Jewish Entertainment:
Jewish Actors, Playwrights, Comedians, Musicians

Jack Klugman
Jewish Name - Jacob Joachim "Jack" Klugman

Jacob Joachim "Jack" Klugman is an American stage, film and television actor. Jack Klugman is best known as Felix Unger's sloppy roommate Oscar Madison in the American television series The Odd Couple (1970-1975), for his starring role in Quincy, M.E. (1976-1983), and as Juror #5 in 12 Angry Men.


Life and career

Jack Klugman was born on April 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, the son of Rose, a hat maker, and Max Klugman, a house painter.[2] His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants. Jack Klugman attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University, where Jack Klugman graduated in 1948. Jack Klugman began acting after being discharged in 1945 from serving in the United States Army during World War II. As a struggling actor in New York City, Jack Klugman roomed with future star Charles Bronson.

In 1954, Jack Klugman played Jim Hanson on the soap opera The Greatest Gift.[3] Also in 1954 Jack 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.[4]

On September 4, 1955, Jack 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.

Jack Klugman starred in several classic films including 12 Angry Men in 1957 (as Juror 5; Jack Klugman is the last surviving actor to play a juror in the movie), Days of Wine and Roses in 1962, and Goodbye, Columbus in 1969. Jack Klugman 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 (tied with Burgess Meredith for the most number of appearances). Jack Klugman says his greatest thrill was appearing with Humphrey Bogart and Henry Fonda in a 1955 live television broadcast of The Petrified Forest. Jack Klugman also appeared in The Fugitive episode "Terror at High Point" in 1963.

Jack Klugman also starred in the original Broadway production of The Odd Couple as a replacement for Walter Matthau.[5] Jack Klugman won two Emmy Awards for the television version of The Odd Couple.

Jack Klugman was nominated for a Tony Award in 1960 for Best Featured Actor (Musical) for his role in Gypsy, but lost to Tom Bosley in Fiorello!.[6] During the pre-Broadway tryout tour in 1959, several of Jack Klugman's songs were cut, including a song for his character Herbie called "Nice, She Ain't", due to Jack Klugman's untrained singing voice.

In 1957, Jack Klugman appeared in the film 12 Angry Men as Juror #5. Of the twelve actors who portrayed the jurors, Jack Klugman is the last survivor. Jack Klugman was scheduled to appear in a stage production of 12 Angry Men at the George Street Playhouse in New Jersey in the spring of 2012, but on March 6 it was announced Jack Klugman had withdrawn from the production for health reasons.[7]

Jack Klugman was roasted on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast on NBC March 17, 1978.

Quiz show appearances

In 1993, Jack Klugman appeared on a special 'celebrity versus regulars' version of the United Kingdom quiz show Going for Gold. The special episode was mostly made up of actors and actresses that appeared in programmes that were on around the same time slot as Going for Gold competing against past series winners. Jack Klugman was invited to participate as the show Quincy, M.E., in which Jack Klugman starred, was often on afterwards. Jack Klugman won this special airing before going on to win the entire 1993 series.

Jack Klugman also appeared on the very first week of the 1970s revival of Match Game and then from time to time filled in for his then-wife, Brett Somers, when she became a regular on the program a few weeks later.[8] Jack Klugman and Somers also appeared on the ABC version of Password in 1973.

Dispute over Quincy M.E. profits

In 2008, Jack Klugman sued NBC Television concerning missing profits from his show Quincy M.E.[9] The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court, with Jack Klugman requesting NBC to show him the original contract.[9] Jack Klugman stated that his production company, Sweater Productions, should have received twenty-five percent of the show's net profits.[9] NBC Universal and Jack Klugman settled the lawsuit on undisclosed terms in August 2010.[9]

Work with Tony Randall

In 1973, Jack Klugman and Tony Randall recorded an album called "The Odd Couple Sings" for London Records. Roland Shaw and The London Festival Orchestra and Chorus provided the music and additional vocals.[10]

In 2005, Jack Klugman published Tony And Me: A Story of Friendship, a book about his long friendship with his The Odd Couple co-star Tony Randall.[11][12] Jack Klugman gave the eulogy at Randall's memorial service in 2004.[11]

Personal life

Jack Klugman is the father of two children: Adam Klugman (who had a cameo as Oscar Madison as a child in a flashback on The Odd Couple) and David, both from his marriage to Brett Somers. Jack 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.[13] They only lived together as husband and wife for 21 years of their 54-year marriage. Jack 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.

Jack Klugman lived with Peggy Crosby, ex-wife of Phillip Crosby, since 1988. They married in February 2008.[14][15]

Health issues

A heavy smoker, Jack Klugman was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1974. In 1989, Jack Klugman lost a vocal cord to cancer, but continued to act on stage and television, though Jack Klugman was left with a raspy, scratchy voice.[16]


Grubstake (1952)
Time Table (1956)
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Mail Order Prophet (1957)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Cry Terror! (1958)
The Velvet Alley (Playhouse 90) (1959)
" The Untouchables (1959 TV series) (1961) Episode: Loophole
Naked City (1958 TV series) Let Me Die Before I Wake (1962) Original Air Date: 14 February 2022 (Season 3, Episode 19)
Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
The Yellow Canary (1963)
I Could Go On Singing (1963)
Act One (1963)
"A Passage for Trumpet" episode of The Twilight Zone (1960)
"A Game of Pool" episode of The Twilight Zone (1961)
"Death Ship" episode of The Twilight Zone (1963)
"In Praise of Pip" episode of The Twilight Zone (1963)
"Terror At High Point" episode of The Fugitive (1963)
"Harris Against the World" (1964-1965)
"Everybody Gets Hit In The Mouth Sometimes" episode of The Fugitive (1965)
Hail, Mafia (1965)
The Detective (1968)
The Split (1968)
Goodbye, Columbus (1969)
The Odd Couple (19701975)
Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow? (1971)
Two-Minute Warning (1976)
Quincy, M.E. (19761983)
Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (1978)
Challenge of the Tiger (1980)
You Again? (1986)
The Odd Couple: Together Again (1993)
Parallel Lives (1994)
Dear God (1996)
Brothers Keeper (1999)
Diagnosis Murder (1990s)
Third Watch (2000)
Glitch episode of The Outer Limits (2000)
Scene Smoking: Cigarettes, Cinema & the Myth of Cool (2001) (documentary)
Crossing Jordan (2002)
When Do We Eat? (2005)
Camera Obscura (2010)


  1. "Jack Klugman- Biography". Yahoo. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  3. TV Guide Guide to TV. Barnes and Noble. 2004. pp. 264. ISBN 0-7607-5634-1.
  4. "Justice". The Classic TV Archive. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  5. "The Odd Couple by Neil Simon (St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture Summary)". Retrieved 2022-02-20. "...1965 play The Odd Couple and the subsequent 1967 movie, starring Walter Matthau as the sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison ... In the television series, Oscar was played by Jack Klugman (who had taken over the role from Matthau on Broadway)..."
  6. The Tony Award Book by Lee Allen Morrow, Abbeville Press, 1987
  8. "Biography for Brett Somers". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2021-12-18.
  9. "Klugman, NBC Universal settle 'Quincy' profits lawsuit". 2021-08-09. Retrieved 2021-09-26.
  10. Ankeny, Jason. The Odd Couple Sings at Allmusic. Retrieved 2011/12/20.
  11. Friedman, Roger (2022-05-31). "Klugman, Family and Friends Say Goodbye to Tony Randall". Fox News Channel. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  12. Jack Klugman (2022-05-31). Eulogy: Tony Randall. 163. Time. p. 24.
  13. "'Match Game's' Brett Somers dies at 83". CNN.COM Entertainment. Archived from the original on Sep 18, 2021. Retrieved 2021-12-18.
  14. "Jack Klugman Marries at 85". 2022-02-07. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  15. "Jack Klugman Is a Newlywed". TV Guide. Retrieved 2021-12-18.
  16. Gliatto, Tom (2022-05-31). "A Neat Guy". People 61 (21). Retrieved 2021-12-05.

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