Jacob Joachim "Jack" Klugman
(born April 27, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
) is an American television and film actor, known primarily for his roles in sitcoms
. He is best-known for his role as Tony Randall
's sloppy roommate, Oscar Madison
, in The Odd Couple
in the 1970s, and for his starring role in Quincy, M.E.
, in the 1970s and 1980s. He attended Carnegie Mellon University
and graduated in 1948. In 1957 he appeared in Twelve Angry Men
as juror number 5 and is the last surviving "juror" from that movie.
Born as Jacob Joachim Klugman
, Jack Klugman began acting after serving in the United States Army
during World War II
. A struggling actor in New York City
, Klugman was a roommate of another starving actor, Charles Bronson
, before either became successful.
Klugman starred in several classic films including 12 Angry Men
(which he says is his favorite), Goodbye, Columbus
, and Days of Wine and Roses
. He also won an Emmy Award
for his work on the television series The Defenders
and appeared in four episodes of the acclaimed series The Twilight Zone
(tied with Burgess Meredith
for the most starring appearances by any actor on the series). Klugman says his greatest thrill was appearing with Humphrey Bogart
and Henry Fonda
in a 1954 live television broadcast of The Petrified Forest
He is best known for his starring roles in two popular television series of the 1970s and early 1980s: The Odd Couple (1970–1975) and Quincy, M.E. (1976–1983). Jack also starred in the original Broadway production of The Odd Couple, before being replaced by Walter Matthau due to other commitments. He won two Emmy Awards for the T.V. version of The Odd Couple.
Klugman won a Tony award in 1960 for Best Supporting Actor (Musical) for his role in Gypsy. During the pre-Broadway tryout tour in 1959, several songs were cut, including a song for the character 'Herbie' (played by Klugman) called "Nice, She Ain't" cut because Klugman had a terrible singing voice.
Quiz show appearances
In 1993, Klugman appeared on a special 'celebrity versus regulars' version of the UK quiz show Going for Gold
. The special episode was mostly made up of actors and actresses that appeared in programmes that were on around the same time slot as Going for Gold
competing against past series winners. Klugman was invited to participate as the show Quincy, M.E.
, in which he starred, was often on afterwards. Klugman won this special airing and then actually went on to win the entire 1993 series.
Klugman also filled in for his ex-wife, Brett Somers, on the quiz show Match Game.
In 2005, Klugman published Tony And Me: A Story of Friendship
, a book about his long friendship with his Odd Couple
co-star Tony Randall
Klugman is the father of two children: Adam and David, both from his marriage to Match Game
regular Brett Somers
. Klugman and Somers were married in 1953 and remained married until her death in 2007 at the age of 83. They had been legally separated since 1974, but never divorced. They only lived together as husband and wife for 21 years of their 54 year marriage. Klugman later joked that he never divorced Somers so that he would not make the mistake of marrying again. It was Klugman, who appeared on the first week of Match Game
in 1973, who asked the show's production company, as a stipulation to his appearance, that they give Somers a guest slot on the panel. She fit in so well with the panelists (particularly Charles Nelson Reilly
), that she stayed with the show for its entire nine-year run (ending in 1982). Klugman continued to appear on other episodes of Match Game
until he and Somers separated, although he would make guest appearances infrequently. Klugman has lived with Peggy Crosby (the ex-wife of Bing Crosby
's son, Phillip Crosby
) since 1988; however, it was not until February 2008, after Somers's death, that Klugman and Crosby finally married.
In 1989 Klugman lost a vocal cord
, but he continued to act on stage and on television. He survived the cancer, though the lost vocal cord has left Klugman with a raspy, scratchy voice. During the 1990s his television credits included a guest starring role in Diagnosis Murder
. His cancer was written into his character, where Klugman played a detective who had terminal cancer and had to solve an outstanding case before he died. He also appeared in a second episode, where he was the murderer. He would also have his cancer written into the story line of The Odd Couple: Together Again
a reunion TV movie he would do with Tony Randall. The movie opened with Oscar in the hospital after the surgery and Felix finding out Oscar didn't tell him about it to keep him from driving him nuts during the recovery.
Thoroughbred horse racing
Klugman's character on the Odd Couple
television show was a fan of thoroughbred horse racing. In real life, Klugman is a horse racing fan as well. One of his horses, Jaklin Klugman
, was voted the 1980 California Horse of the Year after winning several races, including the 1980 California Derby
and Jerome Handicap
, and finishing third in the Kentucky Derby