Jewish-American actor and comedian Larry Storch, most famous for his role in the 1960s comedic Western TV series F Troop, passed away on Friday at the age of 99, right before a planned half-birthday party was set to be held for him, according to an announcement on his Facebook page.
"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share with you the news our beloved Larry passed away in his sleep overnight," the Facebook post reads.
"We are shocked and at a loss for words at the moment. Please remember he loved each and every one of you and wouldn’t want you to cry over his passing. He is reunited with his wife Norma and his beloved F Troop cast and so many friends and family."
A later post explained that they were set to hold a 99 and a half birthday party for Storch over the weekend.
"This weekend we had planned a 99 and a half birthday party for Larry. Unfortunately, Larry made other plans and couldn’t be here with us physically."Larry Storch Facebook page
Life and career
Storch was born in New York to observant Jewish parents. He worked as a comedian at a young age before serving in the US Navy during World War II. Later on, he continued his comedic career, holding guest spots on a large number of different TV shows, ranging from Gilligan's Island, All in the Family, Get Smart, CHiPs, Fantasy Island and many more.
Armed with a very distinctive Bronx accent that helped push his career forward, Storch also saw some success as a voice actor.
However, his most famous role is easily on the comedic sitcom F Troop, which ran for two seasons from 1965 to 1967. Though the show ostensibly focused on the incompetent American soldiers of Fort Courage and the local Native Americans in the mid-1800s, the show was really a character-driven comedy.
Here, Storch played the bumbling and dimwitted Cpl. Randolph Agarn, a role that saw him achieve considerable acclaim and even saw him get nominated for an Emmy.
Storch was married to Norma Catherine Greve in 1961 until her death in 2003. At the time of his death, he was living on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
According to a later Facebook post, a 99 and a half birthday party was set to be held for him over the weekend.
"This weekend we had planned a 99 and a half birthday party for Larry. Unfortunately, Larry made other plans and couldn’t be here with us physically," the post reads.
"We are having a small celebration of his life and his presence is all around us. We feel your presence as well. One thing we are all discussing is the love you showed Larry all these years. It was what kept him going. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We will keep you posted on any future public celebrations."