Jack Klugman, ‘The Odd Couple’ and ‘Quincy’ star, dead at 90

Actor Jack Klugman passed away at the age of 90
Actor Jack Klugman passed away at the age of 90

Actor Jack Klugman has passed away at the age of 90 in Los Angeles.

Best known for his roles on television in the shows Quincy, M.E. where he played a coroner in L.A., and on The Odd Couple as Oscar Madison, sportswriter and slob, he was the last surviving member of jury from the 1957 film 12 Angry Men.

Although he was primarily a television actor, Klugman appeared in 18 feature films, including the aforementioned 1957 masterpiece, as well as Goodbye Columbus, Two Minute Warning, and Days of Wine and Roses.  He won a Golden Globe and two Emmy awards for Best Actor in a TV Comedy for The Odd Couple and was nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award as Best Supporting Actor for his work in Goodbye Columbus.

When he filmed Days of Wine and Roses he worked with the late Jack Lemmon.  Lemmon starred as one half of the feature film version of The Odd Couple.  Interestingly, Lemmon starred in the 1997 remake of 12 Angry Men as “Juror #8”.  Klugman had been “Juror #5” in the original.

The TV series version of The Odd Couple ran for five seasons and ended in 1975.  A little over one year later, Klugman was back in a successful TV show, starring as “Dr. R. Quincy”, assistant L.A. County coroner on Quincy, M.E.  That show ran for eight seasons.  Klugman also made guest appearances on The FBI, Then Came Bronson, The Name of the Game, and many others.  He also appeared on a number of TV game shoes and one episode of Celebrity Bowling.

Rumors circulated for years around Hollywood that Klugman and the late Norman Fell were involved in a major feud, but years later they confessed they were friends.  Klugman went to Fell’s funeral and afterwards was quoted as having said “Best funeral I’ve ever been to. I’ve never laughed so hard in years. I had the time of my life.”  About his role as a slob on television, Klugman said, “People think I’m like Oscar. When they find out I’m not, they seem disappointed.”

Klugman was married twice, once to actress Brett Somers and the second time to actress Peggy Crosby.  Although he and Somers separated in 1974, they did not divorce until 2007.  They only divorced then so that Klugman could marry Crosby.  He is survived by Ms Crosby and two children.

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