Just remembering one of my favorite actors..and one of my favorite people in "show business" ....Jerome Bernard "Jerry" Orbach (October 20, 1935 – December 28, 2004) I used to see him walking all through the city even when he WASN'T filming something or the other on every street corner!... He was always friendly, chatting with the cab driver, the hot dog seller, the mom with her baby stroller... And I saw him just a few months before he passed away, as friendly as ever. And when we all heard the news, I realized he must have known that last time that he was terribly ill, but was still as gracious, funny, dare I say "radiant" as ever. What a career! One of those extraordinary people who "did it all"... like Angela Lansbury... dramas, musical comedies, television, film, stage....instantly recognizable by millions and unlike anyone else. You could never get a "Jerry-Orbach-type". You either had him...or you went without. And now we all go without. If you ever want to hear the magic of Jerry Orbach, listen to him in THE FANTASTICKS (1960) singing the original "Try To Remember", CHICAGO (1975) singing the original "Razzle Dazzle", in the original 42ND STREET (1980) singing the title song, or (speaking of Lansbury!) in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991) singing the original "Be Our Guest" as Lumière, a candelabra!! Talk about casting!! And what about his other appearances in PRINCE OF THE CITY (1981), DIRTY DANCING (1987), CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989), or the other plays, films, and television shows that he did before he became an American icon on the LAW & ORDER franchises... Nominated and winner of awards, including a Tony for PROMISES, PROMISES (1968), he was memorialized on his street corner (West 53rd and 8th Avenue), and remembered throughout the city by the people he loved and who loved him right back. ... on these Fall afternoons, I still see him idling down Broadway, chatting at a newspaper stand...stopping to pat a dog on the head... smiling and nodding to a well-wisher... To me, he'll always be a perfect "New Yorker"....Damon Runyan couldn't have written him better.
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