Late Breaking News.

I had intended this to be a witty and humourous post. It seems one of my original blogging buddies, Frank over at AFrankAngle, has reached that zenith (or nadir) of WordPress fame – Freshly Pressed! I planned to start the mourning appropriately. (Frank views FP as more albatross than award – just one of the reasons I enjoy him so much.)

But fate had different plans for me.

I heard the story that Jack Klugman had died. Jack Klugman, known to so many of my

Jack Klugman, pictured in November 2009

Jack Klugman, pictured in November 2009

generation as the sloppy Oscar Madison in the TV series “The Odd Couple”, the quick-witted coroner in “Quincy, M.E.” (forecasting the rise of such series as CSI), a number of original “Twilight Zone” episodes, numerous stage plays (including “The Odd Couple”, on which the TV series was based), as well as several movies.

If you don’t recognise the name, I recommend you check out Wikipedia. He was a great actor, able to play a wide range of emotion, and with an earnestness that pulled you in, willingly or not. I remember watching him in both “Odd Couple” and “Quincy”, and my absolute favourite scene of his was from “Quincy” when, unwillingly presented with a class of brand-new coroners, he introduces them to a bloated corpse pulled from the, then proceeds with a most cavalier yet gruesome autopsy until every last recruit has passed out – then peering over the table to make sure all were down, and having seen his handiwork, heading off to lunch. No gore, no horrific special effects, just good old-fashioned talent.

Goodbye, Jack. Oddly fitting you should leave us on Christmas Eve. After all, the Magi need a brilliant star to follow, and yours was one of the most brilliant.

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This entry was posted in Christmas, Obituary, TV Stars and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Late Breaking News.

  1. Road Dave says:

    Quincy was a great series, predating the CSI by quite a while but never expanding into CSI Damn near everywhere (CSI Frackville, PA is coming next year) But it was his Twilight Zones that brought him to the attention of Hollywood. He was a great, old school actor, who showed up on time, knew his lines, hit his marks and went home after a day’s work. Can’t ask for more than that.

    • The advantage for CSI was when it hit – a wide variety of cable and satellite channels to populate. Quincy, Odd Couple, even the Twilight Zone were somewhat hindered by only having the big three here in the States (CBS, NBC, ABC) as well as maybe, at best, 3 or 4 UHF and 1 or 2 VHF outlets. We were fortunate in Chicago, in having a whopping 5 VHF and 7 UHF stations! (Imagine that – a mere 12 channels, 2 of them PBS and one all in Spanish!) But yes – he was such a fixture of Twilight Episodes that when they remade the series in the late 90s and early 2000s, he was brought in for at least one episode I remember (might have been more – my memory ain’t all that reliable these days!).
      A great actor, and a sad – yet inevitable – loss. 2012 has not been kind to my childhood.

  2. Will Quincy investigate his own death?

  3. fasab says:

    Never really became a big Quincy fan, but I did watch the excellent The Odd Couple tv series.
    But Frank? Pressed after all the fuss he made about it ?? It just can’t be!!!! šŸ™‚

  4. Binky says:

    Hadn’t heard that, but I really liked both Quincy and the Odd Couple. But I liked his Twilight Zone roles probably even more…esp. the trumpet player one.

    • Binky says:

      And Merry Christmas!

    • The thing that struck me most, regardless of role, was that (at least to me) he was honest. I never found myself thinking “Oh, that’s Jack Klugman playing….”, it was always “Oh, that’s Oscar”. Or any of his roles. His acting never seemed artifice or effort, just … natural. A trait getting rather rare these days.
      And to you and all the Wombles (it IS Wombles, not Wombies, right?), the very Merriest of Christmases! šŸ™‚

      • Binky says:

        Wombles are old British characters of questionable origin.
        We are Wombies, genetically engineered wombats of superior stock!

      • Sorry about that, Binky. I get confused from time to time. Like, from 12:01 AM on any given day to, say, 12:01 AM on the next! šŸ˜‰

  5. mobius faith says:

    Nice tribute.
    Merry Christmas.

  6. Teeny Bikini says:

    I will stop by and say congrats to Frank! Shame about Jack Klugman though… I remember watching him when I was a kid in The Odd Couple. And Quincy. I LOVED Quincy. Totally cool dude. Have a great holiday. You. are. awesome!

    • I realise that the celebrities of my youth are getting old, just like me, it just kinda hurts to lose people you watched while growing up. I’m gonna miss him.
      Yep – the President of the anti-FP movement is now Freshly Pressed. Truly a time for miracles! Now all he needs is someone to step in for him. You know, somebody with a small blog, with ZERO chance of getting FP, somebody from Chicago living in Ohio…… šŸ˜‰
      Thank you, my lady. And a wonderful holiday to you and yours! šŸ™‚

  7. Elyse says:

    I read the first part of your post and then wandered over to congratulate Frank. I know it is not really the apex of blogdom that we all think it is, but it is nice to be recognized. So I’m glad it finally happened to him.

    But then I read the second part of your post. I’d heard the news and it made me sad. Klugman lived in or near my home town in Connecticut, and he was a regular shopper at Barkers, the local discount department store (in the pre-Walmart days, natch). He was a regular guy, and always nice when folks would recognize him.

    On a side note, I’ve always wished I could have been a fly on the wall when they were pitching “Qunicy” — “We’ll have a show about a coronor!. No really, it’ll be great …” And it was. Still, I would buy a bridge from the person who pitched that show.

    Rip, Jack.

    • I’ve never heard a bad thing about Jack – that was a large part of his appeal to me. “A regular guy” is, in my opinion, some of the highest praise you can give a “Hollywood type”.
      Now we just have to find out who Frank is going to appoint to take over his position. Like I’ve said, I think he needs a guy with a quirky sense of humour and ZERO chance of being FP. A down-to-Earth, big-city-guy-in-a-small-town-type. Know of anybody, Elyse? šŸ˜‰

  8. benzeknees says:

    You are indeed the bearer of bad news! Jack Klugman was one of my favorite actors – I loved both Odd Couple & Quincy, M.E. Great TV viewing from my youth. Sadly missed.

    • I really didn’t want to write that post, it was terribly sad for me, as well. But I wanted to pay tribute to a man who gave me so much entertainment, from the Twilight Zone to Quincy. A reporter this morning referred to him as “a man who played the Everyman so well, he became an Everyman to us all”. My sentiments exactly.

  9. aFrankAngle says:

    Just letting you and everyone here know that I safely arrived in an undisclosed location. As I told John earlier on my blog, seeing the twinkling lights of Non-FP nation from the sky was a thrill sparked with sadness, especially as the faded away. But, I am still honored to be the founder and the first leader of a nation. Abdicating was not easy, but it was the honorable thing to do … many thanks John for getting the world out …. and now, the end of my reign will be forever linked to Christmas Eve and Jack Klugman’s death.

    • Think of it this way, my friend. Christmas Eve is the symbol of the birth of hope and peace. May this Christmas Eve have brought peace to a great actor and man who deserved nothing but, and may it bring hope for a new generation to learn about, and learn to love, Jack Klugman.
      And equally, may it bring hope for a new, wider world to appreciate your great talents, Frank! šŸ™‚

  10. El Guapo says:

    His turn in 12 Angry Men was brilliant. And as mentioned above, never heard a bad thing about him either.

  11. Congrats on the FP, well deserved Frank.
    I’m now surrounded by famous bloggers.

  12. Archon's Den says:

    Quincy, like Clint Eastwood he was the man with no (first) name. Frank got what was coming to him, because we’ve all had it coming to us from a great blogger. I can think of another worthy replacement, a small-town boy living in a small city, writing great, long posts that are too big to fit on FreshPressed. They’d never pick me. You go shovel some more snow, while I sweep off the driveway.

    • Well, maybe you need to have Frank surrender his non-FP Presidency to you! I’m more than happy to be the second banana! (And no jokes, pal, or the “granpa” stuff starts again! :p šŸ˜€ )

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