‘F Troop’ Star Was 99 – The Hollywood Reporter

Larry storchthe manic comic actor who starred as the bumbling sidekick Corporal Randolph agarn on the 1960s ABC sitcoms F Troop, has died. He was 99.

Storch, who got his start as a stand-up comic, did impressions and voiced the all-knowing Phineas J. Whoopee on the classic cartoon Tennessee Tuxedo and His Talesdied early Friday morning of natural causes in his apartment on the Upper West Side of New York, his personal manager, Matt Beckoff, told The Hollywood Reporter.

“If I told you how nice he was, you wouldn’t believe it,” Beckoff said.

Storch was great friends with Tony Curtis — a fellow New Yorker whom he met when they served aboard a submarine tender in the US Navy — and they appeared together in The Prince Who Was a Thief (1951), Who Was That Lady? (1960), 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962), Captain Newman, MD (1963), Sex and the Single Girl (1964), Wild and Wonderful (1964) and The Great Race (1965), in which Storch’s character touched off a great bar brawl.

storch had a recurring role as a drunk on Car 54 Where Are You?played a groovy guru on Get Smart (which starred his Tennessee Tuxedos teammate Don Adams, a friend from high school) and fell for the leading lady as boxer Duke Farentino front The Doris Day Show.

ABC’s F Troop, from Warner Bros. Television, aired for only two seasons (65 episodes from September 1965 through April 1967) but lived on in syndication for decades. Set inside the fictional Fort Courage in the 1860s Wild West, the comedy starred Ken Berry as the greenhorn Captain Wilton parentForrest Tucker as the scheming Sergeant Morgan O’Rourke and storch as his (much shorter) accomplice, a guy who hailed from Passaic, New Jersey.

One running gag on the series had O’Rourke telling Agarn, “I don’t know why everyone says you’re dumb.” that would please agarn at first, but then he would blurt out, “Who says I’m dumb?!” He also portrayed look-alike agarn cousins ​​Lucky Pierre from Canada, Dmitri agarnoff from Russia and pancho agarnado (and even his sister, Carmen) from Mexico on the show.

storch received an Emmy nomination in 1967 for outstanding continued performance by an actor in a leading role in a comedy series for his work on F Troop.

storch was a pretty good saxophone player and is said to be responsible for the memorable Cary Grant line, “Judy, Judy, Judy,” which the actor never actually uttered onscreen. As the story goes, storch was in the middle of his Grant impersonation during a nightclub performance and reacted when Judy Garland walked in.

Lawrence Samuel storch was born Jan. 8, 1923, and raised in the Bronx. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School and, with his flair for impressions, appeared at age 17 on a bill at the Paramount Theater in New York with Benny Goodman and Peggy Lee. He then headed off to World War II and worked aboard the USS Proteus, which delivered supplies to a submarine.

After the war, he wrote for The Kraft Music Hall radio program and subbed at times for Frank Morgan (he did a great impression of the Wizard of Oz actors). A chance meeting with bandleader Phil Harris in Palm Springs led to Lucille Ball hiring storch to open for her husband desi Arnaz and his orchestra at turnover’s on the Sunset Strip.

Storch earned $125 a week for that stand-up gig, and work in clubs in Las Vegas and New York, and appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show would follow.

storch hosted DuMont’s Cavalcade of Stars in 1951 and two summers later presided over the Larry storch showa summer fill-in for Jackie Gleason’s program.

When storch had an act at The Copacabana in New York, he hired Curtis (then known by his given name, Bernard Schwartz) as his assistant. Later, when Curtis became a movie star, he insisted that storch be in many of his movies, including Who Was That Lady? storch had portrayed a Russian spy in the 1958 Broadway play that became the movie.

In 2003, the good friends worked together again in a stage version of Some Like It Hot.

storch was the knowledgeable Mr. Whoopee, the “Man With All the Answers,” on Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales, which aired on CBS from 1963-66. When Tennessee (the penguin voiced by Adams) and his walrus pal Chumley (Bradley bolke) couldn’t figure something out, they turned to his kindly character.

The animated Koko the Clown, which was created in 1919 by the Max Fleischerwas brought back for the 1962 syndicated series Out of the Inkwelland storch voiced that character in dozens of TV shorts.

storch, in fact, had a thriving voiceover career; he played the Joker on The Batman/Superman Hour starting in 1968 and worked on such cartoons as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and The Brady Kids.

storch guest-starred on such TV shows as Gilligan’s Island, mannix, columbo, phyllis, The Love Boat, CHiPs, and as himself on Married … With Childrenand he appeared in other films including The Great Bank Robbery (1969) — directed by F Troop producer hi averbackthe Happy Hooker Goes to Washington (1977) and The Silence of the Hams (1994).

He was married to actress Norma storchalso his manager, from 1961 until her death in 2003. She had a daughter, June, with Jimmy Cross, a song-and-dance man, but she sent their 4-year-old to another couple to be raised.

June Cross revisited it all when she produced the 1997 Emmy-winning documentary Secret Daughter and wrote the 2006 book Secret Daughter: A Mixed-Race Daughter and the Mother Who Gave Her Away.

In addition to June, survivors include his daughter, Candace; step-daughter Larry May; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Storch’s brother was the late actor Jay Lawrence (Stalag 17), who once had a comedy act with Adams.

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