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Lawrence Samuel Storch (born January 8, 1923) is an American actor, voice actor, 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.

Larry Storch
Jerry Springer Larry Storch Geri Reischl 2011 David Shankbone (cropped).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 96)
OccupationActor, voice actor, comedian
Years active1939–present
Spouse(s)
Norma Catherine Greve
(m. 1961; died 2003)
Children3

Early lifeEdit

Storch was born in New York City, a son of Alfred Storch, a realtor, and his wife Sally (née Kupperman) Storch, a telephone operator.[1] 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 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 careerEdit

Storch was originally a stand-up comic. This led to guest appearances on dozens of television series, including, 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, and All in the Family.

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

His most famous role was the scheming Corporal Randolph Agarn on the situation comedy F Troop (1965–1967), with Forrest Tucker, Ken Berry and Melody Patterson.

In 1975, Storch co-starred with Bob Burns (who was disguised as a gorilla) 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, 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 appearancesEdit

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 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 actorEdit

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 television 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 and Tennessee Tuxedo.

Storch had worked with Mel Blanc and June Foray at Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, voicing characters such as titular 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 where he voiced Aunt Em and Uncle Henry's farmhand Amos.

Film appearancesEdit

Storch has appeared in more than 25 Hollywood films, including 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), all starring Tony Curtis. 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 workEdit

After success in television and films, Storch returned to the New York stage, having first performed on the Broadway stage in the 1950s.[4] 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 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.[citation needed]

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 LPsEdit

Storch 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 and singles such as Larry Storch Pooped/Eighth Wonder of the World, Larry Storch / I'm Walkin.

Recent workEdit

Storch is now "semi-retired". He still travels the country meeting his fans at personal appearances.

He has a substantial social media presence with over 40,000 Facebook followers, a record for any male actor his age.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Storch married actress Norma Catherine Greve on July 10, 1961. They remained married until her death at the age of 81 on August 28, 2003. Both briefly appeared in the made-for-television movie The Woman Hunter (1972). 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 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).[5]

Storch's younger brother, Jay (1924–1987), was an actor/voiceover performer under the name Jay Lawrence.[6][7]

Honors and tributesEdit

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 says 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".

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.[8] 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.[9]

Storch was named an honorary citizen of Passaic NJ on September 13, 2016. He also received a Distinguished Service Medal to recognize his World War II service.[10]

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

Wild West City, a popular amusement park in New Jersey, renamed one of their storefronts “Larry Storch’s Silver Dollar Saloon” in his honor.

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

FilmographyEdit

Film
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
1969 The Great Bank Robbery Juan
1969 The Monitors P.A. Stutz
1971 Aesop's Fables Rooster 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
1982 Fake-Out Ted
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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Larry Storch profile". 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 on IMDb
  4. ^ Larry Storch at the Internet Broadway Database
  5. ^ Douglas, Martin (2003-09-21). "Norma Storch Is Dead at 81. Subject of TV Documentary". The 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
  6. ^ "Jay Lawrence on". Tv.com. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  7. ^ Jay Lawrence profile on IMDb
  8. ^ Moss, Linda (June 1, 2014). "Fort Lee welcomes TV comedian Larry Storch as mayor for a day". The Record. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  9. ^ "Comedian Larry Storch to join Palm Springs Walk of Stars". www.kesq.com. Gulf-California Broadcast Company. Sep 16, 2014.
  10. ^ 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.

External linksEdit