Jack Klugman Dead At 90, 'Odd Couple' And 'Quincy M.E.' Star Dies On Christmas

Jack Klugman, the star of the hit 1970s sitcom, "The Odd Couple," died in his California home on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, at the age of 90.

The actor, also known for playing the lead role in a television drama, "Quincy M.E." died with his wife, Peggy, by his side, according to his attorney.

The actor's son told The Associated Press that his father had died suddenly. The actor had an unknown illness and had been recovering for some time so his son is not sure what the exact cause of death was. 

Klugman has a role in the Academy Award-nominated film "Twelve Angry Men"  and made appearances in several episodes of "Twilight Zone."

In "The Odd Couple," Klugman played Oscar Madison, a very messy sports writer who lived in a New York City apartment with an orderly photographer. The roomate, Felix Unger, was played by Tony Randall, who was also Klugman's best friend off screen. The show aired on television from 1970 to 1975 and was based on a Broadway play starring Walter Matthau and Art Carney. The 1968 film version also starred Matthau with Jack Lemmon.

In "Quincy, M.E.," (1976 -1983) Klugman played a medical examiner that helped solved mystery murders.

Klugman started his career on Broadway  in 1952. His film credits included Blake Edwards' "Days of Wine and Roses" and an early television highlight appearing with Humphrey Bogart and Henry Fonda in a production of "The Petrified Forest." His performance in the classic 1959 musical "Gypsy" brought him a Tony nomination for best featured (supporting) actor in a musical.

Klugman, who was a prolific smoker, lost his voice after having one of his vocal chords removed due to throat cancer in the 1980s. Randall convinced his best friend to resume to acting after Klugman trained himself to speak again. Together they reprised their roles for film and theater versions of "The Odd Couple."

Randall died in 2004 at the age of 84. Klugman reportedly told Larry King on CNN at the time, "A world without Tony Randall is a world that I cannot recognize."

Klugman is survived his second wife Peggy, two sons and two grandchildren.

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