|Jack Klugman (1922 - 2012)|
|Jack Klugman and Jonathan Winters in |
"A Game of Pool"
He and Serling first worked together in 1959 in Serling’s semi-autobiographical Playhouse 90 production of The Velvet Alley. So when it came time to cast someone as hopeless vagabond Joey Crown in the Season One episode “A Passage for Trumpet” Serling turned to Klugman and actually postponed the initial production date of the episode in order to work around Klugman’s schedule. His next appearance on the show was as angry young pool hustler Jesse Cartiff in the Season Three classic “A Game of Pool” in which he starred alongside Jonathan Winters. His third episode of the program was Season Four’s “Death Ship” in which he played a militant Airforce captain leading a crew of three men whose spacecraft has crashed on a bizarre planet. Klugman’s character here is an atypical one for him and he confessed in interviews years later that this was his least favorite episode out of the four he appeared in. Nevertheless his performance is great and I have always considered the episode to be a vastly underrated one. His fourth and final episode was Serling’s “In Praise of Pip” for Season Five in which he played a washed-up gangster whose son is dying in a military hospital in Vietnam. In all, he played the lead in four episodes of the program, a record he holds with Burgess Meredith.
|Jack Klugman and Tony Randall on|
the set of The Odd Couple