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The "Jerry Orbach Effect"

Cruel_Sandwich
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The "Jerry Orbach Effect"#1
Posted: 8/16/07 at 12:41am
I was thinking today about actors who are widely known for one type of role and it comes as a surprise to most of the non-theatergoing public that said actor was involved in musical theater.

Jerry Orbach is one of the most prominent examples of this that I can think of. Sure, everyone here thinks of him primarily as a theater actor, but did any of his Law and Order fanbase know about that? I doubt most of them knew he was Lumiere either.

What other actors do you think are like this?
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#2
Posted: 8/16/07 at 1:32am
Would Angela Lansbury fall under this?
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#2
Posted: 8/16/07 at 2:03am
Victor Garber
I mean, Denzel Washington? Gun to my head..of course.
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madbrian
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#3
Posted: 8/16/07 at 8:12am
I would bet most people would be shocked to learn that Al Pacino has two Tonys.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#4
Posted: 8/17/07 at 11:37pm
I was surprised to learn that James Cagney started as a hoofer.
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#5
Posted: 8/17/07 at 11:49pm
I've been a Law and Order fan for about 6 years, and yes, I knew Jerry Orbach from "Chicago" (see icon) and 42nd St. Granted, I've been seeing musicals since I was about 11, so maybe I'm not the normal L&O fan.

I didn't know about Jessie L. Martin (who played Ed Green, Jerry's partner) being the orginal Collins though. I didn't get into RENT until about 5 years ago. I didn't know about B.D Wong either. That was a really treat!

Why do so many Broadway stars go to Law and Order? Maybe because they shoot in NY??
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Jon
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#6
Posted: 8/18/07 at 9:56am
I think Christopher Walken has to be the king of this thread. I mean, how many "regular" people know he started as a Broadway chorus boy?
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#7
Posted: 8/18/07 at 10:54am
Speaking of Law & Order, I didn't know that Milena Govich, the new cop on the show, was in Cabaret, where she played Lulu.
And, yes, I believe L&O being filmed in New York really helps. Probably every stage actor has been on at least one of the L&O's. Patti LuPone, Elaine Stritch, Denis O'Hare, Audra McDonald, Donna Murphy, John Cullum, Tovah Feldshuh, the list could go on forever.

Back to topic, I bet a lot of people would be surprised to know that Dule Hill of The West Wing and Psych was once The Tap Dance Kid.
I killed the boss, you don't think they're gonna fire me over a thing like that!!!!
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#8
Posted: 8/18/07 at 7:43pm
Speaking of Law & Order, I didn't know that Milena Govich, the new cop on the show, was in Cabaret, where she played Lulu.

She also understudied Sally.
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#9
Posted: 8/18/07 at 7:54pm
Calista Flockhart-Theater World Award winner for THE GLASS MENAGERIE.
Jane Krakowski.
Definitely Victor Garber.
Chandra Wilson.
T.R. Knight.
Meryl Streep.
Bebe Neuwirth.
David Hyde Pierce.
Anne Hathaway (not Broadway but stage).
Christine Baranski.
Jennifer Garner.
Megan Mullally.
Hugh Jackman.
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#10
Posted: 8/18/07 at 8:02pm
Sara Ramirez, too.
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#11
Posted: 8/18/07 at 8:09pm
Jason Alexander (George of "Seinfeld") won the Tony for Lead Actor in a Musical for JEROME ROBBINS' BROADWAY. He was also in MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG and THE RINK.

Alec Baldwin, Anne Heche, Neil Patrick ("Doogie") Harris, all have pretty impressive theatre backgrounds.
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#12
Posted: 8/19/07 at 12:09am
Urgh. I ADORE Dule Hill. Just a bee tee dubs.
I mean, Denzel Washington? Gun to my head..of course.
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re: The 'Jerry Orbach Effect'#14
Posted: 8/20/07 at 5:42am
I read on afterellen.com that the editor did not know Kristin Bell had any theater experience! That makes me wonder how many more people are ignorant to her substantial stage work? Ha. I remember with theater performers thought it was humiliating and disgraceful to work on a film! Okay so I don't actually "remember" but I read books and they radiate truthiness! How many times have you been in a movie theater and nudged the friend next to you "HEY! S/he was in [said show]!!!!!!" This is usually met by feigned interest.