harry McGraw”. In 1990, he earned his first Emmy Award nomination for his guest appearance on “The Golden Girls.”
Orbach rose to global fame in 1992 when he joined the cast of the police procedural series “Law & Order” as the jaded NYPD homicide detective Lennie Briscoe. Playing the character for over 11 seasons until 2004, Orbach became one of the longest-tenured cast members in the show’s history, as well as one of the most popular. In 2000, he earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and in 2004, he won a posthumous SAG Award. Orbach reprized his role as Lennie Briscoe in a number of other programs, including Homicide: Life on the Street and the sequels Law & Order, Special Victims Unit, Criminal Intent, and Trial by Jury .
Personal life and death
In 1958, Orbach married his first wife, Marta Curro; they have two sons, Anthony and Christopher, and divorced in 1975. Four years later, Orbach married Broadway dancer Elaine Cancilla, with whom he was by his side until his death.
Orbach was diagnosed with prostate cancer in January 1994. He underwent radiation therapy, then hormone therapy for the next decade while continuing to star on “Law & Order.” After leaving the show in 2004, she underwent chemotherapy. Orbach eventually died in December of that year at the age of 69. His illness was not revealed to the public until a few moments before this. With perfect 20/20 vision, Orbach requested that his eyes be donated upon his passing, a wish that was granted.