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Orbach’s Eye-Opening Resurrection

Beloved star in eerie ads.

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What’s Jerry Orbach, who passed away at age 69 in 2004, doing on new subway ads for the New York Eye-Bank? Plenty, apparently: The presence of the Law & Order icon (whose eyes, still in top shape, were donated to two women after his death) on the group’s promotional materials has rung up nearly 6,000 hits a week for its normally sedate Website. “In the past, we’ve generally featured recipients in our ads,” says Eye-Bank spokesperson Noel Mick. “This is the first time that we’ve highlighted someone that’s been a donor. The response has been phenomenal.” Orbach’s wife, Elaine, who gave permission for the ads, says they fondly remind her of him. “He was always so proud of never having to wear glasses. This campaign awakened his vision again for me,” she says. “Not that I necessarily need it. If I want to see him, I just put on TNT.”

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