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Jerry Orbach

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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | December 30, 2004
Jerry Orbach earned a Tony Award for his work on Broadway and critical acclaim for his film performance in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors. But it is his portrayal of the stoop-shouldered, cynical, world-weary New York Detective Lennie Briscoe on television's longest-running drama, NBC's Law & Order, for which he will be most widely remembered. Orbach, who died Tuesday in Manhattan of prostate cancer at age 69, took a thinly sketched TV character and gave it a soul. With an arched eyebrow here, a wisecrack there - and always an uncompromised investigation - Briscoe came to represent the triumph of simple decency and an honest day's hard work over pretense, privilege and lies in a 1990s Manhattan that seemed to be bursting at the seams with murder and greed.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | December 30, 2004
Jerry Orbach earned a Tony Award for his work on Broadway and critical acclaim for his film performance in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors. But it is his portrayal of the stoop-shouldered, cynical, world-weary New York Detective Lennie Briscoe on television's longest-running drama, NBC's Law & Order, for which he will be most widely remembered. Orbach, who died Tuesday in Manhattan of prostate cancer at age 69, took a thinly sketched TV character and gave it a soul. With an arched eyebrow here, a wisecrack there - and always an uncompromised investigation - Briscoe came to represent the triumph of simple decency and an honest day's hard work over pretense, privilege and lies in a 1990s Manhattan that seemed to be bursting at the seams with murder and greed.
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August 13, 1991
If John Candy can't get any laughs with ''Delirious,'' no one can.In the film, Candy, a most ingratiating comedy actor, plays a soap writer who clunks himself on the chin and finds himself playing a role in the series he is writing.He soon discovers that he can take the plot wherever he chooses simply by writing it that way.The story sounds very promising, but nothing comes of it. The new film does have two or three laughs, but they are never enough to justify the length. ''Soapdish' also made fun of the soaps, but the producers of that film had considerably more success.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | October 18, 2000
After a month of seeing way too many new series that don't work, will never work, and ought to be taken back by the networks and put out of their misery, what a pleasure it is to witness the return an old familiar formula in which almost everything seems a perfect fit. That's the experience I had watching the 11th season premiere of NBC's "Law & Order," the longest-running drama series currently on network television. Even though producer Dick Wolf seems to re-cast a major player every season, the series just rolls on, hardly missing a beat.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | February 17, 1999
If this is a "sweeps" ratings period, it must be time for a "Law & Order"/"Homicide: Life on the Street" crossover aimed at pumping up ratings for the Baltimore cop drama.But wait. Before you get all cynical about such TV contrivance, this crossover, titled "Sideshow: Part One & Two," is one worth your time.Not only are both hours splendidly written, superbly directed and, for the most part, well-acted, they are also fascinating in the sociology they contain. "Sideshow" is the start of prime-time, network drama interpreting, deconstructing and re-imagining the particulars of the Clinton sex scandal through fictional story lines.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | October 18, 2000
After a month of seeing way too many new series that don't work, will never work, and ought to be taken back by the networks and put out of their misery, what a pleasure it is to witness the return an old familiar formula in which almost everything seems a perfect fit. That's the experience I had watching the 11th season premiere of NBC's "Law & Order," the longest-running drama series currently on network television. Even though producer Dick Wolf seems to re-cast a major player every season, the series just rolls on, hardly missing a beat.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | September 20, 1999
A New York City cab driver is found dead in his vehicle. He's been stabbed 37 times and dismembered in a particularly grisly way. There's so much blood even a hard rain can't wash it away.This is how the world begins in "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," a new NBC drama, premiering tonight at 9.By the time the pilot ends an hour later, I guarantee you will believe in this semi-new universe created by Dick Wolf; it has that realistic a feel. But whether you will want to return to it week after week is less certain.
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By Lou Cedrone | November 22, 1991
''Beauty and the Beast'' is the best animated feature the Disney Studios have done since ''The Little Mermaid.'' It is also one of the best cartoon features ever made.It is, without quibble, brilliant. The score is bright, the cartooning inspired and the characterizations flawless.The score is worthy of Broadway. Actually, it is better than many we have heard there. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, who collaborated on the score for ''The Little Mermaid,'' have contributed a score that is in every way as delightful as their first film assignment.
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May 4, 2007
Dirty Dancing opened in select movie theaters to mark the 20th anniversary of the film starring Patrick Swayze. In your opinion, what made Dirty Dancing a film worth seeing again? WHAT YOU SAY I thought Dirty Dancing was one of the most delightful movies I have ever seen. In fact, I have been able to view many reruns throughout the years. The story line was pure and simple; the cast of dancers was superb, exhibiting the various Latin dances. The late Jerry Orbach was excellent as the ever-doting but overwatchful parent of teenage daughters, and Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey outdid themselves in displaying their talents.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | May 24, 1996
A repeat of February's crossover between "Homicide" and "Law & Order" is tonight's highlight. Bonus: You get to watch the shows back-to-back, not spread over two nights as originally aired."
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | September 20, 1999
A New York City cab driver is found dead in his vehicle. He's been stabbed 37 times and dismembered in a particularly grisly way. There's so much blood even a hard rain can't wash it away.This is how the world begins in "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," a new NBC drama, premiering tonight at 9.By the time the pilot ends an hour later, I guarantee you will believe in this semi-new universe created by Dick Wolf; it has that realistic a feel. But whether you will want to return to it week after week is less certain.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | February 17, 1999
If this is a "sweeps" ratings period, it must be time for a "Law & Order"/"Homicide: Life on the Street" crossover aimed at pumping up ratings for the Baltimore cop drama.But wait. Before you get all cynical about such TV contrivance, this crossover, titled "Sideshow: Part One & Two," is one worth your time.Not only are both hours splendidly written, superbly directed and, for the most part, well-acted, they are also fascinating in the sociology they contain. "Sideshow" is the start of prime-time, network drama interpreting, deconstructing and re-imagining the particulars of the Clinton sex scandal through fictional story lines.
FEATURES
August 13, 1991
If John Candy can't get any laughs with ''Delirious,'' no one can.In the film, Candy, a most ingratiating comedy actor, plays a soap writer who clunks himself on the chin and finds himself playing a role in the series he is writing.He soon discovers that he can take the plot wherever he chooses simply by writing it that way.The story sounds very promising, but nothing comes of it. The new film does have two or three laughs, but they are never enough to justify the length. ''Soapdish' also made fun of the soaps, but the producers of that film had considerably more success.
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By Steve McKerrow and Steve McKerrow,SUN STAFF | September 20, 1995
Not since "The Dream" erased a season's action on "Dallas" (in 1984) has a new-season premiere resolved a cliffhanger as dramatically as does the renamed "seaQuest 2030" tonight. The New York Philharmonic is also in good form on "Live From Lincoln Center.""seaQuest 2030" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) When last we left this series in the spring, the submarine seaQuest had just blown up on another planet and only Lucas and Dagwood (Jonathan Brandis and Michael DeLuise) had survived. Yet the Steven Spielberg show survived into a new season with a new title, reflecting the plot in which the vessel mysteriously reappears on Earth in the year 2030, 10 years after it disappeared.
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November 7, 1998
Chris Noth returns in character as Det. Mike Logan from "Law & Order" in "Exiled" (9 p.m.-11 p.m. tomorrow, WBAL, Channel 11), a Sunday movie. Last seen slugging a grandstanding city councilman, Logan has been sent into New York-style exile, working domestic squabbles on Staten Island. But a murder case involving a prostitute could lead him back to his old haunts.Sam Waterston and Jerry Orbach are among the "L&O" folks who make an appearance.At a glance"Mythic Warriors: Guardians of the Legend" (11: 30 a.m.-noon, WJZ, Channel 13)
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