Jack Klugman

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Jack Klugman
Klugman in November 2009
BornJack Klugman[1]
(1922-04-27)April 27, 1922
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedDecember 24, 2012(2012-12-24) (aged 90)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S
Cause of death
Prostate Cancer
Resting place
Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery
Alma materCarnegie Mellon University
Years active1950–2012
Spouse(s)Brett Somers (m. 1953–2007)(her death)
Peggy Crosby (m. 2008–12)
ChildrenAdam Klugman
David Klugman
AwardsEmmy Award (1964, 1971, 1973)[1][2]
Golden Globe Award (1974)[3]
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Jack Klugman
Klugman in November 2009
BornJack Klugman[1]
(1922-04-27)April 27, 1922
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedDecember 24, 2012(2012-12-24) (aged 90)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S
Cause of death
Prostate Cancer
Resting place
Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery
Alma materCarnegie Mellon University
Years active1950–2012
Spouse(s)Brett Somers (m. 1953–2007)(her death)
Peggy Crosby (m. 2008–12)
ChildrenAdam Klugman
David Klugman
AwardsEmmy Award (1964, 1971, 1973)[1][2]
Golden Globe Award (1974)[3]

Jack Klugman (April 27, 1922 – December 24, 2012) was an American stage, film and television actor.

Klugman began his career in 1950. He later moved on to 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 to 1963.

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 to 1983, he starred in the title role in Quincy, M.E. for which he earned four Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

A longtime smoker, Klugman was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1974. The cancer returned in 1989. During the course of treatment, Klugman lost a vocal cord which left him with a raspy voice.

Klugman married actress Brett Somers in 1953. The couple had two children before separating in 1974. They never divorced and were still married when Somers died in 2007. He married Peggy Crosby, with whom he had lived since 1988, the following year.

Early life[edit]

Klugman was born in Philadelphia, the son of Rose, a hat maker, and Max Klugman, a house painter.[4] His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants, though the family name is German in origin.[5] He attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University, from which he graduated in 1948.[citation needed] 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".[6]

Klugman served in the United States Army during World War II.[7] After the war, he pursued acting roles while living in New York City with fellow actor Charles Bronson.[7]


1950s and 1960s[edit]

Klugman in a publicity photo for The Twilight Zone, September 1963

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.[8] 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 #5. 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!.[9] He remained with Gypsy until it closed in March 1961.

From 1960 to 1963, Klugman appeared in four episodes of the 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.

The Odd Couple[edit]

Klugman (right) with Tony Randall in the publicity photo of The Odd Couple, 1972

In 1965, Klugman replaced Walter Matthau in the lead role of Oscar Madison in the original Broadway production of The Odd Couple.[10] 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 Tony 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.[11]

1970s and 1980s[edit]

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.

1990s to 2010s[edit]

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.[12] 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 1993 he appeared on a special "celebrity versus regulars" version of the British quiz show Going for Gold, emerging as the series winner.[13]

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 revival of The Sunshine Boys, his last stage production.

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.[14][15] Klugman gave the eulogy at Randall's memorial service in 2004.[14] 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 baseball and Randall.

Klugman in August 2005

In 2008, he sued NBC Television concerning missing profits from his show Quincy M.E.[16] The lawsuit was filed in California Superior Court, with Klugman requesting NBC to show him the original contract.[16] Klugman stated that his production company, Sweater Productions, should have received 25 percent of the show's net profits. NBC Universal and Klugman settled the lawsuit on undisclosed terms in August 2010.[16] His last on-screen role was in the 2010 horror film Camera Obscura.

Personal life[edit]

Marriages and children[edit]

Klugman was the father of two children: Adam Klugman (who had a cameo as Oscar Madison as a child in a flashback on The Odd Couple) and David, both from his marriage to Brett Somers. Klugman and Somers were married in 1953 and were legally separated in 1974, although they never divorced. They remained married until her death from cancer in 2007 at age 83.[17]

Klugman began living with Peggy Crosby,[18] ex-wife of Phillip Crosby, in 1988. They married in February 2008, shortly after Brett Somers' death.[19][20]

Health issues[edit]

Klugman was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1974. In 1989, he lost a vocal cord to cancer, but continued to act on stage and television, though he was left with a quiet, raspy voice.[21] In later years subsequent to his operation, he regained limited strength in his voice.


Klugman was an avid thoroughbred racing fan. He owned Jaklin Klugman, who finished third in the 1980 Kentucky Derby behind the great filly Genuine Risk and Grade 1 stakes winner Akinemod. Klugman said Jaklin Klugman's success was the biggest thrill in his life.[22]


Klugman died at the age of 90 in Woodland Hills, 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".[23] The Huffington Post compared the two men, calling them "character actor titans".[24]

Broadway credits[edit]

March 12 – April 6, 1952Golden BoyFrank Bonaparte
November 14–17, 1956A Very Special BabyCarmen
May 21, 1959 – March 25, 1961Gypsy: A Musical FableHerbie
Apr 22, 1963 – May 18, 1963Tchin-TchinCaesario Grimaldi (Replacement)
November 8, 1965 – July 2, 1967The Odd CoupleOscar Madison (Replacement)
December 18, 1968 – December 21, 1968The Sudden & Accidental Re-Education of Horse JohnsonHorse Johnson
November 19, 1985 – January 17, 1988I'm Not RappaportNat (Replacement)
April 13 – May 16, 1993Three Men on a HorsePatsy
December 8, 1997 – June 28, 1998The Sunshine BoysWillie Clark

TV Appearances, Naked City. Episode: "King Stanislaus and the Knights of the Round Stable"

Selected filmography[edit]

1952GrubstakeAlternative title: Apache Gold
1956Time TableFrankie Page
195712 Angry MenJuror #5
1958Cry Terror!Vince, a thug
1962Days of Wine and RosesJim Hungerford
1963I Could Go On SingingGeorge
1963The Yellow CanaryLt. Bonner
1963Act OneJoe Hyman
1965Hail, MafiaPhilAlternative title: Je vous salue, mafia!
1968The DetectiveDave Schoenstein
1968The SplitHarry Kifka
1969Goodbye, ColumbusBen Patimkin
1971Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow!Barney
1976Two-Minute WarningSandman
1996The Twilight of the GoldsMr. Stein
1996Dear GodJemi
2005When Do We Eat?Artur
2010Camera ObscuraSam
1950SuspenseLouieEpisode: "Murder at the Mardi Gras"
1953Colonel Humphrey Flack2 episodes
1954Rocky King, Inside DetectiveEpisode: "Return for Death"
1954Inner SanctumVarious roles3 episodes
1954–1956Justice3 episodes
1955Producers' ShowcaseJackieEpisode: "The Petrified Forest"
1955Treasury Men in ActionEpisode: "The Case of the Betrayed Artist"
1955–1956Goodyear Television Playhouse2 episodes
1955–1956Armstrong Circle Theatre2 episodes
1957Alfred Hitchcock PresentsGeorge BenedictEpisode: "Mail Order Prophet"
1958GunsmokeEarl TicksEpisode: "Buffalo Man"
1958General Electric TheaterMurphyEpisode: "The Young and Scared"
1957General Electric TheaterPeter TongEpisode: "A New Girl In His Life"
1959The Walter Winchell FileAllie SunshineEpisode: "Death Comes in a Small Package: File #37"
1960–1963The Twilight Zone4 episodes
1961Follow the SunSteve BixelEpisode: "Busman's Holiday"
1961StraightawayBuddy ConwayEpisode: "Die Laughing"
1962The New BreedFloyd BlaylockEpisode: "All the Dead Faces"
1962Cain's HundredMike ColonniEpisode: "Women of Silure"
1963The UntouchablesSolly GirschEpisode: "An Eye for An Eye"
1963Naked CityArthur CrewsEpisode: "Stop the Parade! A Baby Is Crying!"
1963Arrest and TrialCelinaEpisode: "The Quality of Justice"
1964The VirginianCharles MayhewEpisode: "Roar from the Mountain"
1964The DefendersJoe LarchEpisode: "Blacklist"
1964The Great AdventureJohn BrownEpisode: "The Night Raiders"
1964–1965Harris Against the WorldAlan Harris13 episodes
1965Kraft Suspense TheatreOzzie KeeferEpisode: "Won't It Ever Be Morning? "
1965Ben CaseyDr. Bill JustinEpisode: "A Slave Is on the Throne"
1965I Dream of JeannieHelicopter RescuerEpisode: "The Lady In the Bottle"
1966Fame Is the Name of the GameBen WelcomeTelevision film
1967Garrison's GorillasGus MannersEpisode: "Banker's Hours"
1969Then Came BronsonDr. Charles HanrahanEpisode: "The Runner"
1970The Bold Ones: The New DoctorsLeland RogersEpisode: "The Diamond Millstone"
1970The Name of the GameCaptain GarrigEpisode: "The Time Is Now"
1970–1975The Odd CoupleOscar Madison114 episodes
1972BanyonEpisode: "The Lady Killers"
1973Poor DevilBurnett J. EmersonTelevision film
1974The Underground ManSheriff TremaineTelevision film
1976One of My Wives Is MissingInspector Murray LevineTelevision film
1976–1983Quincy, M.E.Dr. R. Quincy, M.E.147 episodes
1979InsightPacky RoweEpisode: "Rebirth of Packy Rowe"
1986–1987You Again?Henry Willows26 episodes
1989Around the World in 80 DaysCapt. BunsbyMiniseries
1993The Odd Couple: Together AgainOscar MadisonTelevision film
1994Shining Time Station: Second ChancesMax OkowskyTelevision film
1994Parallel LivesSenator Robert FergusonTelevision film
1997Diagnosis: MurderDr. Jeff EverdenEpisode: "Physician, Murder Thyself"
1999Diagnosis: MurderLt. Harry TrumbleEpisode: "Voices Carry"
1999Brother's KeeperJackEpisode: "An Odd Couple of Days"
2000The Outer LimitsJoe WalkerEpisode: "Glitch"
2000Third WatchStan BrandoliniEpisode: "Run of the Mill"
2002Crossing JordanDr. Leo GelberEpisode: "Someone to Count On"


YearAwardCategoryTitle of work
1974Golden Globe AwardBest Actor – Television Series Musical or ComedyThe Odd Couple
1964Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading RoleThe Defenders
(For episode: "Blacklist")
1971Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy SeriesThe Odd Couple
1973Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy SeriesThe Odd Couple
2004TV Land AwardQuintessential Non-Traditional FamilyThe Odd Couple
(Shared with Tony Randall)


  1. ^ "Primetime Emmy Award Database". Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ McLellan, Dennis (December 24, 2012). "Jack Klugman dies at 90; star of TV's 'The Odd Couple,' 'Quincy'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  3. ^ "Awards Search". HFPA. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Jack Klugman Biography (1922?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Klugman
  6. ^ TV Guide. January 7-13, 2013 pg. 8. 
  7. ^ a b "Jack Klugman dies at 90". Associated Press. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ TV Guide Guide to TV. Barnes and Noble. 2004. p. 264. ISBN 0-7607-5634-1. 
  9. ^ The Tony Award Book by Lee Allen Morrow, Abbeville Press, 1987
  10. ^ "The Odd Couple by Neil Simon (St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture Summary)". Retrieved February 20, 2009. "... 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)..." 
  11. ^ Ankeny, Jason. The Odd Couple Sings at AllMusic. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  12. ^ "Vereran actor Jack Klugman dies in Los Angeles". USA Today. December 24, 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Daily Telegraph Obituary". The Daily Telegraph (London). December 25, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Friedman, Roger (May 31, 2004). "Klugman, Family and Friends Say Goodbye to Tony Randall". Fox News Channel. Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  15. ^ Jack Klugman (May 31, 2004). "Eulogy: Tony Randall". Time 163 (22): 24. 
  16. ^ a b c Belloni, Matt (August 9, 2010). "Klugman, NBC Universal settle 'Quincy' profits lawsuit". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  17. ^ "'Match Game's' Brett Somers dies at 83". CNN. Archived from the original on September 18, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2008. 
  18. ^ December 25, 2012. "Peggy J. Crosby - Klugman is Odd Couple Actor Jack Klugman's Wife (Video, Bio, Wiki)". Showbizdaily. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Jack Klugman Marries at 85". Hollywood.com. February 7, 2008. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Jack Klugman Is a Newlywed". TV Guide. Retrieved December 18, 2008. 
  21. ^ Gliatto, Tom (May 31, 2004). "A Neat Guy". People 61 (21). Retrieved December 5, 2010. 
  22. ^ Legged, William (March 24, 1980). "The Odd Couple: A Hot Tip". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  23. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (December 26, 2012). "AN APPRAISAL; Remembering Jack Klugman and Charles Durning". The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Charles Durning, Jack Klugman Deaths Bring New Appreciation For Character Actor Titans". The Huffington Post. December 25, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 

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