Jerry Orbach, who starred in the television series “Law & Order” and portrayed the overprotective father in the dance-film classic “Dirty Dancing,” died of prostate cancer on Tuesday evening, according to reports. He was 69.
Orbach played the father of Jennifer Grey’s character Baby Houseman in 1987’s “Dirty Dancing,” and starred for 12 seasons as Detective Lennie Briscoe on the NBC crime drama “Law & Order.”
Last month, Orbach’s manager Robert Malcolm announced Orbach had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and had been receiving treatment for the disease since the spring.
Orbach recently left “Law & Order” to play the lead role in the spin-off “Law & Order: Trial by Jury,” which will begin airing in 2005.
The Bronx, New York-born actor has performed on Broadway as well, and won the 1969 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for the show “Promises, Promises.” He was nominated for two other Tony Awards: in 1965 for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his role in “Guys and Dolls,” and in 1976 for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in “Chicago.”
Orbach was the voice of the candlestick Lumiere in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and appeared in the film “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” among many others, over the course of his career.