Actor. His best known acting roles were as ‘Oscar Madison’ in the television situation comedy "The Odd Couple" from 1970 to 1975, and as ‘Dr. Quincy’ in the television medical drama "Quincy, M.E." 1976 to 1983. Born Jacob Joachim Klugman into a Jewish family, he was raised in south Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After deciding to pursue a career as a performer, he studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and later was trained at the American Theater Wing in New York City, New York. Following service with the United States Army during World War II, he acquired experience on such off-Broadway theatrical productions as "Stevedore" (1949) and "Mister Roberts" (1950 to 1951), prior to marking his Broadway initiation in "Golden Boy." His motion picture debut was in the picture "Time Table" (1956) after already accumulating an impressive body of live television credits. In what was one of his most feted roles in films, he portrayed ‘Juror Number 5’ in Henry Fonda’s tension-filled drama "Twelve Angry Men" (1957). Klugman would appear multiple times in the science fiction and fantasy television series "The Twilight Zone" which included an acclaimed performance opposite comedian Jonathan Winters in a 1961 episode titled "A Game of Pool." Additionally, he received an Emmy Award for a guest spot performance in the series "The Defenders" (1961). More supporting film roles followed with "Cry Terror" (1958), "Gypsy" (1959), "The Days of Wine and Roses" (1962), "The Detective" (1968) and "Goodbye, Columbus" (1969). When playwright Neil Simon's Broadway play "The Odd Couple" (1965) was developed into a television situation comedy series adapation, Jack Klugman won the role of foil ‘Oscar Madison’ opposite Tony Randall’s ‘Felix Unger”. Their pairing proved highly popular and successful, and for his efforts, Klugman earned multiple Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. In contrast to playing the comical ‘Oscar Madison’, Klugman's creation of the ‘Dr. Quincy’ character showed acting versatility, and he received additional Emmy Award nominations. After the short-lived TV series "You Again?" (1986 to 1987, which co- starred John Stamos) was cancelled, Klugman (a longtime smoker) developed throat cancer which destroyed his vocal cords reducing his voice to a virtual whisper. He continued his acting career and reunited with Tony Randall once again for an updated "Odd Couple" television-Movie in 1993. Klugman was also known for his numerous appearances on television game shows including "Password", as well as commercials. He was formerly married to actress Brett Somers whom occasionally played his ex-wife ‘Blanche’ on the "Odd Couple." He was the recipient of a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
Bio by: C.S.