Larry Storch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Larry Storch
Larry Storch Garrisons Gorillas 1967.JPG
Larry Storch in 1967
Born
Lawrence Samuel Storch

(1923-01-08)January 8, 1923
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJuly 8, 2022(2022-07-08) (aged 99)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1939–2005
Spouse(s)
Norma Catherine Greve
(m. 1961; died 2003)
Children3

Lawrence Samuel Storch (January 8, 1923 – July 8, 2022)[1] was an American actor, voice artist and comedian 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 which won a nomination for Emmy Award in 1967.

Early life[edit]

Lawrence Samuel Storch was born in New York City, the son of Alfred Storch, a cabdriver and broker and his wife, Sally Kupperman Storch, a telephone operator, jewellery store owner and rooming house operator on January 8, 1923. The Washington Post reported that he was born in The Bronx.[2] The New York Times reported that he was born in Manhattan.[3] The Wall Street Journal reported that he was born in Upper West Side.[4] His parents were observing Jews.[5] He attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx with Don Adams, who remained his lifelong friend. Due to hard times in the Great Depression, Storch said he never graduated from high school, instead finding work as a comic for $12 a week opening for bandleader Al Donahue at the band shell in Sheepshead Bay.[4]

During World War II, he served in the United States Navy where he was shipmates with Tony Curtis on the submarine tender USS Proteus (AS-19). [6]

Career[edit]

Performing[edit]

Storch was originally a comic. This led to guest appearances on dozens of television series, including, Mannix; Car 54, Where Are You?; 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, U.S.M.C.; Gilligan's Island; The Doris Day Show; The Persuaders; Love, American Style; All in the Family and Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

Storch, top right, with F Troop cast (1965)

His most famous role was from 1965 to 1967 as the scheming Corporal Randolph Agarn on the situation comedy F Troop, with Forrest Tucker, Ken Berry and Melody Patterson for which he was nominated for Emmy Award in 1967.[3]

In 1975, Storch co-starred with Bob Burns (who wore a gorilla costume) and Forrest Tucker on the short-lived but popular Saturday morning children's show The Ghost Busters. He also appeared on The Love Boat, was Al Bundy's childhood hero on Married... with Children (Al Bundy's daughter Kelly attended an acting school operated by Larry) 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 Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Steve Allen Show. Jackie Gleason 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. He also made appearances on Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. and Gilligan's Island.

As an impressionist and voiceover actor[edit]

An impressionist, Storch recreated hundreds of voices and dialects ranging from Muhammad Ali to Claude Rains and voiced characters in many television and film animations, including The Pink Panther Show, Groovie Goolies, The Inspector, The Brady Kids, Cool Cat, Koko the Clown, Treasure Island and Tennessee Tuxedo.

Storch worked with Mel Blanc and June Foray at Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, voicing characters such as Merlin the Magic Mouse and Cool Cat. He continued his association with Filmation as a voiceover actor in other series and films the company produced, including Journey Back to Oz (1972) where he voiced Amos, farmhand to Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.

Film appearances[edit]

Storch appeared in more than 25 Hollywood films, including Gun Fever (1958), Who Was That Lady? (1960), 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). He also appeared in Bus Riley's Back in Town (1965), A Very Special Favor (1965), That Funny Feeling, (1965), The Great Bank Robbery (1969), Airport 1975 (1974), The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington (1977), Record City (1978), S.O.B (1981), Fake-Out (1982), Sweet Sixteen (1983) and A Fine Mess (1986), as well as the cult sci-fi 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 television and films, Storch returned to the New York stage, having first performed on the Broadway stage in the 1950s.[7] 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 Storch considered 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 Dreyfuss and his old friend Irwin Corey. Larry, then 81 and "Professor" Corey, 90, did eight 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.

Storch and Dark Shadows star Marie Wallace appeared in Love Letters by A. R. Gurney on June 24, 2012, a benefit performance for the Actor's Temple in New York City.[8]

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.[citation needed]

Comedy LPs[edit]

Storch recorded a comedy LP, Larry Storch at The Bon Soir, released by Jubilee Records in the 1960s. His other records include Larry Storch Reads Philip Roth's Epstein and singles such as "Pooped" b/w "The Eighth Wonder Of The World" and "I'm Walkin'".

A month before he died, Storch recorded the blues song "Wine Spo-Dee O-Dee" with Mike Clark and his trio. The song was posthumously released soon after Storch’s passing.

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 made-for-television movie The Woman Hunter (1972). He had 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 up for adoption (and later reunited); and a stepdaughter, June Cross, born in 1954 to Norma and Jimmy Cross ("Stump" of the song-and-dance team Stump and Stumpy).[9][10]

Storch's younger brother, Jay (1924–1987), was an actor/voiceover performer under the name Jay Lawrence.[11][12]

Death[edit]

Larry Storch died at his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on July 8, 2022, at the age of 99. Associated Press reported that he died from natural causes.[13] The Washington Post reported that he died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.[2][14]

Honors and tributes[edit]

Storch in 2011

Storch was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 1967 for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series for F Troop. Storch lost to childhood friend Don Adams that year. Storch said he later remarked to Adams, “You kept it on the block.”

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

In Fort Lee, New Jersey, Mayor Mark Sokolich named Storch as honorary Mayor for a Day on June 1, 2014. Storch had previously been honored by the local film commission for performing at the Riviera nightclub, which had closed 60 years earlier.[15] He received the 2013 Barrymore Award for Lifetime Achievement in Film and TV from the Fort Lee Film Commission.

A Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to Storch in 2014.[16]

Storch was named an honorary citizen of Passaic, New Jersey, on September 13, 2016. He also received a Navy Distinguished Service Medal to recognise his World War II service.[17]

On January 14, 2019, The Lambs honored Storch with their Shepherd's Award.

Wild West City, an amusement park in New Jersey, renamed one of its storefronts “Larry Storch’s Silver Dollar Saloon” in his honor.[18]

Storch was named an Honorary Friar in early 2019 at a ceremony with Dick Cavett at the New York Friars Club.

On his 97th birthday, Storch was presented with a Proclamation from the State of New York.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1951 The Prince Who Was a Thief
1958 Gun Fever Amigo
1959 The Last Blitzkrieg Ennis
1960 Who Was That Lady? Orenov
1962 40 Pounds of Trouble Floyd
1963 Captain Newman, M.D. Cpl. Gavoni
1964 Wild and Wonderful Rufus Gibbs
1964 Sex and the Single Girl Motorcycle Cop
1965 Bus Riley's Back in Town Howie
1965 The Great Race Texas Jack
1965 A Very Special Favor Harry the Taxi Driver
1965 That Funny Feeling Luther
1968 Mannix: Another Final Exit Bernie Farmer
1968 That Girl John McKenzie
1968 The Wild Bull Returns Manuel Cortez
1969 Get Smart “The Groovy Guru” Groovy Guru
1969 The Great Bank Robbery Juan
1969 The Monitors P.A. Stutz
1970 Hard Frame Rudy LeRoy TV Movie
1971 Aesop's Fables Hare, Rooster and Old Tortoise Voice, TV movie
1972 Journey Back to Oz Amos Voice
1973 Treasure Island Captain Smollett Voice
1974 Oliver Twist Magistrate Fang Voice
1974 Airport 1975 Glenn Purcell
1977 The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington Robby Boggs
1978 Record City Deaf Man
1980 Without Warning Scoutmaster
1981 S.O.B. The Guru
1981 Peter-No-Tail Max Voice, English version
1982 Fake-Out Ted
1982 The Flight of Dragons Pawnbroker Voice
1983 Sweet Sixteen Earl
1986 The Perils of P.K.
1986 A Fine Mess Leopold Klop
1987 Medium Rare
1992 I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore Giora
1994 The Silence of the Hams Sergeant
2005 Funny Valentine Dennis
2005 Bittersweet Place Ira Tatz
2005 The Aristocrats Himself Final Role

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UPI Almanac for Monday, Jan. 8, 2018". United Press International. January 8, 2018. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. Retrieved September 21, 2019. …comic actor Larry Storch in 1923 (age 95)
  2. ^ a b Schudel, Matt (July 8, 2022). "Larry Storch, comic actor in TV sitcom 'F Troop,' dies at 99". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Genzlinger, Neil (July 8, 2022). "Larry Storch, Comic Actor Best Known for 'F Troop,' Dies at 99". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Yost, Mark (June 22, 2012). "At Age 89, 'F Troop' Figure Holding the Fort on Acting". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  5. ^ "Larry Storch profile". Film Reference. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
  6. ^ Malone, Aubrey (September 21, 2013). The Defiant One: A Biography of Tony Curtis. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 13. ISBN 978-1476605678. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  7. ^ Larry Storch at the Internet Broadway Database
  8. ^ Rickwald, Bethany (May 9, 2012). "Larry Storch, Marie Wallace to Star in Benefit Performance of A.R. Gurney's Love Letters". TheaterMania. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  9. ^ Douglas, Martin (September 21, 2003). "Norma Storch Is Dead at 81. Subject of TV Documentary". The New York Times. Retrieved August 26, 2010. 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
  10. ^ "Norma Storch, 81; Focus of Daughter's PBS Documentary". Los Angeles Times. September 15, 2003. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  11. ^ "Jay Lawrence". TV.com. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
  12. ^ Jay Lawrence at IMDb
  13. ^ Elber, Lynn (July 8, 2022). "Larry Storch, zany Cpl. Agarn on TV's 'F Troop,' dies at 99". Associated Press. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  14. ^ Barnes, Mike (July 8, 2022). "Larry Storch, Corporal Randolph Agarn on 'F Troop,' Dies at 99". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  15. ^ Moss, Linda (June 1, 2014). "Fort Lee welcomes TV comedian Larry Storch as mayor for a day". The Record. Woodland Park, NJ. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  16. ^ Lederer, Andrew J. (December 6, 2017). "Larry Storch: Still a Stand-Up Guy". HuffPost.
  17. ^ Cowen, Richard (September 13, 2016). "Actor who played Passaic corporal in '60s sitcom 'F Troop' visits city for first time". The Record. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  18. ^ Jennings, Rob (June 17, 2019). "N.J. western-themed park isn't closing, after all". The Star-Ledger. Newark. Retrieved January 8, 2021.

Further reading[edit]

Articles[edit]

Books[edit]

External links[edit]