Orbach died Tuesday night in Manhattan after several weeks of treatment, Audrey Davis of the public relations agency Lippin Group said.
When his illness was diagnosed, he had begun production on NBC's upcoming spinoff "Law & Order: Trial By Jury," after 12 seasons playing Detective Lennie Briscoe in the original series. His return to the new show had been expected early next year.
On Broadway, the Bronx-born Orbach starred in hit musicals including "Carnival," "Promises, Promises" (for which he won a Tony Award), "Chicago" and "42nd Street."
Among his film appearances were roles in "Dirty Dancing," "Prince of the City" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors."
This effing sucks. He was a great actor. Briscoe will always be my favorite cop.