Salutations To An Iconic Legend In Show Business
Today is his 97th birthday and we take the time to acknowledge the accomplishments of a man who truly touched our lives and continues to put smiles on our faces plus I am so lucky to call him a near and dear friend in my life.
I was fortunate to meet up with the legendary Larry Storch at a Comic Con convention in neighboring Rhode Island back in 2013. Since then, he was featured as a special guest at previous radio stations I worked at and some memorable moments spent together include the day he was Mayor For A Day in Fort Lee, New Jersey and was proud to be in attendance at his milestone 95th birthday party at The Triad Theatre in Manhattan. I am also proud to be on board with him via Facebook.
Larry is also a native New Yorker and maintains his residence in The Big Apple to this day. He was born in Brooklyn on January 8th, 1923 and began his journey in show business by doing a stand-up comedy act in Sheepshead Bay at the age of 12 and the rest is history. Larry went to high school with fellow TV icon Don Adams, best known as Secret Agent 86, Maxwell Smart and they worked together providing voices in the 1960's animated series "Tennesse Tuxedo". His credits also include numerous appearances on television (live and animated), radio, stage and he co-starred in over 25 major motion pictures (an impressive resume if you ask me)
Larry is best known for his role in the 1960's comedy F-Troop where he showcased his talents as Corporal Randolph Agarn and co-starred with Forrest Tucker (Sgt. Morgan O' Rourke), Ken Berry (Captain Wilton Parmenter) and Melody Patterson (Wrangler Jane). The show also featured a dynamic supporting cast which included Frank De Kova, Don Diamond, James Hampton, Joe Brooks and Bob Steele (who had the same name as the legendary WTIC-AM broadcaster).
Besides Corporal Agarn, I have to acknowledge my 3 favorite moments when Larry made guest appearances on some of my favorite TV shows from the 60's. At number 1, his portrayal of a KAOS radio personality who hypnotizes his listeners with subliminal messages on "Get Smart" nicknamed "The Groovy Guru" as he was re-united with his lifelong friend, Don Adams. Second on the list, when he played Jackson Farrell during the first season of "Gilligan's Island" as he takes refuge on the uncharted isle after a robbery of the Monarch National Bank and as his true identity is revealed, the seven castaways wind up as prisoners in their own domain. The third moment is spotlighted in "I Dream Of Jeannie" when Sam the Chimpanzee is ready to take flight to the moon, Jeannie turns him into a human being as Larry executes a fabulous performance while assuming his newfound identity. Timeless with a capital T.
Once again, Happy 97th Birthday Larry. May God bless you each and every day. SO PROUD to call him my friend and we are awaiting to get together for your centennial milestone celebration in 2023.
(Photo of F-Troop cast courtesy of Larry Storch's Facebook page)