Dick Orkin

Richard Alan Orkin (1933 - 2017)

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Richard Alan (Dick) Orkin aka Feldsher
Born in Williamsport, Lycoming, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of and [private brother (1940s - unknown)]
Husband of — married in Manhattan, New York, New York, United Statesmap
[children unknown]
Died in Los Angeles County, California, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 17 Feb 2017
This page has been accessed 1,147 times.

The voice of Dick Orkin, an award-winning voice actor and commercial radio producer who created the series Chickenman[1] and The Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy,[2] has been used in many radio advertisements and public service announcements.[3] At age 83, Dick joined WikiTree to publish his extensive genealogy collection here and also to facilitate the continuation of his family research.


Dick Orkin is Notable.

Dick Orkin was a wonderful member of our WikiTree community who has passed away. Dick Orkin made many contributions and will be missed.


Richard Alan Orkin was born July 9, 1933, in Williamsport, Lycoming, Pennsylvania, United States, the first of three sons born to Sidney Orkin[4] and Sylvia (Bresnick) Orkin.[5] In 1940, Dick lived in Williamsport with his parents and brother Robert,[6] where he grew up surrounded by a large extended family.[4]

Dick Orkin as Chickenman
Dick Orkin as Chickenman

Dick received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Theater from Franklin and Marshall College, a master's degree in Clinical Psychology from the Phillips Graduate Institute, and attended Yale Drama School, studying for a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theater.[4]

Dick began work in advertising in Chicago in 1963. He gained acclaim with his comedy radio commercials for Time Magazine, GMAC, The Gap, and other clients. His radio spots, mini dramas dubbed "The Advertising Theater of the Absurd" by Newsweek, have won a score of national and International awards.[4]

Dick and Christine Coyle co-wrote two animated specials for CBS, "Christmas Every Day" and "The Canterville Ghost". They are the founders of the the famous Radio Ranch in West Hollywood, California.

Here's an image.
Dick Orkin's Awards.

Dick Orkin has been inducted into :

  • the National Radio Hall of Fame[7]
  • the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame[8]
  • the Illinois Broadcasters Hall of Fame[9]
  • the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Hall of Fame[10]
  • the Radio Advertising Bureau Hall of Fame.[11]
Dick Orkin's Grandchildren Celebrate His 80th Birthday
Dick Orkin's Grandchildren Celebrate His 80th Birthday

Dick married Blanche "Bunny" Grosky in 1955 in Manhattan, New York, New York, United States[12] and they had four children, Lisa Ann Orkin, Haris Orkin, Lynne (Orkin) Fisher, and Michael Orkin.[4] After 53 years of marriage, Bunny passed away in eary 2007.[13]

Dick married Diane "Dee Dee" Lantz in 2009, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States.[4]

Dick had a few health issues, as would be expected for someone his age, but none serious,[4] until he suffered a stroke on December 23, 2017, and was hospitalized. Dick died December 24, 2017, in Los Angeles County, California, United States.[14] His memorial service was held on December 28, 2017 at Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California, United States.[15]

Treasured Memory

Dick Orkin and Gaile Connolly - Second Cousins, First Meeting
Dick Orkin and Gaile Connolly - Second Cousins, First Meeting

In October 2016, Dick discovered his grandfather's profile on WikiTree and wrote to Gaile Connolly, who had added it after discovering that her grandmother had lots of siblings who had also immigrated to the United States. Fast and furious exchange of all kinds of family information and stories ensued by email and telephone. It was pure luck that Gaile (in Alabama) already had plans to be 20 miles from Dick's home (in California) to attend her son's wedding six weeks after their first contact. The excitement of that first meeting is not possible to describe. The new-found second cousins continued almost daily email and phone contact, with a second in-person meeting, in 2017. Their third visit, already planned for spring 2018, cannot take place. Their thirteen month relationship was euphoric but way too short.


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Chickenman:
  2. 2.0 2.1 Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy:
  3. 3.0 3.1 Radio Ranch, official website, (accessed February 16, 2017).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 First hand knowledge of Dick Orkin.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Maternal DNA Confirmation:
    • Maternal relationship is confirmed with a gedmatch test match between Dick Orkin (GEDmatch ID A182839) and Brian Bresnick (GEDmatch ID A857797), first cousins once removed. Predicted relationship by gedmatch: 2.4 generations to MRCA based on 518.1 cM DNA shared across 14 segments.
    • Maternal relationship is confirmed with a gedmatch test match between Dick Orkin (GEDmatch ID A182839) and Gaile Connolly (GEDmatch ID T543839), second cousins. Predicted relationship by gedmatch: 3.0 generations to MRCA based on 189.9 cM DNA shared across 8 segments.
    • Maternal relationship is confirmed with a gedmatch test match between Dick Orkin (GEDmatch ID A182839) and Kenny Selcer (GEDmatch ID A636940), second cousins once removed (half). Predicted relationship by GEDmatch: 3.6 generations to MRCA based on 94.4 cM DNA shared across 8 segments.
  6. 6.0 6.1 United States Census, 1940, database with images, FamilySearch (accessed 27 December 2017), Richard Orkin in household of Sidney Orkin, Ward 3, Williamsport, Williamsport City, Lycoming, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 41-69, sheet 5B, line 56, family 190, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 3566.
  7. 7.0 7.1 National Radio Hall of Fame, Dick Orkin, (accessed February 16, 2017).
  8. 8.0 8.1 National Association of Broadcasters, Hall of Fame, (accessed February 16, 2016).
  9. 9.0 9.1 Illinois Broadcasters, Hall of Fame, (accessed February 16, 2017).
  10. 10.0 10.1 Pennsylvania Assiociation of Broadcasters, Hall of Fame, (accessed February 16, 2017).
  11. 11.0 11.1 Radio Advertising Bureau, Hall of Fame, (accessed February 16, 2017).
  12. 12.0 12.1 New York, New York City Marriage Licenses Index, 1950-1995, database, FamilySearch (19 June 2017), Richard Orkin and Blanche Grosky, 1955, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States; from Reclaim the Records, The NYC Marriage Index (http://www.nycmarriageindex.com : 2016); citing New York City Clerk's Office.
  13. 13.0 13.1 United States Social Security Death Index, database, FamilySearch (20 May 2014), Blanche N Orkin, 27 Jul 2007; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  14. 14.0 14.1 Dick Orkin's death was widely reported in news, radio, and television media. Links to the numerous news articles are at Google.com, (accessed December 27, 2017).
  15. 15.0 15.1 First hand knowledge of Dick's cousin, Gaile Connolly

See also:

  • Wikipedia, article on Dick Orkin, (accessed February 16, 2017).
  • IMDB, Dick Orkin, (accessed February 16, 2017).

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Dick Orkin's DNA has been tested for genealogical purposes. It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with Dick or other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Dick:

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Images: 1
Dick Orkin Thumbnail
Dick Orkin Thumbnail


On 31 Dec 2017 at 07:54 GMT Lori Jo (Everts) DeWitt wrote:

As a fellow wikitreer I would like to extend my condolences to family and friends.

Gail that was a beautiful tribute for an amazing man!

Rest in Peace Mr. Orkin.

On 29 Dec 2017 at 06:58 GMT Dorothy Barry wrote:

Dick gave a lot of himself to his family and community. And the awards, WOW!! He will certainly be missed by many, especially his loved ones. May they be comforted in having so many memories of his life and his animated specials, along with other achievements.

Thank you Gail for updating and maintaining his profile. You have a lot to be proud of. May Mr. Dick Orkin rest in peace!!

On 28 Dec 2017 at 20:59 GMT Vincent Piazza wrote:

Dick brought joy to many people. He made our world a better place!

On 21 Feb 2017 at 01:57 GMT Cynthia (Edgemon) Rushing wrote:

Great profile!

On 19 Feb 2017 at 16:39 GMT Karen (Lowe) Tobo wrote:

Dick, I was able to add some newspaper records for the Minnesota descendants of Aaron Jaffe, but I don't have anything new about Aaron himself. The family seems to be from Kovno.

Paula Hurwitz is a distant relation, but she's moving house right now. Maybe try K Bloom? I was only working on the family as a volunteer, and don't have any Eastern European or Jewish ancestry of my own.

I hope we'll get to work together some more as you get settled in with your cousins here on WikiTree!

Karen in Colorado, originally from northwest Indiana in Chicago radioland

On 18 Feb 2017 at 15:56 GMT Colleen (Selbrede) Eary wrote:

Welcome to WikiTree!

On 18 Feb 2017 at 04:22 GMT Dorothy (Cook) Coakley wrote:

Welcome, Dick, to the friendliest genealogical site, if you need anything just scream- or rather, cluck! We'll come running. Even across the road, if necessary!

On 3 Nov 2016 at 22:22 GMT Gaile (Gordon) Connolly wrote:

Welcome, Cousin Dick! I just got your message, so I looked up your profile here. You need to connect yourself to your parents now that you're here and you'll instantly discover that you are connected to all the rest of the family that I have entered here.

If you want to add me to your trusted list, I can do that for you, as well as start off your bio with the information from the Wikipedia article and your website. That will make it easier for you to change and add to than if you have to start with nothing there. I am sending you an email message with instructions how to do this and also, how to connect to your parents if you'd rather do it yourself.

I'm so glad that I'll have a family member to work with - together, we're going to really make big inroads!

On 2 Nov 2016 at 08:13 GMT Ludwig Kraayenbrink wrote:

Hi Richard,

A warm welcome to the WikiTree family! The initial email from us has helpful links that will get you started on WikiTree, which is not like any genealogy site you’ve ever used and it is FREE. WikiTree is different because our goal is to have one profile per person, and that means we all work together as a BIG collaborative team!

What brings you to WikiTree? Do you have research you’d like to share? Are you interested in how your family fits into the big tree? When you confirm your email address, you’ll have an opportunity to volunteer and tell us about your genealogical interests.

Once you volunteer, one of our Greeters will be happy to confirm your membership, and you’ll be on your way!

We’re really glad you’re here. More importantly, have fun growing your family tree and connecting to persons with the same interest.

Ludwig :)

Dick is 32 degrees from Amy Gilpin, 28 degrees from Joshua Slocum and 32 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.