Actor. Although he had an acting career that began in the 1950s, he is best known for his portrayal of 'Detective Lennie Briscoe' in the NBC Police-Courtroom drama television series "Law and Order" from 1992 to 2004. He was nominated three times for an Emmy in that role. Spending much of his early career acting in the theatre, he was the original 'El Gallo' in "The Fantasticks", which opened in 1960 and ran for forty-two years off-Broadway, making it the longest uninterrupted run in American theatre history. Orbach stayed with the show for less than a year, making his Broadway starring debut in the musical "Carnival" in 1961. He won the Tony Award in 1969 for his performance in the musical "Promises, Promises." He was also nominated for a Tony Award in 1965 for his performance in "Guys and Dolls" and in 1976 for "Chicago." Interspersed with his stage career was numerous guest appearances on television (he was nominated for an Emmy for his guest work on the situation comedies "Empty Nest" and "Golden Girls"), and appearances in motion pictures - he was the voice of 'Lumiere' in the Walt Disney Studios animated film "Beauty and the Beast" and appeared in such films as "Dirty Dancing," "Brewster's Millions," F/X," "Last Exit to Brooklyn" and "Someone to Watch Over Me." Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2004, he filmed his last appearance for "Law and Order" before succumbing to the disease in December 2004.
Bio by: RPD2