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Jack Klugman - Sportswriter Slob of 'The Odd Couple' and Idealistic Coroner of 'Quincy'- Dies at 90


"He had a great life and he enjoyed every moment of it and he would encourage others to do the same" -- Adam Klugman.

Jack Klugman. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Jack Klugman, best known as the curmudgeonly slob in "The Odd Couple" and the gruff-yet-idealistic coroner of "Quincy, M.E." died Monday at the age of 90.

Jack Klugman. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Klugman, who later had a public battle with throat cancer that took his voice until he retrained himself to speak, died in Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported. He was aptly described by the AP as a popular star for "playing the type of man you could imagine running into at a bar or riding on a subway with — gruff, but down to earth, his tie stained and a little loose, a racing form under his arm, a cigar in hand during the days when smoking was permitted."

In The Odd Couple, Klugman played a slovenly sports writer, humorously juxtaposed to the neurotic photographer played by Tony Randall. The show ran on television from 1970-1975 before becoming a re-run classic. The friendship the developed between Klugman and Randall survived long after the show, and in 2005, Klugman published Tony And Me: A Story of Friendship to commemorate the friendship after giving the eulogy at Randall's memorial service in 2004.

Klugman's big regret in life was that he ever started smoking, the AP reported: "The only really stupid thing I ever did in my life was to start smoking," he said in 1996. Seeing people smoking in television and films, he added, "disgusts me, it makes me so angry — kids are watching."

After surgery for throat cancer, Klugman ended up with a raspy voice that was worked into later movie and TV roles, including "The Odd Couple: Together Again" in 1993 and "Dear God" in 1996, according to ABC News, which summarized his long acting career this way:

"Klugman began his career in 1954 on the soap opera "The Greatest Gift." In the same year he made several appearances on the NBC legal drama "Justice," whose episodes drew from actual cases of the Legal Aid Society of New York.

His major movies included "12 Angry Men" (1957), "Days of Wine and Roses" (1962), starring opposite Jack Lemmon, and "Goodbye Columbus" (1969)."

"He had a great life and he enjoyed every moment of it and he would encourage others to do the same," Klugman's son Adam told the AP.

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