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TV's Jack Klugman Dies in Northridge

The veteran actor best known as the messy half of TV's "The Odd Couple" and the resourceful medical examiner on the long-running "Quincy, M.E." was 90.

Veteran actor Jack Klugman, best known as the messy half of TV's "The Odd Couple" and the resourceful medical examiner on the long-running "Quincy, M.E." has died. He was 90.

Klugman's attorney, Larry Larson, said the actor died peacefully at his Northridge home with his wife of nearly five years, Peggy, at his side.

His career spanned more than 60 years and also included notable film roles in "12 Angry Men" with Henry Fonda, "Days of Wine and Roses" with Jack Lemmon and "I Could Could Go On Singing" with Judy Garland.

He was nominated for a Tony Award for the 1959 Broadway production of "Gypsy" with Ethel Merman. He made his acting debut in 1952's Broadway production of "Golden Boy."

His role as sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison on the sitcom "The Odd Couple," which aired from 1970 to 1975 earned Klugman two Emmy Awards. He co- starred with actor Tony Randall, who played neat-freak Felix Unger, a friend who moved in with Klugman's character after his marriage ended.     

In 2005, Klugman wrote a book titled "Tony and Me: A Story of Friendship" about his long friendship and working relationship with Randall, who died in 2004.     He also starred in the TV drama "Quincy" from 1976 to 1983 playing a principled but argumentative forensic pathologist with the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.

Klugman was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1974 and underwent surgery in 1989, which left him with a raspy speaking voice that he incorporated into later acting roles.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, David and Adam, and two grandchildren. His first wife, actress and "Match Game" regular Brett Somers died in 2007. They separated in 1974, but remained legally married for 53 years.

Memorial services are pending.

Eva Yelloz December 25, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Jack Klugman was my mother's favorite actor. They were born in the same year. My brother's used to joke with her when one of his shows came on TV saying, "Mommy, your boyfriend's on TV." Jack was like a member of our family. What a natural talen he had. May he rest in peace.
JAGR December 27, 2012 at 09:58 PM
I wanted to be a forensic pathologist in the fifth grade because of him.... I became an investigator instead, but he ignited that fire with Quincey....

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