Larry Storch

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Larry Storch
Larry Storch Musto Party 2011 David Shankbone.JPG
Storch in 2011 at the book launch party for Michael Musto's Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back
Born Lawrence Samuel Storch
(1923-01-08) January 8, 1923 (age 91)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Comedian
Years active 1949–present
Spouse(s) Norma Catherine Greve (1961–2003; her death)

Lawrence Samuel "Larry" Storch (born January 8, 1923) is an American actor best known for his comic television roles, including voice-over work for cartoon shows, such as Mr. Whoopee on Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales, and his live-action role of the bumbling Corporal Randolph Agarn on F Troop.

Early life[edit]

Storch was born in New York City, a son of Alfred Storch, a realtor, and his wife Sally (Kupperman) Storch, a telephone operator.[1] He attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx with Don Adams, who remained his lifelong friend. Storch never graduated from high school because of hard times in the Great Depression, instead finding work as a stand-up comic for $12 a week opening for bandleader Al Donahue at the band shell in Sheepshead Bay.[2] He served in the United States Navy during World War II on the submarine tender USS Proteus with Tony Curtis.[3]

Performing career[edit]

Storch was originally a stand-up comic. This led to guest appearances on dozens of television shows, including Hennesey, Get Smart, Sergeant Bilko, Columbo, CHiPs, Fantasy Island, McCloud, Emergency!, The Flying Nun, Alias Smith and Jones, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, That Girl, I Dream of Jeannie, Gomer Pyle, Gilligan's Island, The Doris Day Show, The Persuaders and All in the Family. His most famous role was the scheming Corporal Agarn on the TV series F-Troop, with Forrest Tucker and Ken Berry. In 1975, Storch co-starred with Bob Burns (who was disguised as a gorilla) and Forrest Tucker on the popular Saturday morning show The Ghost Busters. He also appeared on The Love Boat, was Al Bundy's childhood hero on Married... with Children, and was a semi-regular on Car 54, Where Are You?. He co-starred on the short-lived series The Queen and I.

Variety show appearances[edit]

Storch appeared on many variety shows including Sonny and Cher, Laugh-In, Hollywood Squares, Playboy After Dark, and The Hollywood Palace, with several appearances on the The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and The Steve Allen Show. Jackie Gleason personally asked Storch to fill in for him in the summer of 1953 while Gleason was on hiatus. This led to the 10-episode The Larry Storch Show with guest stars including Janet Blair, Risë Stevens, Dick Haymes, and Cab Calloway.

In 1962 and 1963, Storch played a recurring role as Charlie, a drunk, on four episodes of the NBC police comedy, Car 54, Where Are You?.

As an impressionist and voiceover actor[edit]

An impressionist, Storch does hundreds of voices and dialects ranging from Muhammad Ali to Claude Rains. This has proved useful for cartoons. He has voiced characters in numerous TV and film animations including The Batman/Superman Hour, The Pink Panther Show, Groovie Goolies, The Inspector, The Brady Kids, Cool Cat, Koko the Clown, Treasure Island, Return from Oz, Scooby Doo, Tennessee Tuxedo, and many more. Larry has worked with Mel Blanc and June Foray at Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. He was the first actor to voice Batman's arch enemy, "The Joker", in The Adventures of Batman segments produced by Filmation animation in the late 1960s. Larry continued his association with Filmation as a voiceover actor in other series the company produced including Journey Back to Oz where he voiced Aunt Em's and Uncle Henry's farmworker, Amos. This Kansas character did not have an alter ego in Oz. Storch also provided the Tin Man's singing voice while Danny Thomas provided the character's speaking voice.

Cary Grant—who never actually said the line "Judy, Judy, Judy" in any movie or performance—attributed the phrase's origin to a Storch performance in which he impersonated Grant.[4][5] Storch was imitating Grant when he was told Judy Garland had just walked into the club.

Film appearances[edit]

Storch has appeared in more than 25 Hollywood films, including 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962), Captain Newman, M.D. (1963), Wild and Wonderful (1964), Sex and the Single Girl (1964), and The Great Race (1965), all starring Tony Curtis. He also appeared in S.O.B (1981) directed by Blake Edwards as well as The Great Bank Robbery (1969), Airport 1975 (1974), I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore (1992), and sci-fi cult films The Monitors (1969) and Without Warning (1980). Tony Curtis and Storch reunited for a 2003 run of the musical version of Some Like It Hot. In 2005, he worked with Anthony Michael Hall in Funny Valentine (2005), and appeared in the documentary feature The Aristocrats (2005).

Stage work[edit]

After success in TV and films, Storch returned to the New York stage, after having first performed on the Broadway stage in the 1950s.[6] He received rave reviews for the off-Broadway production of Breaking Legs. Co-starring Philip Bosco and Vincent Gardenia, the show extended several times before going on the road. Storch appeared in the Broadway productions of Porgy and Bess (which Larry considers his favorite), Arsenic and Old Lace with Jean Stapleton, and Annie Get Your Gun with Reba McEntire. He toured the United States and Europe with Porgy and Bess. In 2004 he was in Sly Fox with Richard Dreyfus and his old friend Irwin Corey. Larry, then 81, and "Professor" Corey, 90, did 8 shows a week. In March 2008, Storch celebrated his 50th anniversary performing on Broadway. His first Broadway appearance had been Who was That Lady I Saw You With, later made into a 1960 film starring Dean Martin and Tony Curtis, with Storch appearing.

Larry Storch and Dark Shadows' star Marie Wallace appeared in Love Letters by A.R. Gurney June 24, 2012, a benefit performance for the Actor's Temple in New York City.

In the summer of 2012 Storch appeared in a benefit performance of Love Letters with actress Diana Sowle (Best Known for her role as Mrs Bucket in the original Willy Wonka film) in Farmville, Virginia to benefit The Tom Mix Rangers.

Comedy LPs[edit]

He recorded a comedy LP Larry Storch at The Bon Soir released by Jubilee in the 1960s. Other records include Larry Storch Reads Philip Roth's Epstein, Larry Storch Pooped/Eighth Wonder of the World, Larry Storch / I'm Walkin. In less than two years' time Storch appeared on three TV Guide covers, all with various F-Troop co-stars, Storch being the only one featured on all three covers. He also appeared on the cover of TV Guide in 2000.

Recent work[edit]

Storch is now "semi-retired". He likes to play his saxophone in the park and does occasional memorabilia shows to greet his many fans. He signs autographs at film festivals, including Chiller Theater and the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention. He is currently working on his autobiography.

Larry Storch received the 2013 Barrymore Award for Lifetime Achievement in Film and TV from the Fort Lee Film Commission. The award was presented to him December 31, 2013. Guests of the evening included Larry's friend Boxing Legend Jake La Motta, Larry's Step-Daughter Emmy winning Filmmaker and Author, June Cross, Early Rock and Roller Tom Austin from The Royal Teens and Co-Author of the million selling hit "Who Wears Short, Shorts?".

May 19, 2014 Storch was honored by the Friar's Club in NYC with its "Sunshine Committee Award" after performing at the committee benefit.

Personal life[edit]

Storch married actress Norma Catherine Greve on July 10, 1961. They remained married until her death at age 81 on August 28, 2003. Both briefly appeared in the 1972 made for television movie The Woman Hunter. He has three children: a stepson, Lary May; a daughter, Candace Herman, the result of a brief encounter with his future wife, born in 1947 and given to the adoption process (later reunited); and a stepdaughter, June Cross, born in 1954 to Norma and Jimmy Cross ("Stump" of the black song-and-dance team "Stump and Stumpy").[7]

Storch had a younger brother, Jay Storch, who was also an actor and voiceover performer under the name Jay Lawrence.[8][9]

Tributes[edit]

In an episode of the TV show Married... with Children, "Something Larry This Way Comes (12 Mar. 1995)", Larry Storch plays himself. Kelly Bundy attends the "Larry Storch School of Acting". Plays by the students are performed in abandoned theatres which the audience sneak into through building cracks and boarded up entryways. In that same episode, Al Bundy's boss Gary reveals her disdain for Storch, saying that she attended the "Larry Storch School of Heating and Air Conditioning Repair", an apparently fly-by-night institution. When Storch himself walked into the shoe store, Gary knocked him out.

An episode of Animaniacs titled "The Sound of Warners", features a banner that says "Larry Scorch Days; Nov 13 & 14".

The band Splitsville paid tribute to Storch in their song "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Larry Storch, Larry Storch".

Fort Lee, New Jersey Mayor Mark Sokolich named Storch as honorary Mayor for a Day on June 1, 2014. "Larry has vowed that as mayor of Fort Lee he will mount his horse and charge to the [George Washington] bridge and nobody’s going to take our lanes," said Sokolich, referring to the Fort Lee lane closure scandal. Storch had previously been honored by the local film commission for performing at the Riviera Nightclub, which had closed 60 years earlier.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Larry Storch Biography (1923-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  2. ^ Yost, Mark (June 22, 2012). "At Age 89, 'F Troop' Figure Holding the Fort on Acting.". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Biography for Tony Curtis.". IMDB. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Article - "Judy, Judy, Judy" - The Ultimate Cary Grant Pages". Carygrant.net. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  5. ^ Many citations available on Factiva, but "Ask The Globe," 2 September 1992, The Boston Globe gives credit to Storch as the impressionist who originated the line.
  6. ^ Larry Storch at the Internet Broadway Database
  7. ^ Martin Douglas (2003-09-21). "Norma Storch Is Dead at 81. Subject of TV Documentary". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-26. "The truth was that Ms. Cross was the child of an affair Mrs. Storch had had with Jimmy Cross, a black song-and-dance man who was Stump in the well-known performing team Stump and Stumpy." 
  8. ^ "Jay Lawrence on". Tv.com. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  9. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0492817/
  10. ^ Moss, Linda (June 1, 2014). "Fort Lee welcomes TV comedian Larry Storch as mayor for a day". The Record. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 

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