Jack Klugman, the venerable star of stage and screens both silver and small, died Monday at his home in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles, Calif. He was 90.

Klugman is best known for his Broadway and television role as Oscar Madison in Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. Klugman would win two Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe award. He followed that up with his performance as Quincy, ME, on the eponymous show, for which he would receive four Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

In addition to his accolades on television, Klugman was well-received on the stage as well. He received a Tony nomination for his work in Gypsy in 1960. In the 1980’s, Klugman played a cranky, bench-sitting old man in the play I’m Not Rappaport.

Klugman was born in Philadelphia in 1922, the youngest of six children. He lost his father when he was 12 and when he was a teenager, became interested in acting when he saw a play about life in an American slum. The play was a call for bettering housing projects. After being discharged from the army, he enrolled into the drama program at Carnegie Tech University (now known as Carnegie Mellon). Two years later, he left for New York and roomed with actor Charles Bronson.

Klugman’s first role was as an understudy in the stage comedy “Mister Roberts.” Klugman worked alongside Henry Fonda and Fonda took Klugman under his wing. They would later work together in the 1957 film 12 Angry Men.

Klugman is survived by his two sons with Brett Somers, who passed away in 2007. He is also survived by his current wife Peggy Crosby and her two children from a previous relationship.

Read more about:

Leave a comment