Orbach was also famous on Broadway for playing roles in musicals such as Chicago, 42nd Street, and Promises, Promises. He also achieved fame in film, notably in the role of "Baby's" (Jennifer Grey's character) father Dr. Jake Houseman in Dirty Dancing and as the villain Jack Rosenthal in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Orbach was married to Marta Curro from 1958-1975 (divorced) by whom he has two sons: Tony Orbach and Chris Orbach. Chris Orbach guest starred as Lennie's Briscoe's nephew Ken Briscoe on Law & Order SVU. In 1979 Orbach married Broadway star and dancer Elaine Cancilla, whom he met while starring in Chicago.
On December 28th, 2004, Jerry Orbach died at a New York City hospital at the age of 69, after a long battle with prostate cancer. He is survived by his loving wife Elaine, his two sons Tony and Chris, two grandchildren, and his mother Emily Orbach.
Orbach, who had left Law & Order in April, 2004 was scheduled to bring his character of Lennie Briscoe on the spinoff series Law & Order: Trial By Jury, but only filmed the first two episodes before his death. The fifth episode, "Baby Boom", was dedicated to his memory. At the end of the episode it said: "For Jerry".