Louis Zorich

Last updated
Louis Zorich
Born(1924-02-12)February 12, 1924
DiedJanuary 30, 2018(2018-01-30) (aged 93)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Education Roosevelt University (BA)
Art Institute of Chicago (BFA)
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1958–2018
Olympia Dukakis (m. 1962)
Relatives Chris Zorich (nephew)

Louis Zorich (February 12, 1924 – January 30, 2018) was an American actor. He is perhaps best known to television audiences for his portrayal of Paul Buchman's father, Burt Buchman, on the NBC series Mad About You . [1] He played the role from 1993 to 1999.


Early years

Zorich was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Croatian immigrants Anna (née Gledic) and Christ Zoric. [2] [3] He attended Earle Elementary School [4] before going on to attend Roosevelt University and Goodman School of Drama at the Art Institute of Chicago (now at DePaul University) in his hometown of Chicago. [5] Louis' nephew, Chris Zorich, played professional football. [6]

Zorich served in the U.S. Army during World War II. [7]


In 1965, Zorich recorded and released an album on Folkways Records, entitled Moby Dick: Selections Read by Louis Zorich.

One of Zorich's first major film roles was the Russian Constable in Fiddler on the Roof (1971). He was featured in Popi and For Pete's Sake and played Pete in The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984). In Death of a Salesman (1985), he played Ben, the older brother of Willy Loman. In 1986 he played a Swiss businessman in Club Paradise with Robin Williams, and in 1988 appeared as Nikos, the Greek millionaire, part of a group arriving in a yacht party, in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Steve Martin and Michael Caine.

On television, Zorich co-starred in the critically acclaimed comedy Brooklyn Bridge playing family patriarch Jules Berger. [8]

Zorich's Broadway credits include Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2003), 45 Seconds From Broadway (2001), Follies (2001), She Loves Me (1993), The Marriage of Figaro (1985), Arms and the Man (1985), Death of a Salesman (1984), Herzl (1976), They Knew What They Wanted (1976), Goodtime Charley (1975), Moonchildren (1972), Fun City (1972), Hadrian VII (1969), The Condemned of Altona (1966), The Country Wife (1965), Danton's Death (1965), The Odd Couple (1965), Moby Dick (1962), and Becket (1961). [9]

Zorich was on the faculty of HB Studio in New York City. He also edited the anthology What Have You Done: The Inside Stories of Auditioning from the Ridiculous to the Sublime. [10]

In 1973, Zorich and his wife founded the Whole Theatre Company in Montclair, New Jersey — that state's first resident professional theater. [11] They operated the theater for 18 years. [10]

Personal life

Zorich was married to Academy Award winning actress Olympia Dukakis from 1962 until his death. [12] They had three children together.


Zorich died at his Manhattan apartment at age of 93 on January 30, 2018. [13] [2]


In 1969, Zorich was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Hadrian VII. [14] In 1976, he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play for his performance in They Knew What They Wanted . [15]


1966 Gamera, the Giant Monster Russian Ambassador
1968 What's So Bad About Feeling Good? Uncredited
1968 Coogan's Bluff Taxi Driver
1969 Popi Penebaz
1971 Cold Turkey Douglas TruesdaleUncredited
1971 They Might Be Giants 2nd Sanitation Man
1971 Fiddler on the Roof Constable
1971 Made for Each Other Pandora's Father
1973 The Don Is Dead Mitch DiMorra
1974 The Rehearsal
1974 For Pete's Sake Nick
1974 Newman's Law Frank Lo Falcone
1974 Sunday in the Country Dinelli
1976 W.C. Fields and Me Gene Fowler
1977A Good Dissonance Like a ManGeorge W. Chadwick
1977 The Other Side of Midnight Demonides
1980 The Changeling Stewart AdlerUncredited
1980 Up the Academy Sheik Amier
1984 The Muppets Take Manhattan Pete
1985 Death of a Salesman Ben LomanTV movie
1985 Walls of Glass Lerner
1986 Club Paradise Swiss Businessman
1986 Where Are the Children? Kragopoulos
1988Cheap ShotsLouie Constantine
1988 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Greek Millionaire
1989 Bloodhounds of Broadway Mindy
1991 City of Hope Mayor Baci
1991 Missing Pieces Ochenko
1997 Commandments Rudy Warner
1997 Kiss & Tell Louis
1998 A Fish in the Bathtub Morris
1999 Joe the King Judge
2001 Friends and Family Marvin Levine
2004 A Hole in One Sammy
2007Running FunnyStan
2009Run ItAngelo
2011 Detachment Grampa
2011A Bird of the AirStowalski
2011The Tall ManLou
2015Emily & TimTim Hanratty(segment 'Attachment')
2016 No Pay, Nudity Lester's Father(final film role)

Related Research Articles

Michael J. Pollard was an American character actor and comedian widely known for his role as C.W. Moss in the film Bonnie and Clyde (1967), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Marsha Mason American actress

Marsha Mason is an American actress and director. She was nominated four times for the Academy Award for Best Actress: for her performances in Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Goodbye Girl (1977), Chapter Two (1979), and Only When I Laugh (1981). The first two films also won her Golden Globe Awards. She was married for ten years (1973–1983) to the playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon, who was the writer of three of her four Oscar-nominated roles.

Laurie Metcalf American actress

Laura Elizabeth Metcalf is an American actress. Over the course of her four-decade career, she has been the recipient of numerous acting awards and nominations. She has won three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, and has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Olympia Dukakis American actress

Olympia Mary Dukakis is a Greek American actress. She started her career in theater, and won an Obie Award for Best Actress in 1963 for her Off-Broadway performance in Bertolt Brecht's Man Equals Man. She later moved to film acting, and in 1987, she won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA nomination for her performance in Moonstruck. She received another Golden Globe nomination for Sinatra, and Emmy Award nominations for Lucky Day, More Tales of the City, and Joan of Arc.

<i>Mad About You</i> 1992 American TV sitcom

Mad About You is an American sitcom television series starring Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt as a married couple in New York City.

John Randolph (actor) actor

Emanuel Hirsch Cohen, better known by the stage name John Randolph, was an American film, television and stage actor.

Louis Gossett Jr. American actor

Louis Cameron Gossett Jr. is an American actor. He is best known for his Academy Award winning role as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman and his Emmy Award winning role as Fiddler in the 1977 ABC television miniseries Roots. Gossett has also starred in numerous other film productions including A Raisin in the Sun, The Landlord, Skin Game, Travels with My Aunt, The Laughing Policeman, The Deep, Jaws 3-D, Wolfgang Petersen's Enemy Mine, the Iron Eagle series, Toy Soldiers and The Punisher, in an acting career that spans over five decades.

Joel Grey American actor, singer, dancer, director, and photographer

Joel Grey is an American actor, singer, dancer, director, and photographer. He is best known for portraying the Master of Ceremonies in the Kander & Ebb musical Cabaret on Broadway as well as in the 1972 film adaptation. He has won an Academy Award, a Tony Award, two Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.

Charles Durning American actor

Charles Edward Durning was an American actor who appeared in over 200 movies, television shows and plays. Durning's best-known films include The Sting (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), True Confessions (1981), Tootsie (1982), Dick Tracy (1990) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for both The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) and To Be or Not to Be (1983). Prior to his acting career, Durning served in World War II and was decorated for valor in combat.

Ron Leibman was an American actor. He won both the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play in 1993 for his performance as Roy Cohn in Angels in America. Leibman also won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1979 for his role as Martin 'Kaz' Kazinsky in his short-lived crime drama series Kaz.

Tom Drake American actor (1918–1982)

Tom Drake was an American actor. Drake made films starting in 1940 and continuing until the mid-1970s, and also made TV acting appearances.

John Pankow is an American actor. He began his career on-stage in New York, in numerous Off-Broadway and Broadway plays including Peter Shaffer's Amadeus, John Patrick Shanley's Italian American Reconciliation, and Brian Friel's Aristocrats. After a starring role in William Friedkin's To Live and Die in L.A., he began appearing regularly in film and on television, playing Ira Buchman for all eight seasons of Mad About You and later Merc Lapidus on Episodes.

Kaye Ballard American actress, singer

Kaye Ballard was an American actress, comedian and singer.

Moby Dick—Rehearsed is a two-act drama by Orson Welles. The play was staged June 16–July 9, 1955, at the Duke of York's Theatre in London, in a production directed by Welles. The original cast included Welles, Christopher Lee, Kenneth Williams, Joan Plowright, Patrick McGoohan, Gordon Jackson, Peter Sallis, and Wensley Pithey. The play was published by Samuel French in 1965.

Robert Strauss (actor) American film actor (1913-1975)

Robert Strauss was an American actor. He became most familiar in Hollywood films of the 1950s such as Stalag 17 (1953), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Chris Zorich All-American college football player, professional football player, defensive lineman, ollege Football Hall of Fame member

Christopher Robert Zorich is a former American football defensive tackle who played in college for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. Zorich was the athletic director at Chicago State University from May 2018 to July 2019.

Moby-Dick is an 1851 novel by Herman Melville that describes the voyage of the whaleship Pequod, led by Captain Ahab, who leads his crew on a hunt for the whale Moby-Dick. There have been a number of adaptations of Moby-Dick in various media.

Josh Segarra American actor

Josh Segarra is an American actor. He is known for his roles on the television series The Electric Company, Sirens, and Arrow as well as for originating the role of Emilio Estefan in the musical On Your Feet!. His other television credits include Chicago P.D., The Other Two, and Orange is the New Black, while his other theatrical credits include the musicals Lysistrata Jones and Dogfight.

The following deaths of notable individuals related to American television occurred in 2018.


  1. Shapiro, Mitchell E., 1953- (16 October 2015). The top 100 American situation comedies : an objective ranking. Jicha, Tom, 1945-. Jefferson, North Carolina. p. 55. ISBN   9781476664040. OCLC   922454302.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. 1 2 O'Donnell, Maureen (February 4, 2018). "Actor Louis Zorich, South Side native and husband of Olympia Dukakis, dead at 93". Chicago Sun-Times . Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  3. "Louis Zorich Biography (1924-)". www.filmreference.com. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  4. "cpsalumni.org". www.cpsalumni.org. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  5. Yahoo! Movies: Louis Zorich Biography. Retrieved October 21, 2007. Archived 2011-06-28 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Downey, Mike (May 13, 2007). "Mother's Day sweet reminder to Zorich". Chicago Tribune . Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  7. Genzlinger, Neil (February 4, 2018). "Actor was familiar presence on television and Broadway". The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii, Honolulu. The New York Times. p. B 7. Retrieved 27 February 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  8. Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 139. ISBN   978-0-7864-6477-7.
  9. "Louis Zorich". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  10. 1 2 "Meet & greet actor Louis Zorich on Sunday at 'Talkin' with Louis!'". The Montclair Times. New Jersey, Montclair. March 18, 2010. p. D 7. Retrieved 27 February 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  11. Bass, Milton R. (August 14, 1975). "The Lively World". The Berkshire Eagle. Massachusetts, Pittsfield. p. 6. Retrieved 27 February 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  12. Genzlinger, Neil (2018-02-02). "Louis Zorich, Familiar Actor on TV and Stage, Dies at 93". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  13. Genzlinger, Neil (February 2, 2018). "Louis Zorich, Familiar Actor on TV and Stage, Dies at 93". The New York Times . Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  14. "("Zorich" search results)". Tony Awards. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  15. "("Zorich" search results)". Drama Desk. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.