(FiveNation.com)- Larry Storch, the cartoonish comedian with a malleable face best known for his outrageous portrayal of Cpl. Agarn on “F Troop”, a Western frontier TV series parody, has died. Storch was ninety-nine.
According to Storch’s manager, Matt Beckoff, the actor passed away peacefully early in the morning at his residence in New York City. He and his wife Norma Greve were married from 1961 until her passing in 2003.
Laurence Samuel Storch was born in New York City. He became the class clown at DeWitt Clinton High School, where he “was invited not to come back,” Storch recounted with pride.
According to entertainment reports, before Storch moved on to the Catskills, the renowned training ground for comedians of his day, he honed his comedic abilities in Harlem theaters for $2 per night.
Early in the 1950s, “The Cavalcade of Stars,” starring Jackie Gleason, gave him his major TV debut. The result was “The Larry Storch Show,” a summer 1953 television series. Then came regular TV and film employment.
Even though “F Troop” only ran on ABC for two seasons, from 1965 to 1967, it developed a cult following in repeats. The show was a comedy based on the inept troops of Fort Courage and the local Native Americans who pretended to be at war with them.
Storch played the role of Agarn. He was the wild-eyed sidekick of Forrest Tucker’s cunning Sgt. O’Rourke. They frequently plotted with Frank DeKova’s Chief Wild Eagle to defraud unwary tourists. Capt. Parmenter, played by Ken Berry, was the naive commander of Fort Courage.
Storch had several appearances in movies and TV series before and after “F Troop,” which gave him long-lasting stardom. He also had a lengthy career in theater and worked as a comedian at resorts in the Catskill Mountains of New York State.
According to Storch’s manager, Matt Beckoff, he never regretted becoming best recognized for the series. He embraced it. He enjoyed working with his co-stars and loved playing Agarn. Beckoff described Storch as the “kindest, sweetest person” who always made time for autograph seekers and was courteous to those in need.