Broadway Will Dim Lights in Honor of Jack Klugman Tomorrow
The Broadway community mourns the loss of accomplished film, stage, and television actor, Jack Klugman, who passed away on Monday at age 90. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory on Friday, December 28th, at exactly 8:00pm for one minute.
Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, said, "Jack Klugman was best known for his role as Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple on television, a role he had previously played on Broadway. In his many stage performances, as well as on film and TV, we all felt like we knew him personally; he had that kind of approachability. As with all fine actors, he made the work look effortless. Our thoughts are with his fans, friends, and family."
After two years at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University), Mr. Klugman arrived in New York. He eventually appeared in a 1952 revival of Clifford Odets's Golden Boy, which starred John Garfield and Lee J. Cobb, and the musical Gypsy, in which he created the role of Herbie, the theatrical agent who loves Ethel Merman's Momma Rose. He received a Tony Award nomination for his performance. In 1985 he replaced Walter Matthau in the original production of Neil Simon's comedy, The Odd Couple.
Mr. Klugman appeared in the Academy Award nominated film 12 Angry Men (1957), received a Tony Award nomination for the musical Gypsy (1960) and an Emmy Award for his TV role on The Defenders (1964). Klugman's most renowned role was as Oscar in the TV version of The Odd Couple (1970), which earned him Emmy Awards in 1971 and 1973. He also starred as the tough L.A. coroner in Quincy M.E. (1975).
Mr. Klugman returned to the theater in the 1980s, touring in a one-man show based on the life of Lyndon B. Johnson and replacing Judd Hirsch on Broadway in Herb Gardner's I'm Not Rappaport. After vocal cord surgery and therapy, he regained his voice and returned to the stage, appearing with Mr. Randall in a benefit performance of The Odd Couple in 1991.
He and Mr. Randall also reunited for a 1997 revival of The Sunshine Boys, Neil Simon's comedy about a couple of crotchety old vaudevillians, produced on Broadway by Mr. Randall's repertory company, the National Actors Theater. In 2005, the year after Mr. Randall died, Mr. Klugman published "Tony and Me," a memoir.