Jack Klugman of 'The Odd Couple' dies at 90
12/24/2012 by Nichole Hamilton
Jack Klugman, an actor from the 1970's hit television series "The Odd Couple," has passed away. The veteran actor died peacefully at home in Northridge, Calif. with his wife Peggy Klugman at his side, according to attorney Larry Larson. The actor was 90 years old. Klugman is survived by two sons, David Klugman and Adam Klugman, and two grandchildren. A memorial service has yet to be scheduled. "The Odd Couple" followed two divorced men who lived together and were forced to deal with their many differences. Klugman's character, Oscar Madison, is the sloppy roommate of neat freak Felix Unger, played by Tony Randall. The actor also appeared in the film "12 Angry Men" alongside Henry Fonda in the drama film that revolved around the jury of a homicide trial. Klugman was the last surviving juror from the 1957 film, which saw him play Juror No. 5, a young man from a violent slum who loved the Baltimore Orioles. Klugman was diagnosed with oral cancer, specifically in his larynx, in 1974. The actor was an avid smoker of cigars and cigarettes, and according to The Oral Cancer Foundation, couldn't break his habit even after receiving treatment and beating the disease. In 1989, he underwent surgery again to remove the cancer that had returned, but his right vocal chord was sacrificed, rendering the actor unable to speak for several years. In May 2012, the late actor talked to The Hollywood Reporter about his early years as an actor, and compared himself to his character Oscar Madison - saying that they are in fact alike. "That's true" Klugman told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview posted in May, with a notably raspy voice. The actor went on to praise his co-star Tony Randall on the show, explaining that they were close friends, but added: "He was sloppy too ... But he was good boy, he was good. Yeah, he was good." Klugman's co-star in the series, Randall, died in his sleep in May 2004, months after he was hospitalized for a triple bypass surgery in December 2003. Klugman married his second wife, Peggy Klugman, in 2008, after living with her since 1988. The actor was previous married to Brett Somers, who played Blanche Madison, his on-screen wife, in "The Odd Couple." The pair were married for over 50 years until her death in 2007. The actor later earned a starring role in the NBC medical drama, "Quincy, M.E.," which saw the actor playing a Los Angeles County medical examiner. The show aired for seven years. Klugman also played the father of a young John Stamos on the NBC comedy show "You Again?," which aired between 1986 and 1987. Klugman served on the board of directors of New York's National Actor's Theatre and was active in charitable activities. In 2000, Klugman received the International Media Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which recognizes those with speech and hearing disorders who have made extraordinary personal or professional achievements, according to the magazine. (Pictured: Jack Klugman (left) appears as Oscar Madison and Tony Randall as Felix Unger in this publicity photo for the 1970s show 'The Odd Couple.)
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