Jerome Bernard "Jerry" Orbach (October 20, 1935 – December 28, 2004) was an American actor and singer. He was well known for his starring role as Detective Lennie Briscoe in the Law & Order television series and as the voice of Lumière in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. As well, Orbach was a noted musical theatre star. His prominent roles included originating the character of El Gallo in The Fantasticks, the longest-running musical play in history; Chuck Baxter in the original production of Promises, Promises (for which he won a Tony Award); Julian Marsh in 42nd Street; and Billy Flynn in the original production of Chicago.
Orbach was born in the Bronx, the only child of Emily (née Olexy), a greeting card manufacturer and radio singer, and Leon Orbach, a restaurant manager and vaudeville performer. His father was a Jewish immigrant from Hamburg, Germany, who was descended from Sephardic refugees from the Spanish Inquisition. His mother, a native of Pennsylvania, was Polish American and Catholic, and Orbach was raised Catholic (although his character on Law and Order was Jewish). Throughout his childhood, the Orbach family moved frequently, living in Mount Vernon, New York;...
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