Storch in 2011 at the book launch party for Michael Musto's Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back
|Born||Lawrence Samuel Storch
January 8, 1923
New York City, New York, U.S.
|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.
Storch was born in New York City, a son of Alfred Storch, a realtor, and his wife Sally (Kupperman) Storch, a telephone operator. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx with Don Adams, who remained his lifelong friend. He never graduated from high school because of tough times in the Great Depression, and found work as a stand-up comic for $12 per week opening for bandleader Al Donahue at the band shell in Sheepshead Bay. He went on to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the submarine tender USS Proteus with Tony Curtis.
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, Alfred Hitchcock Hour, That Girl, The Monkees, 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
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.
As an impressionist and voiceover actor
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 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).
After success in TV and films, Storch returned to NYC to the stage after having first performed on the Broadway stage in the 1950s. 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 country 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, then 90, did 8 shows a week. In March 2008, Storch celebrated his 50th anniversary performing on Broadway. His first Broadway appearance had been in 1958 in 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 24th 2012, in a benefit performance for the Actor's Temple in New York City.
In the late 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, VA to benefit The Tom Mix Rangers.
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.
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.
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").
In an episode of the TV show Married With Children, 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.
In an episode of "Animaniacs" titles "The Sound of Warners" there is 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".
- "Larry Storch Biography (1923-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
- Yost, Mark (June 22, 2012). "At Age 89, 'F Troop' Figure Holding the Fort on Acting.". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
- "Biography for Tony Curtis.". IMDB. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
- "Article - "Judy, Judy, Judy" - The Ultimate Cary Grant Pages". Carygrant.net. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
- 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.
- Larry Storch at the Internet Broadway Database
- Martin, Douglas (2003-09-21). "Norma Storch Is Dead at 81 - Subject of TV Documentary - Obituary; Biography". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
- "Jay Lawrence on". Tv.com. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
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