Photo of Jerry Orbach Jerry Orbach

Best known for his 12-year stint as Det. Lenny Briscoe on the TV series "Law & Order," Jerry Orbach was born Oct. 20, 1935, in New York City (the Bronx).

After attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., he returned to the Big Apple in 1955, where he kicked off his showbiz career with "The Threepenny Opera" and studied drama under Lee Strasberg at the Actor's Studio. Orbach's other notable stage work includes "The Fantastiks," "Guys and Dolls" and "Promises, Promises," for which he won a Tony Award in 1969. In the 1980s, he began to move progressively into films and television, landing recurring guest roles on "Murder, She Wrote" and "The Golden Girls" (earning an Emmy nod for the latter).

Among Orbach's memorable movies are Prince of the City (1981), Dirty Dancing (1987) and Mr. Saturday Night (1992). The versatile star died of prostate cancer Dec. 28, 2004.

Jerry Orbach in Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing

1987 PG-13

Expecting the usual tedium of summer in the mountains with her family, 17-year-old Frances is surprised to find herself stepping into the shoes of a professional dancer -- and falling in love with the resort's free-spirited dance instructor.

  • Jerry Orbach in Beauty and the Beast Beauty and the Beast
  • Jerry Orbach in Brewster's Millions Brewster's Millions
  • Jerry Orbach in Delirious Delirious
  • Jerry Orbach in Belle's Magical World Belle's Magical World
  • Jerry Orbach in Prince of the City Prince of the City
  • Jerry Orbach in The Sentinel The Sentinel
  • Jerry Orbach in Crimes and Misdemeanors Crimes and Misdemeanors
  • Jerry Orbach in Out for Justice Out for Justice
  • Jerry Orbach in Someone to Watch Over Me Someone to Watch Over Me
  • Jerry Orbach in Last Exit to Brooklyn Last Exit to Brooklyn
  • Jerry Orbach in Law & Order Law & Order
  • Jerry Orbach in Universal Soldier Universal Soldier
  • Jerry Orbach in Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers
  • Jerry Orbach in Dead Women in Lingerie Dead Women in Lingerie
  • Jerry Orbach in Serial Killers Profiling Criminal Serial Killers Profiling Criminal
  • Jerry Orbach in Temps Temps
  • Jerry Orbach in Chinese Coffee Chinese Coffee
  • Jerry Orbach in Law & Order: Trial by Jury Law & Order: Trial by Jury