Jack Klugman

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Jack Klugman (1922-2012) fondly recalls his fifty years in television, including his over 400 appearances on many of the early dramatic live anthology programs, such as P hilco Playhouse, Kraft Television Theatre (and writing two episodes: "Big Break" and "Code of the Corner" for Kraft) , U.S. Steel Hour and Studio One. He comments on the many directors and writers with whom he's worked, talks about working with Ethel Merman in a stage production of Gypsy, and recalls his role as "Juror #5" in the film version of Twelve Angry Men. He speaks of his invaluable friendship with Tony Randall, and their legacy, TV sitcom The Odd Couple. Klugman discusses his favorite episode of The Odd Couple ("Password"), working with Gary Marshall and stage performances of "The Odd Couple" years after the series left the air. He details differences between theater and television and discusses his lead role in the successful series Quincy, M.E. He also openly speaks about his battle against throat cancer. Sunny Parich conducted the interview on May 1, 1998 in New York, NY.

"Everybody wanted to set the world on fire in the 'golden age' of television. Every director, every actor, every writer, wanted to change the world, wanted to teach, had something to say."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Jack Klugman on working with Tony Randall on The Odd Couple
Jack Klugman on getting asked to play the role of "Oscar" on the TV version of The Odd Couple
Jack Klugman on his favorite episode of The Odd Couple: "Password" with guest Allen Ludden
Jack Klugman on his Quincy, M.E. character being two heroes in one
Jack Klugman on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders
Jack Klugman on working with Ethel Merman in "Gypsy"
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on growing up in South Philadelphia; on how his love of muckrakers lead to his role on Quincy, M.E.; on loving to gamble; on being drafted in War World II; on his interest in acting; on his first acting experiences; on his classmates in school
On moving to New York; on being roommates with Charles Bronson and working for Ed McMahon's father; on off-Broadway work; on Ethel Winant casting him in a show; on Summer Stock productions; on being a stage manager for productions; on his Broadway debut in "Mr. Roberts"; on his impression of early television; on an early TV production with John Daly; on great advice from director Robert Mulligan

Chapter 2

On differences between theater and television; on working with director Robert Mulligan; on how he got jobs in early television; on working on anthology drama Studio One; on directors he worked with in live television - Sidney Lumet, George Roy Hill, John Frankenheimer, Fielder Cook, Delbert Mann; on working with Ethel Merman in Gypsy
On working with on Martin Ritt; on film actors being scared of television; on his role in Twelve Angry Men; on writing "Big Break" and "Code of the Corner" for Kraft Television Theatre; on writers Paddy Chayefsky and Bob Fosse

Chapter 3

On co-starring in the Producers' Showcase production of "The Petrified Forest" with Humphrey Bogart; on Fred Coe; on production moving from New York to LA; on Playhouse 90, which originated in LA; on how tape affected live television
On commuting to LA from NY; on appearing on four episodes of The Twilight Zone; on Alex Segal thinking of him for comedic roles; on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders; on the Hollywood Blacklist

Chapter 4

On the Hollywood Blacklist; on his starring role in Harris Against the World; on his first appearance in the Broadway play The Odd Couple - replacing Walter Matthau; on getting cast as "Oscar" in the stage play and TV versions of The Odd Couple; on working with Tony Randall and Garry Marshall
On writers Jerry Belson and Harvey Miller; on directors Jerry Paris and Jay Sandrich; on the TV debut of The Odd Couple on September 24, 1970 and reaction to the show; on network concerns that The Odd Couple was about a homosexual couple; on The Odd Couple going from single to multicamera and getting a live audience; on working with Penny Marshall and guest stars on The Odd Couple

Chapter 5

On his favorite episode of The Odd Couple:"Password"; on The Odd Couple's poor ratings and the show ending in 1975
On starring in Quincy, M.E.; on his brother beginning to write for Quincy, M.E.
On his illness; on Tony Randall approaching him about a one-performance revival of The Odd Couple; on "The Sunshine Boys"; on how important it is for him to continue working; on his advice to aspiring actors; on his thoughts on "the Golden Age of television"; on his contribution to television; on how he would like to be remembered
Shows

Actors Studio

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Jack Klugman on director Yul Brynner directing him on Actors Studio

Defenders, The

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Jack Klugman on The Defenders
Jack Klugman on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders
Jack Klugman on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders

Harris Against the World

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Jack Klugman on his starring role in Harris Against the World

Kraft Television Theatre

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Jack Klugman on writing "Big Break" for Kraft Television Theatre
Jack Klugman on writing "Code of the Corner" for Kraft Television Theatre

Mister Peepers

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Jack Klugman on Mr. Peepers

Naked City

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Jack Klugman on working on Naked City

Odd Couple, The (1970-75)

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Jack Klugman on getting asked to play the role of "Oscar" on the TV version of The Odd Couple; on what he brought to his character and the chemistry between him and Tony Randall
Jack Klugman on the TV debut of The Odd Couple on September 24, 1970 and reaction to the show; on regulars and guest stars
Jack Klugman on his first appearance in the Broadway play of The Odd Couple - replacing Walter Matthau
Jack Klugman on his favorite episode of The Odd Couple: "Password" with guest Allen Ludden; on The Odd Couple's poor ratings and the show ending in 1975

Playhouse 90

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Jack Klugman on a production of Playhouse 90
Jack Klugman on Playhouse 90
Jack Klugman on a production of Playhouse 90 with Art Carney and working with Rod Serling

Producers' Showcase

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Jack Klugman on co-starring in the Producers' Showcase production of "The Petrified Forest" with Humphrey Bogart (airdate: May 30, 1955)

Quincy, M.E.

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Jack Klugman on how his love of muckrakers lead to his role on Quincy, M.E.
Jack Klugman on starring in Quincy, M.E.; on the show's writers

Studio One

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Jack Klugman on working on Studio One

Twilight Zone, The

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Jack Klugman on appearing on four episodes of The Twilight Zone
Topics

Anthology Drama

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Jack Klugman on co-starring in the Producers' Showcase production of "The Petrified Forest" with Humphrey Bogart (airdate: May 30, 1955)

Characters & Catchphrases

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Jack Klugman on the role of "Oscar" on The Odd Couple
Jack Klugman on his Quincy, M.E. character being two heroes in one

Emmy Awards

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Jack Klugman on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders and winning an Emmy for the role

Historic Events and Social Change

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Jack Klugman on being drafted in War World II

Hollywood Blacklist

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Jack Klugman on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders and winning an Emmy for the role
Jack Klugman on the Hollywood Blacklist
Jack Klugman on his recollections about the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Jack Klugman on the Hollywood Blacklist
Jack Klugman on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders and winning an Emmy for the role

LGBTQ

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Jack Klugman on network concerns that The Odd Couple was about a homosexual couple

Memorable Moments on Television

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Jack Klugman on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders and winning an Emmy for the role

Pop Culture

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Jack Klugman on his Quincy, M.E. character being two heroes in one

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

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Jack Klugman on co-starring in the Producers' Showcase production of "The Petrified Forest" with Humphrey Bogart (airdate: May 30, 1955)
Jack Klugman on the Golden Age of Television

Technological Innovation

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Jack Klugman on how tape affected live television
Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple going from single to multicamera and getting a live audience

Television Industry

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Jack Klugman on the Hollywood Blacklist
Jack Klugman on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders and winning an Emmy for the role

War

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Jack Klugman on being drafted in War World II

World War II

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Jack Klugman on being drafted in War World II
Professions

Actor

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Jack Klugman on his desire to go to drama school in Pittsburgh and his first acting experiences
Jack Klugman on being scared in front of the camera
Jack Klugman on the craft of acting and on the differences between performing on stage and in front of a camera

Performers

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Jack Klugman on his desire to go to drama school in Pittsburgh and his first acting experiences
Jack Klugman on being scared in front of the camera
Jack Klugman on the craft of acting and on the differences between performing on stage and in front of a camera
Genres

Classic Anthology Series

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Jack Klugman on writing "Code of the Corner for Kraft Television Theatre
Jack Klugman on writing "Big Break" for Kraft Television Theatre
Jack Klugman on co-starring in the Producers' Showcase production of "The Petrified Forest" with Humphrey Bogart (airdate: May 30, 1955)

Comedy Series

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Jack Klugman on starring with Tony Randall in the TV version of The Odd Couple
On his favorite episode of The Odd Couple: "Password," and on The Odd Couple's poor ratings

Drama Series

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Jack Klugman on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders
People

Lauren Bacall

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Jack Klugman on co-starring in the Producers' Showcase production of "The Petrified Forest" with Humphrey Bogart (airdate: May 30, 1955)

Jerry Belson

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Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple writers Jerry Belson and Harvey Miller

Humphrey Bogart

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Jack Klugman on co-starring in the Producers' Showcase production of "The Petrified Forest" with Humphrey Bogart (airdate: May 30, 1955)

Paul Bogart

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Jack Klugman on writing "Big Break" for Kraft Television Theatre

Herbert Brodkin

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Jack Klugman on producer Herbert Brodkin

Charles Bronson

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Jack Klugman on being roommates with Charles Bronson and working for Ed McMahon's father
Jack Klugman on Charles Bronson training him for his Broadway debut in "Mr. Roberts"

Yul Brynner

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Jack Klugman on director Yul Brynner directing him on Actors Studio

Paddy Chayefsky

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Jack Klugman on writer Paddy Chayefsky

Dick Clark

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Jack Klugman on Dick Clark guest starring on The Odd Couple

Lee J. Cobb

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Jack Klugman on acting with Lee Cobb
Jack Klugman on Twelve Angry Men

Fred Coe

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Jack Klugman on producer Fred Coe

Fielder Cook

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Jack Klugman on director Fielder Cook

Jackie Cooper

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Jack Klugman on Jackie Cooper being head of Screen Gems

Howard Cosell

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Jack Klugman on Howard Cosell guest starring on The Odd Couple

Wally Cox

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Jack Klugman on loving the show Mr. Peepers

John Daly

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Jack Klugman on an early TV production with John Daly

Ossie Davis

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Jack Klugman on Ossie Davis

Peter Falk

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Jack Klugman on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders

Henry Fonda

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Jack Klugman on his Broadway debut in "Mr. Roberts" and playing the second lead with Henry Fonda

Bob Fosse

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Jack Klugman on writer Bob Fosse

John Frankenheimer

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Jack Klugman on director John Frankenheimer

Monty Hall

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Jack Klugman on Monty Hall guest starring on The Odd Couple

George Roy Hill

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Jack Klugman on working with George Roy Hill

Ernest Kinoy

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Jack Klugman on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders

Glen A. Larson

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Jack Klugman on his Quincy, M.E. creator Glen Larson

Allen Ludden

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Jack Klugman on his favorite episode of The Odd Couple: "Password" with guest Allen Ludden

Sidney Lumet

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Jack Klugman on director Sidney Lumet

Delbert Mann

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Jack Klugman on director Delbert Mann

Martin Manulis

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Jack Klugman on working with Martin Manulis and Rod Serling on "The Velvet Alley" on Playhouse 90

Alex March

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Jack Klugman on director Yul Brynner directing him on Actors Studio

Nancy Marchand

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Jack Klugman on drama classmate Nancy Marchand

E. G. Marshall

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Jack Klugman on working with E.G. Marshall on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders

Penny Marshall

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Jack Klugman on getting asked to play the role of "Oscar" on the TV version of The Odd Couple
Jack Klugman on working with Penny Marshall on The Odd Couple

Garry Marshall

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Jack Klugman on getting asked to play the role of "Oscar" on the TV version of The Odd Couple
Jack Klugman on working with Garry Marshall on the TV version of The Odd Couple
Jack Klugman on Garry Marshall messing with the network and sending fake scenes for The Odd Couple

Walter Matthau

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Jack Klugman on writing "Code of the Corner for Kraft Television Theatre
Jack Klugman on his first appearance in the Broadway play of The Odd Couple - replacing Walter Matthau

Ed McMahon

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Jack Klugman on being roommates with Charles Bronson and working for Ed McMahon's father

Ethel Merman

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Jack Klugman on working with Ethel Merman in "Gypsy"

Arthur Miller

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Jack Klugman on doing Summer Stock

Harvey Miller

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Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple writers Jerry Belson and Harvey Miller

Al Molinaro

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Jack Klugman on working with Al Molinaro on The Odd Couple

Robert Mulligan

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Jack Klugman on great advice from director Robert Mulligan
Jack Klugman on working with director Robert Mulligan

Jerry Paris

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Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple director Jerry Parris

Tony Randall

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Jack Klugman on working with Tony Randall on The Odd Couple
Jack Klugman on his favorite episode of The Odd Couple: "Password" with guest Allen Ludden
Jack Klugman on Tony Randall approaching him about a one-performance revival of The Odd Couple

Ronald Reagan

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Jack Klugman on how his love of muckrakers lead to his role on Quincy, M.E.

Martin Ritt

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Jack Klugman on Martin Ritt

Geraldo Rivera

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Jack Klugman on watching Geraldo Rivera nightly

Reginald Rose

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Jack Klugman on writer Reginald Rose
Jack Klugman on Twelve Angry Men

Stuart Rosenberg

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Jack Klugman on "The Blacklist" episode of The Defenders

Jay Sandrich

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Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple director Jay Sandrich

Alex Segal

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Jack Klugman on Alex Segal thinking of him for comedic roles

Rod Serling

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Jack Klugman on working with Martin Manulis and Rod Serling on "The Velvet Alley" on Playhouse 90
Jack Klugman on appearing on four episodes of The Twilight Zone and working with Rod Serling

Fred Silverman

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Jack Klugman on Fred Silverman trying to find projects for him

Neil Simon

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Jack Klugman on his first appearance in the Broadway play of The Odd Couple - replacing Walter Matthau and meeting Neil Simon
Jack Klugman on not wanting the TV version of The Odd Couple

Stephen Sondheim

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Jack Klugman on working on "Gypsy"

Lee Strasberg

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Jack Klugman on taking classes with Lee Strasberg as often as he could

Betty White

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Jack Klugman on his favorite episode of The Odd Couple: "Password" with guest Allen Ludden

Ethel Winant

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Jack Klugman on Ethel Winant casting him in a show
Jack Klugman on getting cast on Playhouse 90

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