Song:Lullaby of Broadway
Album:The Only Broadway CD You'll Ever Need
Jerry Orbach is probably best known for his long run on the TV series Law and Order. But he had a long career on Broadway before that including his Tony nominated performance in the musical 42nd Street. He was born Oct. 20, 1935 in The Bronx, NY. His parents were both performers and the family moved around a lot. Orbach went to high school in Waukegan, IL and attended Northwestern University before moving back to New York City to study acting with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. After small roles in films and on Broadway, Orbach's first big role was as El Gallo in the 1960 cast of The Fantasticks. He was the first to perform Try To Remember. He was nominated for a Tony for his role as Sky Masterson in the 1965 musical Guys and Dolls. Then he won a Tony for Promises, Promises. Then in 1975 he was nominated for another Tony for Chicago. In the 80s, he started to appear in more films and TV. The Broadway revival of 42nd Street was Orbach's final appearance on Broadway. He was nominated for a Tony and the show ran for five years. Unfortunately the original cast album is not available on CD. But you can get Orbach's performance of Lullaby of Broadway on this various artists budget CD that is supposed to be an introduction to Broadway for beginners. In Hollywood, Orbach did mostly character and supporting roles in films and on TV. But his performance in the 1981 film Prince Of The City showed that he could handle larger roles. He finally got that signature role in the 1992 series Law and Order. He starred in the show for over a decade. Orbach was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1994. He continued on Law and Order while undergoing chemotherapy. Orbach left Law and Order in 2004 and he was supposed to continue on one of the spinoff shows with a lighter workload. But Orbach died on Dec. 28, 2004 at age 69. Jerry Orbach is in the American Theater Hall of Fame and a New York theater and street were named after him. Here's Jerry Orbach and company performing Lullaby of Broadway on the 1981 Tony Awards broadcast.