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General information  

  • Real name : Jacob Joachim Klugman
  • Place of birth : Philadelphia
  • Date of birth : 27/04/1922

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Alias  

  • Klugman Jack

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Jack Klugman (1922)

Jacob Joachim Klugman

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  Summary  

Jacob Joachim "Jack" Klugman is an American stage, film and television actor known for his roles in sitcoms, movies, and television and on Broadway. He is perhaps best known for his role as actor Tony Randall's sloppy roommate Oscar Madison in the American television series The Odd Couple during the 1970s and for his starring role in Quincy, M.E. in the 1970s and 1980s. Klugman attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, and graduated in 1948. In 1957, he appeared in the film 12 Angry Men as Juror #5 and is the last surviving actor who played a juror in that movie. He will be returning to 12 Angry Men and the George Street Playhouse in New Jersey.

  Biography  

 early life
Born to a Jewish family in Philadelphia, 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 fellow actor Charles Bronson before he and Bronson became well known.

 acting career
In 1954, Klugman played Jim Hanson on the soap opera The Greatest Gift. Also in 1954 Klugman made multiple appearances on the NBC legal drama Justice, starring Gary Merrill and Dane Clark, that was based on cases of the Legal Aid Society of New York.

On September 4, 1955, Klugman and Tony Randall appeared together with Gena Rowlands in the episode entitled "The Pirate's House" of the CBS anthology series, Appointment with Adventure.

Klugman starred in several classic films including 12 Angry Men in 1957 , Days of Wine and Roses in 1962, and Goodbye, Columbus in 1969. He 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. Klugman says his greatest thrill was appearing with Humphrey Bogart and Henry Fonda in a 1955 live television broadcast of The Petrified Forest. He also appeared in The Fugitive episode "Terror at High Point" in 1963.

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). He also played the leading role in the sitcom You Again?.

Klugman also starred in the original Broadway production of The Odd Couple, after replacing Walter Matthau. He won two Emmy Awards for the television version of The Odd Couple.

Klugman was nominated for a Tony Award in 1960 for Best Featured Actor for his role in Gypsy, losing to Tom Bosley in Fiorello!. During the pre-Broadway tryout tour in 1959, several songs were cut, including a song for the character 'Herbie' called "Nice, She Ain't" cut because Klugman had a terrible singing voice.

 personal life
Klugman is the father of two children: Adam Klugman and David, both from his marriage to Brett Somers. Klugman and Somers were married in 1953 and legally separated in 1974, though they never divorced, and remained married until her death in 2007 at the age of 83. They only lived together as husband and wife for 21 years of their 54-year marriage. Klugman, who appeared on the first week of Match Game in 1973, asked the show's producers to give Somers a guest shot on the panel. She fit in so well that she stayed with the show for its entire nine-year run.

Klugman has lived with Peggy Crosby, ex-wife of Phillip Crosby, since 1988; they married in February 2008.

Klugman and The Odd Couple co-star Tony Randall were long-time friends, and Klugman gave the eulogy at Randall's memorial service in 2004.

 Health issues
Formerly a heavy smoker, Klugman was originally diagnosed with throat cancer in 1974. In 1989, he lost a vocal cord to cancer, 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 previously been shot in the throat and had to solve an outstanding case before he died of cancer in the episode "Voices Carry". He also appeared in a second episode, in which he was the murderer. He also had his cancer written into the story line of The Odd Couple: Together Again, a reunion TV movie he performed with Tony Randall in 1993. The movie opened with Oscar in the hospital after his surgery and Felix finding out that Oscar did not tell him about it in order to keep him from driving him "nuts" during the recovery.

In 1999, Klugman discussed undergoing surgery to correct erectile dysfunction, where he received a penile implant, with TV Guide. "I'm not ashamed of that. It's a medical thing, a surgery that is done millions of times. But there's all this humorous ridiculing and silliness that goes along with it," he said.

 Thoroughbred horse racing
Klugman's character on the Odd Couple television show, a fan of thoroughbred horse racing, was mirrored in his real life. 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, finishing third in the Kentucky Derby. The horse was once featured in a commercial for Ak-Sar-Ben race track. The horse also appears in a framed photo located in the room in Quincy's sailboat through the later series.

Klugman caused a mild controversy in 1980 when, during an ABC-TV special from the University of Louisville on the eve of the 1980 Kentucky Derby, he made disparaging comments about the University of Louisville's "Red Barn." The Red Barn was the location of the broadcast and home to on-campus concerts held at the University. Klugman said on-air that if his horse, Jaklin Klugman, won the Derby, he would use the money won to tear down the Red Barn. The comment was met by boos by the audience, and the University named the men's and women's restrooms in the Red Barn "Jack Klugman" and "Jaklin Klugman" for many years afterwards. A plaque explaining the names was placed on the wall between the two restrooms.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Jack Klugman", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.