Jerry Orbach, Prince of the City: His Way from The Fantasticks to Law and Order

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Overview

(Applause Books). Today the late actor Jerry Orbach (1935-2004) is best remembered as the world-weary New York City Detective Lennie Briscoe from the Emmy Award-winning NBC television series Law and Order . But that work only accounts for 12 years of a 50-year career that spanned stage, screen, and television. From the moment he landed the role of the Street Singer in the 1955 off-Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera , he distinguished himself as a major performer in popular musicals and plays, including The Fantasticks , Carnival , Scuba ...

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Overview

(Applause Books). Today the late actor Jerry Orbach (1935-2004) is best remembered as the world-weary New York City Detective Lennie Briscoe from the Emmy Award-winning NBC television series Law and Order . But that work only accounts for 12 years of a 50-year career that spanned stage, screen, and television. From the moment he landed the role of the Street Singer in the 1955 off-Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera , he distinguished himself as a major performer in popular musicals and plays, including The Fantasticks , Carnival , Scuba Duba , Promises, Promises , 6 RMS RIV VU , Chicago , and 42nd Street . Jerry Orbach also appeared in over 40 films, with Crimes and Misdemeanors ; Prince of the City ; Dirty Dancing ; and the voice of the candlestick, Lumiere, in Disney's Beauty and the Beast topping the list. From the '60s through the '90s, he was a guest or featured actor on major TV hits like The Defenders ; Love American Style ; Murder, She Wrote ; The Golden Girls ; and Frasier . Jerry Orbach, Prince of the City is the story of this versatile performer his triumphs and tragedies public and private. Most of all, it is a study of a gifted actor's craft as told through the observations, insights, and reminiscences of those who knew him best. Listen to John Anthony Gilvey live at Book Expo America on the BEA Podcast.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
By the time Jerry Orbach died in 2004, he had been recognized and admired worldwide for 50 years in "the business," culminating with 12 years on Law & Order. Gilvey (Before the Parade Passes By: Gower Champion and the Glorious American Musical) condenses Orbach's youth into a few pages, then slows for a more detailed examination of his backstage work, his time as an understudy, and his paying parts in Broadway musicals. He portrays Orbach as a talented and likable professional, not above wrangling over the placement of his name on a marquee but first and foremost concerned that his actions serve the script and fellow actors. Readers looking for dirt will find little satisfaction here. In fact, a quotation from Orbach's son that his father may have been a high-functioning alcoholic might deserve more examination. Most quotes and interviews are from other published sources, supplemented by interviews with relatives and two interviews (1992, 2002) with Orbach. VERDICT Broadway musical, movie, and TV buffs will enjoy the behind-the-scenes tidbits and stories from Orbach's life from Broadway to Hollywood and the many points in between.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch. Lib., Fort Worth, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423488453
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 332,825
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface and Acknowledgments xi

Lyrics of "Try to Remember" from The Fantasticks xiii

Prologue: Hearts Should Remember xv

Part I Tender and Callow Fellow

1 Entrance, 1935-1955 3

2 Street Singer/Storyteller, 1955-1961 13

3 Leading Man/Survivor, 1961-1966 25

Part II The Fire of September

4 Maniacal Wonder/Schnook Hero, 1966-1970 41

5 Joey's Pal, 1970-1972 53

6 Razzle-Dazzler, 1972-1977 73

7 Crooked Cop/Indomitable Director, 1977-1985 91

8 Baby's Father/Debonair Lumière, 1985-1994 105

Part III Deep in December

9 Trenchant Detective/Living Landmark, 1994-2004 125

10 Exit, 2004 147

Epilogue: It's Nice to Remember 157

Notes 159

Bibliography 175

Index 183

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