Jerry Orbach is dead. Damn it.
Most of the obituaries will no doubt emphasize his "Law and Order" work over his stage work, even though he was perhaps even more successful on stage than on TV (he generally chose good projects, winding up playing the male lead in hits like Carnival, Promises Promises, and Chicago). Not that that's a bad thing to emphasize; screen work, unlike stage work, is permanent -- in the case of "Law and Order," eternal and inescapable -- and most people will know him for having been so very, very, very good as Lennie Briscoe. His coolness sustained the show through years of rotating assistant detectives, assistant Hot Female Assistant D.A.s (tm) and Sam Waterston's self-righteous pontificating. Orbach was a brilliant performer and he will be very sadly missed.