- NAME: Jack Klugman
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Theater Actor, Television Actor
- BIRTH DATE: April 27, 1922
- DEATH DATE: December 24, 2012
- EDUCATION: Carnegie Mellon University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- PLACE OF DEATH: Woodland Hills, California
- Full Name: Jacob Joachim Klugman
- AKA: Jack Klugman
- AKA: Jacob Klugman
Best Known For
Jack Klugman is an American actor best known for his role as Oscar Madison in the Broadway play The Odd Couple and the TV series of the same name.
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Actor Jack Klugman was born on April 27, 1922, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An accomplished film, stage and television actor,
he appeared in the Academy Award-nominated film 12 Angry Men (1957). His personal accolades include a Tony Award nomination for the musical Gypsy (1960) and an Emmy Award for his TV role on The Defenders (1964). Klugman's most renowned role was as Oscar Madison in the original Broadway play of The Odd Couple (1965). He played the role of Oscar in the TV version of The Odd Couple (1970), which earned him Emmy Awards in 1971 and 1973. He also starred as the tough L.A. coroner in Quincy M.E. (1975). Jack Klugman died on December 24, 2012, at the age of 90, in Woodland Hills, California.
Jack Klugman was born Jacob Joachim Klugman on April 27, 1922, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Perhaps best known for his starring television roles of the 1970s and '80s, Klugman is also an accomplished film and stage actor. The son of a house painter and a hat maker, he grew up poor in Philadelphia. After studying drama at Carnegie Mellon University, he went to New York City to pursue an acting career.
Klugman made his Broadway debut in Clifford Odets's Golden Boy in 1952. He also found work on such television shows as Actor's Studio and The Philco Television Playhouse. On the big screen, he appeared in Grubstake (1952), Time Table (1956) and 12 Angry Men (1957) alongside Henry Fonda, E.G. Marshall and Ed Begley. Directed by Sidney Lumet, 12 Angry Men provides an inside look at the members of a jury during a murder trial. The film won three Academy Award nominations, including one for best motion picture.
Soon Klugman was earning accolades himself. He received a Tony Award nomination for his role in the musical Gypsy with Ethel Merman in 1960 and won an Emmy Award for his appearance on the series The Defenders in 1964.
Klugman had his first encounter with his most famous character in 1965: He briefly took over the role of Oscar Madison from Walter Matthau in the original Broadway production of The Odd Couple. The comedy, written by Neil Simon, focused on the relationship between two divorced men who become roommates—the neat and orderly Felix Unger and the grumpy, slovenly Madison.
Reprising his role for television, Klugman co-starred with Tony Randall as Unger on The Odd Couple, which debuted in 1970. The show was a big hit, with audiences tuning in to see the humorous friendship and frequent conflicts between the two opposing personalities as they shared an apartment. While their characters may have had their differences, the two actors had a strong friendship. Both Klugman and Randall were nominated five times for Emmy Awards for their work on the show. Klugman won in 1971 and 1973, and Randall took home the prize in 1975.
Near the end of The Odd Couple, Klugman faced a personal health crisis. After years of smoking, he was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx in 1974. He had surgery and treatment and was able to continue with the show.
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