Jack Klugman Dead at 90; Starred on TV's The Odd Couple and Quincy, M.E.

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Jack Klugman Dead at 90Veteran actor Jack Klugman died suddenly on Monday of causes that were not immediately evident. He was 90.

“He had a great life and he enjoyed every moment of it and he would encourage others to do the same,” his son Adam told The Associated Press. Klugman died in Los Angeles with his wife of almost four years, Peggy, at his side.

Born in Philadelphia, Klugman’s TV acting career got underway in 1954, with roles on the NBC legal drama Justice and the soap opera The Greatest Gift. The following year, in the anthology series Appointment with Adventure, Klugman met Tony Randall, with whom he would later costar on TV’s The Odd Couple.

The Odd Couple, which ran from 1970 to 1975, was an adaptation of Neil Simon’s Broadway play (where Klugman had previously replaced Walter Matthau as slobby sportswriter Oscar Madison). Klugman would go on to win two Emmy Awards for his work, while Randall netted one for his role as finicky Felix Unger.

Klugman went on to star as the titular opinionated medical examiner in Quincy, M.E., which ran from 1976 to 1983.

His TV resume also included The Defenders, The Fugitive and several appearances on The Twilight Zone; one of his last roles was an April 2002 episode of Crossing Jordan. Klugman’s film credits include 12 Angry Men and Days of Wine and Roses, while on stage he earned a Tony nomination in 1960 for his role in Gypsy.

Klugman was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1974, and lost a vocal cord to the disease in 1989.

He is survived by his wife Peggy and two sons (via his first wife and Odd Couple spouse Brett Somers).

Here now, one of my favorite Odd Couple moments, Oscar and Felix’s Password appearance. (“Aristophanes!”

Comments (15)

  • He will be missed.

    Comment by Lori – December 24, 2012 04:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • RIP Jack. But seriously you die “suddenly” at the age of 90.

    Comment by KND – December 24, 2012 04:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think everyone actually dies “suddenly”. You’re alive and then suddenly you’re not.

      Comment by ARi – December 24, 2012 04:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • What I meant was that at the age of 90 death is more likely than at age 30 where ‘suddenly’ is more likely to apply. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not dismissing his passing. I loved Jack Klugman and this is a great loss.

        Comment by KND – December 24, 2012 04:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I’m guessing he was wasn’t sick at all, so his passing was unexpected. He was a talented actor- RIP

          Comment by suzi – December 24, 2012 04:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If I make it to 90, I don’t plan to do ANYTHING suddenly!

      Comment by TV Gord – December 25, 2012 12:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Loved Quincy, ME. RIP Jack!

    Comment by GeoDiva – December 24, 2012 04:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I had an opportunity to meet Jack K and chat with him briefly a number of years ago, along with the late Tony Randall. Most of the people there were either praising him for his portrayal of Oscar Madison, or Dr. Quincy. You could tell he was bored to tears, although remaining gracious throughout the event. When I got the chance to speak with him, I mentioned that my wife and I had enjoyed his performance on Broadway in “I’m not Rappaport”. He was beaming with pride, and confided that Odd Couple and Quincy had paid him very well, but that role on Broadway had been the best work he felt he’d ever done. He was such a genuine and nice man, and I’ll always remember that encounter. RIP. :(

    Comment by Jersey Jeff – December 24, 2012 05:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh, and Tony Randall was just drunk off his arse, and a complete tool.

      Comment by Jersey Jeff – December 24, 2012 05:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • A great character actor.

    Comment by Truefan – December 24, 2012 06:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 90 years, 2 hit series, cancer survivor. BIG bucket of win

    Comment by jaredlutescpt – December 24, 2012 08:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This news is so sad. Quincy m.e. reruns were what kept me going a while ago, when i got sick. :(

    Comment by Polly – December 25, 2012 01:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • On a planet somewhere, Zorak is pretty sad.

    Comment by thiagofls – December 25, 2012 07:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • God dless the man!!!

    Comment by lou mouzakis – December 25, 2012 02:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Gerry Anderson the creator of Thunderbirds ,Joe 90 ,Stingray and Cpt Scarlett has also died today aged 83

    Comment by Humbugged – December 26, 2012 02:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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