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Last of the '12 Angry Men' dies, Actor Jack Klugman at 90

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 27th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Beloved TV actor Jack Klugman passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 90. He was known chiefly as the messy sports writer on TV's "The Odd Couple" and the no-nonsense forensic pathologist on "Quincy, ME." With his passing, comes the last of the "12 Angry Men," the movie adaptation of the courtroom drama by Reginald Rose.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "12 Angry Men" refers to the jurors in a New York City murder case involving a young Puerto Rican man accused of murdering his father. The film wrestled with weighty issues for 1957, including morality, racism and the legal concept of reasonable doubt.

Klugman plays juror number 5 -- none of the jurors are named in the film except two at the very end -- whose background in poverty gives him an insight into the case that none of the others have. The film included such acting heavyweights such as Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam and Ed Begley.

The debut film of director by Sidney Lumet, the filmmaker went on to helm "Dog Day Afternoon," "Network" and "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead."

"12 Angry Men" was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" in 2007.

A media education charity revealed that it was the second most-screened film in schools after the oddball gangster musical using child actors, "Bugsy Malone."

Of the original "12 Angry Men," Martin Balsam (Juror 1), died in 1996. He appeared in "Psycho," "On the Waterfront." "Catch-22," "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "All the President's Men." He won an Oscar in 1966 for "A Thousand Clowns." He also appeared as a guest star on an episode of Quincy ME.

John Fiedler (Juror 2) died in 2005. He was Vinnie in the film version of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" (with Klugman). He was also in "True Grit" and the "Cannonball Run."

Lee J. Cobb (Juror 3) died in 1976. He was nominated for an Oscar for his role opposite Marlon Brando in "On the Waterfront." Cobb became notorious for naming names in the McCarthy "Red Scare."

E G Marshall (Juror 4) died 1998. He was known for his role as lawyer Lawrence Preston on TV show "The Defenders" in the 1960s.

Edward Binns (Juror 6) died 1990. He played General Bedlell Smith in award-winning 1970 film "Patton" and was prolific in several prominent TV shows

Jack Warden (Juror 7) died 2006. The former paratrooper and boxer got Oscar nominations for "Shampoo" and "Heaven Can Wait."

Henry Fonda (Juror 8) died 1982. He won an Oscar for "On Golden Pond" (1981). He also appeared in "The Grapes of Wrath," "The Longest Day" and "Once Upon a Time in the West."

Joseph Sweeney (Juror 9) died 1963. A famous stage and then-TV actor Sweeney portrayed Giles Corey in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible."

Ed Begley (Juror 10) died 1970. He won 1962 Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "Sweet Bird of Youth" and was also in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."

George Voskovec (Juror 11) fled the Nazis from his native Prague in 1939 and acted in 72 movies. Only the first five of these were Czech; the rest were American or British.

Robert Webber (Juror 12) died 1989. He appeared with Dudley Moore in "10" and as a general in "The Dirty Dozen."

Klugman reportedly died peacefully at home with his wife Peggy by his side. "He had a great life and he enjoyed every moment of it and he would encourage others to do the same," his son said.

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