His wife cherished the love letters and reminded the world how powerful and moving words can be long after a loved one is gone.
Jerry Orbach is perhaps best known as the disciplinary father in 1987’s Dirty Dancing and NYPD homicide detective Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order. His second wife remembers him as a devoted husband who expressed his commitment to her through thoughtful words and actions. The actor who also voiced candlestick Lumière in the Academy Award-winning animated Disney film Beauty and the Beast was first married to Marta Curro for 17 years and had two sons with her before divorcing in 1975, reports Fox News. Orbach tied the knot with his second wife four years later in 1979 and was with her until his death from prostate cancer in 2004. The actor was first diagnosed at the age of 59 in 1994 and went on to battle the disease for 10 years before passing away at the age of 69.
For the 25 years they were together, the actor showed his wife many acts of kindness throughout their relationship. After her husband's death, Elaine shared special poems in her memoir, Remember How I Love You: Love Letters from an Extraordinary Marriage. Elaine fondly remembered how Orbach would wake up early to make her coffee and write love letters. He wanted his wife to wake up to this sweet gesture every day. For the thirteen years, he was on Law & Order, Orbach wrote his wife a short love poem and placed it next to her coffee cup before he left for work. He wrote hundreds of notes over the years.
As an actor, he would often spend hours away from her but he admitted that he constantly thought of Elaine. In one of the notes, he wrote, "Because of this crazy schedule I don't often have time to think, but when I do, I think of you. I know that saying 'I Love You' is an everyday thing, almost a habit... and I miss you even more. I can't wait to see your face and kiss it!" He concluded the sweet note by saying, "I hope by the time you get this your back is all better, and I'll talk to you tonight. You are the best thing that ever happened to me, and wherever you go today shopping, massage, voice lesson, etc., know that you're on my mind and in my heart."
He would also remember special occasions to express his love to his wife. One of his Valentine's Day poems read, "Valentine's Day is here again. The weather looks cold and clammy…But I can happily go to work and try not to act too hammy. Cause I've got a warmness in my heart from my sunshine, my lifeline, my lambie! (I wish I could stay home and vie you a kiss!)" His wife cherished the love letters and reminded the world how powerful and moving words can be long after a loved one is gone.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Evan Agostini