Jack Klugman (April 27, 1922 – December 24, 2012) was an American stage, film, and television actor.
He began his career in 1950, and started television and film work with roles in 12 Angry Men (1957) and Cry Terror! (1958). During the 1960s, he guest-starred on numerous television series. Klugman won his first Primetime Emmy Award for his guest-starring role on The Defenders, in 1964. He also made a total of four appearances on The Twilight Zone from 1960-63. In 1970, Klugman reprised his Broadway role of Oscar Madison in the television adaptation of The Odd Couple, opposite Tony Randall. The series aired from 1970 to 1975. Klugman won his second and third Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for his work on the series. From 1976-83, he starred in the title role in Quincy, M.E. for which he earned four Primetime Emmy Award nominations. In 1985, he appeared in an episode of The Love Boat entitled "Scandinavian Cruise" parts one and two.
Klugman was born in Philadelphia, the son of Rose, a hat maker, and Max Klugman, a house painter. His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants. Klugman served in the United States Army during World War II. He attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, graduating in 1948. While there, his drama teacher told him, "Young man, you are not suited to be an actor. You are suited to be a truck driver." After the war, he pursued acting roles while living in New York City with fellow actor Charles Bronson.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Klugman was active in numerous stage, television, and film productions. In 1950, he had a small role in the Mr. Roberts road company at the Colonial Theatre in Boston. Later that same year, he made his television debut in an episode of Actors Studio. In March 1952, Klugman made his Broadway debut in Golden Boy, as Frank Bonaparte.
In 1954, he played Jim Hanson on the soap opera, The Greatest Gift. The following year, he appeared in the live television broadcast of Producers' Showcase, in the episode "The Petrified Forest" with Humphrey Bogart and Henry Fonda. Klugman later said the experience was the greatest thrill of his career. Klugman went on to star in several classic films, including 12 Angry Men (1957), as juror number five. Of the 12 actors to play a juror in the film, Klugman was the last survivor. In 1959, he returned to Broadway in the original production of Gypsy: A Musical Fable. In 1960, he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor (Musical) for his role in the show, but lost to Tom Bosley in Fiorello!. He remained with Gypsy until it closed in March 1961.
From 1960 to 1963, Klugman appeared in four episodes of The Twilight Zone series: "A Passage for Trumpet" (1960), "A Game of Pool" (1961), "Death Ship" (1963), and "In Praise of Pip" (1963). Klugman tied with Burgess Meredith for the most appearances in a starring role on the series. In 1964, Klugman won his first Primetime Emmy Award for his guest starring role on The Defenders. That same year, Klugman landed the starring role in the sitcom Harris Against the World. The series was a part of an experimental block of sitcoms that aired on NBC entitled 90 Bristol Court. Harris Against the World, along with the other sitcoms that aired in the block, were canceled due to low ratings the following year.
Klugman continued the decade with multiple guest roles on television including The F.B.I., Ben Casey, The Name of the Game, and Insight. He also appeared on Broadway in Tchin-Tchin, from October 1962 to May 1963. From 1960 to 1963, Klugman appeared in two episodes of The Untouchables series: "Loophole" (1961), and "An Eye for an Eye" (1963).
In 1965, Klugman replaced Walter Matthau in the lead role of Oscar Madison in the original Broadway production of The Odd Couple. He reprised the role when the play was adapted as a television series which premiered on ABC in 1970. Over the course of the show's five-year, 114-episode run, Klugman won two Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on the series. The series ended in 1975. In 1973, during the run of the show, Klugman and Odd Couple co-star Randall recorded an album titled The Odd Couple Sings for London Records. Roland Shaw and The London Festival Orchestra and Chorus provided the music and additional vocals.
Following the end of The Odd Couple, Klugman returned to television in 1976 in Quincy, M.E. on NBC. Klugman portrayed Dr. Quincy, a forensic pathologist who worked for the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office and solved crimes. He was nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on the series and also wrote four episodes. Quincy aired for a total of 148 episodes over seven seasons, ending in 1983. In 1986, Klugman starred in the sitcom You Again?, co-starring John Stamos as Klugman's character's son. The series aired on NBC for two seasons before being canceled. During the show's run, Klugman also appeared on Broadway in I'm Not Rappaport. The show closed in 1988. The following year, he co-starred in the television miniseries Around the World in 80 Days.
In 1989, Klugman's throat cancer (with which he was first diagnosed in 1974) returned. His illness sidelined his career for the next four years. He returned to acting in a 1993 Broadway revival of Three Men on a Horse. That same year, he reunited with Tony Randall in the television film The Odd Couple: Together Again. The next year, Klugman co-starred in the television film Parallel Lives.
In 1996, he co-starred in The Twilight of the Golds and the comedy film Dear God. He resumed his television career with guest spots on Diagnosis: Murder. He also starred in The Outer Limits episode "Glitch," and appeared in an episode of the TV series Crossing Jordan. In 1997, Klugman starred in the Broadway, then in 2007, Off-Broadway revival of The Sunshine Boys.
In 2005, Klugman co-starred in the comedy film When Do We Eat?. That same year, he published Tony and Me: A Story of Friendship, a book about his long friendship with his The Odd Couple co-star Tony Randall. Klugman gave the eulogy at Randall's memorial service in 2004. Klugman, who liked the same New York Mets whose cap he wore as Oscar Madison, started an MLB.com PRO Blog called Klugman's Korner to talk about baseball and Randall.
In 2008, he sued NBC Television concerning missing profits from his show Quincy M.E. The lawsuit was filed in California Superior Court, with Klugman requesting NBC to show him the original contract. Klugman stated that his production company, Sweater Productions, should have received 25% of the show's net profits. NBC Universal and Klugman settled the lawsuit on undisclosed terms in August 2010.
His last on-screen role was in the 2010 horror film Camera Obscura. His final acting job was in a stage production of Twelve Angry Men at the George Street Playhouse, which opened on March 13, 2012.
In 1988, he lost a vocal cord to throat cancer surgery, but continued to act on stage and television, though he was left with a quiet, raspy voice. In later years subsequent to his operation, he regained limited strength in his voice.
Klugman married actress Brett Somers in 1953. The couple had two children, Adam (who had a cameo as Oscar Madison as a child in a flashback on The Odd Couple) and David, before separating in 1974. It was long reported that Somers and Klugman separated in 1974 but remained legally married until her death. However, California records indicate the couple divorced in August 1977. Somers died at age 83 from cancer in 2007.
Klugman died at the age of 90 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, from prostate cancer on December 24, 2012. The New York Times referred to him and actor Charles Durning, who died the same day, as "extraordinary actors ennobling the ordinary." The Huffington Post compared the two men, calling them "character actor titans".
|March 12 – April 6, 1952||Golden Boy||Frank Bonaparte|
|November 14–17, 1956||A Very Special Baby||Carmen|
|May 21, 1959 – March 25, 1961||Gypsy: A Musical Fable||Herbie|
|Apr 22, 1963 – May 18, 1963||Tchin-Tchin||Caesario Grimaldi (Replacement)|
|November 8, 1965 – July 2, 1967||The Odd Couple||Oscar Madison (Replacement)|
|December 18, 1968 – December 21, 1968||The Sudden & Accidental Re-Education of Horse Johnson||Horse Johnson|
|November 19, 1985 – January 17, 1988||I'm Not Rappaport||Nat (Replacement)|
|April 13 – May 16, 1993||Three Men on a Horse||Patsy|
|December 8, 1997 – June 28, 1998||The Sunshine Boys||Willie Clark|
|1952||Grubstake||Alternative title: Apache Gold|
|1956||Time Table||Frankie Page|
|1957||12 Angry Men||Juror #5|
|1958||Cry Terror!||Vince, a thug|
|1962||Days of Wine and Roses||Jim Hungerford|
|1963||I Could Go On Singing||George|
|1963||The Yellow Canary||Lt. Bonner|
|1963||Act One||Joe Hyman|
|1965||Hail, Mafia||Phil||Alternative title: Je vous salue, mafia!|
|1968||The Detective||Dave Schoenstein|
|1968||The Split||Harry Kifka|
|1969||Goodbye, Columbus||Ben Patimkin|
|1971||Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow!||Barney|
|1996||The Twilight of the Golds||Mr. Stein|
|2005||When Do We Eat?||Artur|
|2010||Camera Obscura||Sam||(final film role)|
|1950||Suspense||Louie||Episode: "Murder at the Mardi Gras"|
|1953||Colonel Humphrey Flack||2 episodes|
|1954||Rocky King, Inside Detective||Episode: "Return for Death"|
|1954||Inner Sanctum||Various roles||3 episodes|
|1955||Producers' Showcase||Jackie||Episode: "The Petrified Forest"|
|1955||Treasury Men in Action||Episode: "The Case of the Betrayed Artist"|
|1955–1956||Goodyear Television Playhouse||2 episodes|
|1955–1956||Armstrong Circle Theatre||2 episodes|
|1957||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||George Benedict||Episode: "Mail Order Prophet"|
|1958||Gunsmoke||Earl Ticks||Episode: "Buffalo Man"|
|1958||General Electric Theater||Murphy||Episode: "The Young and Scared"|
|1957||General Electric Theater||Peter Tong||Episode: "A New Girl In His Life"|
|1959||The Walter Winchell File||Allie Sunshine||Episode: "Death Comes in a Small Package: File #37"|
|1960–1963||The Twilight Zone||4 episodes|
|1961||The Twilight Zone||Jesse Carter||Episode: "The Game of Pool #70"|
|1961||Follow the Sun||Steve Bixel||Episode: "Busman's Holiday"|
|1961||Target: The Corruptors!||Otto Dutch Kleberg, Greg Paulson||1x02 Pier 60, 1x18 Chase the Dragon|
|1961||Straightaway||Buddy Conway||Episode: "Die Laughing"|
|1962||The New Breed||Floyd Blaylock||Episode: "All the Dead Faces"|
|1962||Cain's Hundred||Mike Colonni||Episode: "Women of Silure"|
|1962||Naked City||Peter Kannick||Episode: "King Stanislaus and the Knights of the Round Stable"|
|1963||The Untouchables||Solly Girsch||Episode: "An Eye for An Eye"|
|1963||Naked City||Arthur Crews||Episode: "Stop the Parade! A Baby Is Crying!"|
|1963||The Twilight Zone||Captain Ross||Episode: "Death Ship #108"|
|1963||Arrest and Trial||Celina||Episode: "The Quality of Justice"|
|1963||The Fugitive||Buck Harmon||Episode: "Terror at High Point," Season 1, Episode 13|
|1964||The Virginian||Charles Mayhew||Episode: "Roar from the Mountain"|
|1964||The Defenders||Joe Larch||Episode: "Blacklist"|
|1964||The Great Adventure||John Brown||Episode: "The Night Raiders"|
|1964–1965||Harris Against the World||Alan Harris||13 episodes|
|1965||Kraft Suspense Theatre||Ozzie Keefer||Episode: "Won't It Ever Be Morning? "|
|1965||Ben Casey||Dr. Bill Justin||Episode: "A Slave Is on the Throne"|
|1965||The Fugitive||Gus Hendricks||Episode: "Everybody Gets Hit in the Mouth Sometimes," Season 2, Episode 24|
|1966||Fame Is the Name of the Game||Ben Welcome||Television film|
|1967||Garrison's Gorillas||Gus Manners||Episode: "Banker's Hours"|
|1969||Then Came Bronson||Dr. Charles Hanrahan||Episode: "The Runner"|
|1970||The Bold Ones: The New Doctors||Leland Rogers||Episode: "The Diamond Millstone"|
|1970||The Name of the Game||Captain Garrig||Episode: "The Time Is Now"|
|1970–1975||The Odd Couple||Oscar Madison||114 episodes|
|1972||Banyon||Episode: "The Lady Killers"|
|1973||Poor Devil||Burnett J. Emerson||Television film|
|1974||The Underground Man||Sheriff Tremaine||Television film|
|1976||One of My Wives Is Missing||Inspector Murray Levine||Television film|
|1976–1983||Quincy, M.E.||Dr. R. Quincy, M.E.||147 episodes|
|1979||Insight||Packy Rowe||Episode: "Rebirth of Packy Rowe"|
|1986–1987||You Again?||Henry Willows||26 episodes|
|1989||Around the World in 80 Days||Capt. Bunsby||Miniseries|
|1993||The Odd Couple: Together Again||Oscar Madison||Television film|
|1994||Parallel Lives||Senator Robert Ferguson||Television film|
|1995||Shining Time Station: Second Chances||Max Okowsky||Television film|
|1997||Diagnosis: Murder||Dr. Jeff Everden||Episode: "Physician, Murder Thyself"|
|1999||Diagnosis: Murder||Lt. Harry Trumble||Episode: "Voices Carry"|
|1999||Brother's Keeper||Jack||Episode: "An Odd Couple of Days"|
|2000||The Outer Limits||Joe Walker||Episode: "Glitch"|
|2000||Third Watch||Stan Brandolini||Episode: "Run of the Mill"|
|2002||Crossing Jordan||Dr. Leo Gelber||Episode: "Someone to Count On"|
|Year||Award||Category||Title of work|
|1974||Golden Globe Award||Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy||The Odd Couple|
|1964||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role||The Defenders
(For episode: "Blacklist")
|1971||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series||The Odd Couple|
|1973||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series||The Odd Couple|
|2004||TV Land Award||Quintessential Non-Traditional Family||The Odd Couple
(Shared with Tony Randall)
Jack Klugman, the rubber-mugged character actor who leapt to television stardom in the 1970s as the slovenly sportswriter Oscar Madison on “The Odd Couple” and as the crusading forensic pathologist of “Quincy, M.E.”, died on Monday at his home in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles. He was 90. ... Mr. Klugman’s path to success was serendipitous. He was born in Philadelphia on April 27, 1922, the youngest of six children of immigrants from Russia. Most sources indicate that his name at birth was Jacob, though Mr. Klugman said in an interview that the name on his birth certificate is Jack.
Jack Klugman, the rubber-mugged character actor who leapt to television stardom in the 1970s as the slovenly sportswriter Oscar Madison on “The Odd Couple” and as the crusading forensic pathologist of “Quincy, M.E.,” died on Monday at his home in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles. He was 90. ... Mr. Klugman’s path to success was serendipitous. He was born in Philadelphia on April 27, 1922, the youngest of six children of immigrants from Russia. Most sources indicate that his name at birth was Jacob, though Mr. Klugman said in an interview that the name on his birth certificate is Jack.
... 1965 play The Odd Couple and the subsequent 1967 movie, starring Walter Matthau as the sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison. ... In the television series, Oscar was played by Jack Klugman (who had taken over the role from Matthau on Broadway)...
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