Before Larry Storch married his wife Norma Greve, the latter was already a mother to a daughter. However, the pair had to keep the child a secret from their friends and family for years.
News broke on Friday, July 8, 2022, that American Comedian and Actor Larry Storch had died in his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at the age of 99.
The actor, famously known for his fantastic performance on the 1960s sitcom “F Troop,” spent most of his career as a nightclub comic and character actor, displaying his skills on stage and both on the big screen and small screen.
Larry Storch attends "Gilbert" Premiere during 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theater on April 20, 2017 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
However, his most notable role was on ABC’s “F-Troop,” which aired from 1965 to 1967. The show was a slapstick comedy based on an outpost named Fort Courage in Indian country after the civil war.
It starred Storch as Cpl. Randolph Agarn is one of the unit’s misfits who is always involved in moneymaking schemes involving the local Indian Tribe alongside his partner Sergeant Morgan O’Rourke portrayed by Forrest Tucker.
Larry Storch attends Chiller Theater Expo Winter 2017 at Parsippany Hilton on October 28, 2017 in Parsippany, New Jersey | Source: Getty Images
The news of his death was announced by loved ones who took to social media to post heartfelt tributes to the late actor. In a post on the actor’s account, they disclosed that the family had planned a 99 and a half birthday for him.
Sadly, he did not stay alive long enough for the day. So instead, there would be a small celebration to appreciate his life and presence. His family also thanked fans for the love shown to the actor, which kept him going for years.
Before his death, Storch was married to his wife Norma Greve from 1961 she died from cancer on August 28, 2003, at 81. The couple is survived by their three children, including June Cross, who they lied about for almost 35 years.
Before Storch married Greve in 1961, the latter had dated a black song-and-dance man Jimmy Cross, famously known as Stump of the performing duo “Stump and Stumpy.”
Their relationship resulted in the birth of their daughter in June 1954; however, Greve left Cross shortly after. Before their daughter’s birth, Cross’s career had started diminishing.
He subsequently found solace in drinking, drug use, and beating Greve. Finally, after a particular confrontation, the latter took their two-year-old daughter June and fled.
As June grew older, her skin color darkened, leading to her and Greve experiencing racist comments and reactions. Mother and daughter were even petitioned by their neighbors to leave their Manhattan building.
After realizing how difficult it would be for her to raise June, Greve eventually had to give her daughter up. She placed the kid with a middle-class black couple in Atlantic city Peggy Bush, a second-grade school teacher, and her husband, Paul, a county government clerk.
Afterward, the heartbroken Greve cried every night, wrote letters to her daughter daily, and visited her regularly. Years later, while recounting the incident, Greve disclosed that she would have aborted June if she had had enough money.
When she eventually married Storch, Greve and the actor would bring June to come and spend summers with them. However, to avoid scrutiny, they lied that they adopted June, the abused child of their former neighbors.
The pair also disclosed that they had sent her to live with one of their black friends. Storch and Grieve had to lie about the latter’s parental ties to June because of the racism blacks were subjected to during that time.
As an adult, June, who studied at Harvard, became a TV news producer for PBS’ “Frontline.” Then, during the 1990s, she decided to explore racism in America by detailing her and her mother’s story.
June interviewed close family members, friends, relatives, and her biological father’s show business acquaintances since he died in 1981. One person who she, however, had to convince was her mother, who was vital to the story she wanted to tell.
The mother and daughter had never discussed how racism affected their relationship, and the former was a bit reluctant to tell her story. Greve confessed:
“I didn’t want to lose my friends -- nor Larry to lose his -- just over something June wanted to do.”
Eventually, Greve agreed because she greatly realized what the documentary meant to her daughter. After its release, the documentary “Secret Daughter” won an Emmy award and the iconic DuPont-Columbia University Award.
Speaking to People Magazine afterward, June revealed she had no ill will towards her mother for giving her up as a child. Instead, she felt anger toward the American society that placed her mother in that position.
June, who also worked as a visiting professor in Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, wrote a book on “Secret Daughter.”
JUNE’S RELATIONSHIP WITH STEPFATHER LARRY STORCH
Before Storch died, he and June enjoyed a normal stepfather-daughter relationship. While she was trying to produce the documentary, the actor stepped in and convinced his wife to spill her heart out while June taped it.
After his death, June paid tribute to her late stepfather by posting one of his latest videos on her Instagram. However, she was not the only one who paid her last respects to the late actor.
Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks Orchestra team paid tribute to the late actor by playing the “F-Troop” theme song in New York. Another tribute came from Peter Marshall, who posted a loving message about his dearly departed buddy on Facebook.
Marshall posted a picture of the pair the last time they met in New York and recounted how Storch could have played baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers but instead chose show business. He lauded the late comic for living a great life and being a wonderful man.
Other tributes to the late Storch came from Jackie Joseph- Lawrence, who explained they became friends while filming “F-Troop.” He explained that the late actor invited him home to dinner, and Storch liked to sit under a tree and play the saxophone.
The late actor’s family and friends had planned to celebrate his 99 and half birthday, but Storch sadly died that day. So instead, they decided to celebrate his life and legacy.
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