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.