Death of actor and owner-breeder Jack Klugman

Owner-breeder and acclaimed actor Jack Klugman died on Christmas Eve aged 90.

Contrary to initial reports, he wasn’t battling cancer, which robbed him of his voice in the 1980s.  Klugman taught himself to speak again and kept working.  He was best known for roles in the successful TV shows The Odd Couple and Quincy M.E.

Klugman also starred in the film classics; 12 Angry Men (1957), Days of Wine and Roses (1962) and Goodbye, Columbus (1969).

“I‘ve always loved horse racing but fate dealt me a terrible blow,” he joked when interviewed in the 1980s.  “The first horse I owned was Jaklin Klugman.  I thought, how easy this is.”

Jaklin Klugman (Orbit Ruler) won the G2 Jerome Hcp in New York and G2 California Derby as well as running third in the G1 1980 Kentucky Derby behind record-breaking filly Genuine Risk.

In more recent times, Klugman part-owned Pretty Unusual (Unusual Heat) who was a G2 winner of the El Encino Stakes at Santa Anita.  She was trained by Barry Abrams and he also prepares her winning three year-old brother Very Unusual for Klugman.

“Jack just loved being at the track,” Abrams said.  “He comes, makes bets and stays all day.  That was his life – horses and show business.”

Klugman married Brett Somers, who played his ex-wife Blanche in the Odd Couple, in 1953.  In February 2008 at age 85, Klugman married long-time partner Peggy Crosby.  “He had been slowing down in recent years,” his son Adam Klugman said.  “But he had a great life, enjoyed every moment of it, and he would encourage others to do the same.”