Jack Klugman: Broadway dims its lights for the second time in a week to honor one of its own

jack-klugman-abc.jpgFor the second consecutive night, Broadway will dim its lights as curtains go up at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 28, to honor one of its own.

Jack Klugman, best known for his role as Oscar Madison, the slovenly newspaper sports writer on "The Odd Couple," had also been a longtime Broadway actor.

Broadway theaters also dimmed their lights Thursday night for Charles Durning, who died this week.

Klugman, who died Monday at age 90, had to be a fearless actor -- he faced Ethel Merman on stage in "Gypsy" when he created the role of Herbie in 1959, the mild-mannered theatrical agent in love with Mama. 

Born in Philadelphia, Klugman studied for two years at what became Carnegie Mellon before heading to New York. He got his Broadway start in Clifford Odets' "Golden Boy" in 1952, with John Garfield and Lee J. Cobb.

Klugman worked on New York stages throughout the 1950s, and 1960s, including replacing Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison in the original stage production of his most famous role from 1965 to 67.

After "The Odd Couple" Klugman went on to star in "Quincy M.E." and did TV miniseries and guest appearances.

Klugman's last performance on Broadway was June 28, 1998 in "The Sunshine Boys" where he reteamed with his former co-star  Tony Randall

"In his many stage performances, as well as on film and TV, we all felt like we knew him personally," Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, saiys. "He had that kind of approachability. As with all fine actors, he made the work look effortless."
Photo/Video credit: ABC
SHARE IT ON: