Transcript

JERRY ORBACH: Thank you. Thank you. Oh! [applause]

JAMES DENTON: It's very heavy.

ORBACH: Oh no. Oh... Oh God, how bittersweet, but it's still sweet. Thank you. Thank all of you. God, if Jerry were here, he would be - he would be so articulate and so giving and loving, and receiving, all of you, for this beautiful award.

Jerry was an actor and he loved actors. He loved kibitzing with them, he loved playing cards with them, he loved playing Scrabble with them, but he loved being with them. Jerry had a motto. He said, "Never leave a hit show." [laughter] It was a good one. [applause] He did it for the audiences of Broadway, for a good 35-years, with all the major long-running shows that he did, "Promises" - good Lord, the original "Chicago," which that's where we met and fell in love - "42nd Street," on and on and on.

And in between, the wonderful Dick Wolf said, "Would you consider 'Law & Order"?" And of course, it brought him back to his beloved Broadway, 'cause he could spend time on and around Broadway. Oh God, and it gave him the longest-running show of his heart. He loved it, he stayed there till the end, and he always said, "Never leave a hit show."

May you all never leave your hit show. Thank you so much. [applause] God, it's heavy. [laughs] Thank you.