Because of his various appearances, including ones in “Carnival,” “Chicago,” and “42nd Street,” Jerry Orbach was a famous face who was recognized all over the world.
In fact, he was referred to be “one of the last true leading men of the Broadway musical and a worldwide star on TV.”
However, his role as the world-weary and wisecracking New York City Police Department investigator Lennie Briscoe in the television series “Law & Order,” which he began appearing in in 1992, is considered to be his most impressive performance.
Orbach had a recurring role on the “prestige program” for a number of episodes up to the time that he passed away, which was not long after the producers had “closed” his character.
During the time when Orbach was on the program, he had numerous parallels with the character of Briscoe, including the fact that both were always occupied with their profession.
Orbach was a family man. He was married to his first wife, Marta Curro, and together they have two sons, Chris and Tony. When he wasn’t working, he spent his time raising his family before divorcing in 1975.
After that, he started a relationship with Elaine Cancilla, whom he ultimately wed in 1979. Due to the fact that his marriage had just ended, he found himself in a difficult financial situation at the moment.
Orbach ultimately bowed out of his position on “Law & Order” due to sickness after playing the same character for a total of 12 seasons. Only a few of years into his tenure on the program, he was given the first diagnosis of prostate cancer in January 1994. At the time, he had been on the show for only a couple of years.
Thankfully, the radiation therapy that he had as treatment was successful in curing him, but after that year, the sickness manifested itself again and metastasized.
After leaving the program in 2004, he received chemotherapy, but he was eventually unable to beat the cancer and passed away of it. He managed to conceal his disease throughout the course of his life right up until a few short weeks before he passed away.
After he passed away, the actor left behind a will that would, for all time, create disagreements amongst the people he loved the most, including his wife and his two kids.
According to his son Chris, who claims he “saw red” when the attorneys read him the will, the man’s estate is believed to be worth $10 million, but the will did not seem to make his son happy.
According to the will, his father had established trusts in each of his children’s names, but the trusts did not belong to the children until after Cancilla had gone away.
In the meanwhile, according to Chris, Cancilla has the ability to withdraw the principal amount as well as any of the interests that have accrued from the funds and bank them.
In a furious letter to Cancilla, Chris expresses his belief that his stepmother, a former Broadway dancer and actress, influenced her late husband to exclude his children from his will so that she could inherit the entirety of the actor’s estate for herself.
Chris called her a double-dealer, a liar, and a schemer, and he said that she conned the actor’s children out of their father’s money with the assistance of her “cut-rate borscht-belt” attorneys so that she would never be able to fly coach or use the subway again.
Chris’s mother, Curro, who is also Orbach’s ex-wife, supported her son’s letter and criticized Cancilla by labeling her domineering.
Even after their marriage ended in divorce, Curro claims that she and Orbach had a strong relationship, and the actor often confided in her about his relationship with Cancilla.
She claims that she always found it funny to make fun of Cancilla because of her terrible sense of style and her other dubious actions. Nevertheless, she quit when she understood that Cancilla was making things worse for her children.
Cancilla claims that the contents of the letter startled her, primarily due to the fact that it was sent by a person with whom she believed she had a connection.
She said that while she did not despise Chris, she could not get where all the nonsense was coming from and that it was all false.
Chris expressed his displeasure in the letter that Cancilla had given permission for his father’s eyes to be donated to the Eye Bank Association of America. According to Chris, Orbach did not want his eyes to be donated in this manner.
Cancilla retorted, adding that Orbach had always expressed the wish that, upon his passing, he would donate organs to those in need. She said that the two had often discussed it during the many years that they had been married to one another.
Orbach allegedly made a joke about how he could not give his lungs or liver due to the fact that he smoked too much and drank too much, but that his eyes were in ideal shape at the age of 69.
However, this did not prevent her stepson from venting his frustration in front of her.
Chris also stated in the letter that he and his brother did not contest the will because it would put a strain on them financially due to the high legal fees, but he added that he knew in his heart that Cancilla had forced Orbach to leave them out of his will.
Cancilla justifies her actions by claiming that she has always looked out for the best interests of her stepchildren.
She admitted that she was giving Tony money to go toward the purchase of a home for him and his wife, as well as paying tuition for Tony’s daughter’s school.
Chris, on the other hand, claims that he no longer wants anything to do with Cancilla since all he sees in her is a materialistic person wringing her hands over a collection of marbles while yelling “all mine.”