Jack Klugman, the TV star beloved for playing the sloppy, working-guy half of “The Odd Couple” and a regular in American homes as the crime-solving coroner in “Quincy M.E.,” has died at age 90, his son said on Monday.
Adam Klugman told The ASsociated Press his father “had a great life and he enjoyed every moment of it and he would encourage others to do the same.”
On “The Odd Couple,” the gravel-voiced Klugman for years played the messy single guy – sports writer Oscar Madison – as the counterpart to Tony Randall’s effete, upscale photographer Felix Unger. The hit TV show about two incompatible divorcees sharing the same apartment reprised the roles played by Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in the 1968 film.
The series ran from 1970 to 1975.
Klugman’s son, Adam Klugman, added in his interview that his father was spending Christmas with his brother, David, and their families. Their father had been convalescing for some time but had apparently died suddenly and they were not sure of the exact cause.
“His sons loved him very much,” David Klugman said. “We’ll carry on in his spirit.”
As Quincy, the medical examiner, Klugman remained in American living rooms from 1976 to 1983, playing a coroner who solved difficult cases.
He won two Emmys for his work on “The Odd Couple.” Klugman also appeared in the classic film, “Twelve Angry Men.”
Klugman was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1974. He had vocal surgery in 1989 in which parts of his larynx were removed, leaving his voice extremely raspy. He continued to perform on stage and in television in his later years.
He was married to Peggy Crosby, the ex-wife of Bing Crosby’s son.
He had previously been married to actress Brett Somers, who died in 2007.