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Sample Autograph Signature: Jack Klugman

American stage, television and film actor. Jack Klugman was born in a rough neighborhood of South Philadelphia, PA in 1922, the youngest of six children in a poor Jewish family. His father, who was a housepainter, a dreamer and a heavy drinker, died when he was 12 or 13. To support the family, his mother converted her parlor into a millinery shop and made hats in her kitchen. Klugman contributed to the family income by buying items from street vendors and selling them in the bad neighborhoods where the vendors refused to go. He confesses he got his pocket money by running numbers and breaking into vacant houses to find salable items among whatever was left. Despite their poverty, the family both before and after his father died, respected education and culture. Klugman's brother gave him a love of reading and learning. His sister took him to plays, inspiring him to want to become an actor, but he was convinced that nobody from South Philadelphia could ever become an actor. After briefly serving in the Army, Klugman returned to South Philly where he incurred a gambling debt he could not pay and "knew I had to get out of town if I valued my kneecaps." Thanks to his bookie and the GI bill, he enrolled in the drama school at Carnegie Institute (now Carnegie Mellon) in Pittsburgh, despite being told at his audition that he was better suited to be a truck driver. He persisted for two years at Carnegie, gaining confidence and ability, before leaving for New York where he studied at the American Theater Wing, hustled small roles, and worked, like his father, as a housepainter. In 1949, he made his non-salaried stage debut at the Equity Liberty Theatre in Saint Joan. Through the 1950s he made appearances on many TV shows including The U.S. Steel Hour, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and The Twilight Zone. He made his film debut in 1955 in Justice. He then went on to make notable appearances in films such as Twelve Angry Men (1957), Cry Terror (1958), Days of Wine and Roses 1962), Goodbye Columbus (1969), Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow with Judy Garland (1971), and Dear God (1996). His first big break on the New York stage came in 1959 playing opposite Ethel Merman in Gypsy. Before assuming his most remembered role in the The Odd Couple with Tony Randall in 1971, he had won an Emmy for his appearance in a TV episode of The Defenders. The Odd Couple would earn him two more Emmy Awards before he moved on to star in seven successful seasons of Quincy, M.E.. In 1989, Klugman lost half his larynx from cancer surgery. While this has limited his subsequent career, he has continued to do some stage and TV work. Klugman's has also won other awards including a Golden Globe award for The Odd Couple and a Tony award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for Gypsy. In 2005, Klugman published Tony And Me: A Story of Friendship, a loving tribute to his lifelong friend the late Tony Randall.

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