Actor Jack Klugman, best known for playing sportswriter Oscar Madison on The Odd Couple hit sitcom from 1970 to 1975, died today at age 90.
Klugman also achieved fame as the title character in Quincy, ME, from 1975 to 1983 in which he played a crusading medical examiner. In addition to TV, Klugman had an extensive career in the movies and on stage including appearing in the classic film 12 Angy Men.
Klugman won two Emmys for his work on The Odd Couple.
Reuters has more on the passing of Jack Klugman:
“Klugman, whose pairing with Tony Randall on The Odd Couple created one of television’s most memorable duos, died at his home in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles following a period of declining health, according to his son, Adam Klugman.
” ‘He went very suddenly and peacefully … he was there one minute and gone the next,’ … adding that the elder Klugman had ‘been in convalescent mode for awhile.’ “
A long-term smoker, Klugman had throat cancer in the 1980s and lost his voice, but according to the New York Daily News, “trained himself to speak again.”
Klugman’s appeal was that of an everyman, according to AP:
“Never anyone’s idea of a matinee idol, Klugman remained a popular star for decades simply by playing the type of man you could imagine running into at a bar or riding on a subway with — gruff, but down to earth, his tie stained and a little loose, a racing form under his arm, a cigar in hand during the days when smoking was permitted.”