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Jerry Orbach


This sounds like a case for Jack McCoy.

The 39-year-old son of the late Law & Order legend Jerry Orbach has publicly and with a fair share of vitriol lashed out at his stepmother for allegedly cutting him and his adult brother out of Orbach's $10 million estate.

In a letter written to Orbach's second wife Elaine Cancilla-Orbach, which somehow made its way over to the New York Post, Chris Orbach calls the widow "a double-dealing, lying, scheming, miserable fool" who hired "cut-rate borscht belt" attorneys and has "painted [herself] as the beginning and the end of the Jerry Orbach Legacy."

And that's just for starters.

The Orbach kin, who alleges in the four-page letter that the former Broadway dancer manipulated his father into leaving her everything, went on to explain that all he inherited was "two sweaters, a pool cue, a few CDs and a pocketknife from the estate of one of television's best known faces—a man who happened, incidentally, to be my father."

Chris Orbach, an actor and musician, also lashed out at the decision to donate his famous father's eyes to the Eye Bank Associate of America, a decision he says was made solely by Cancilla-Orbach—she, of course, denies it.

"Having to leave my father's deathbed so that some guy with an ice box could shuck his eyes out while they were fresh still makes me sick and furious to this day," he wrote.

The late actor, who passed away due to cancer in 2004, once recorded a voiceover ad for the Eye Bank and, his widow told the Post, had decided early on to donate his most viable organ to the association.

"He said, 'If I can give anything back, I want to give my eyes. I can't give my liver because I drank too much, and I can't give my lungs because I smoked too much. But I can give my eyes,'" Cancilla-Orbach, who tied the knot with Jerry back in 1979, said.

"Chris knew nothing of this. He knew nothing of what his father and I had discussed for 25 years."

Despite Chris' outrage, both from him and, it seems, on behalf of his contractor brother Tony, Cancilla-Orbach told the Post that her husband's sons were never shut out.

"His kids were in his will. And they are in my will, although I'm not sure Chris is going to stay there after this."

She added that she has already given Tony a $50,000 down payment for a home and is paying for the education of his daughter. Chris, because he is childless and unmarried, has not received the same financial handout.

For his part, Chris Orbach, who conceded that he regrets their battle went public, said he has washed his hands of expecting a cut of his father's fortune.

"I will not beg or wait around for crumbs to fall from the table of my father's legacy," he wrote in his letter. "Not a single thing you've done has been dignified. All I can see are the greedy, grasping spasms of a toddler—her hands around a pile of marbles, crying 'all mine.'"