Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Philly Fanatics

I know I should stop writing so much about "The Odd Couple," but I have come across some very disturbing news: For over forty years, the one and only Jack Klugman maintained a bitter, nasty feud with none other than Norman Fell. I have no idea what caused the feud, although I do note that they were both from Philadelphia (Jack was two years older), so it may have started there. For his part, in his memoir Tony and Me, Klugman never mentioned Norman Fell. But who would? You wouldn't mention Norman Fell in your autobiography, would you?

I did find this quote from Mr. Roper: "What has he got that I haven't got? What did he do differently? I could have killed as Oscar. I would have been great as Quincy. I wouldn't have been so hammy. Klugman overacted every scene. You want the show to be good, pick me. You want a chain-smoking jackass who ruins any credibility for your project, I'll give you Klugman's number."

Jack Klugman ended up winning this particular battle, because Norman Fell died in 1998, and Klugman didn't. Jack even attended Fell's funeral. "Best funeral I've ever been to," he said. "I've never laughed so hard in years. I had the time of my life."

If you want my opinion, Jack Klugman hasn't ruined the credibility of anything. But Norman Fell was quite good in The Graduate.


Rob said...

I had no idea there was a Klugman/Fell feud--it's very disturbing. These men should have been close friends. Klugman and Fell were like twin sons of different mothers. It's similar to the cosmic bond between Tom Bosley and David Doyle.

If only Jack Ritter had called some sort of peace conference at the Regal Beagle.

T. Nawrocki said...

And David Doyle made his bones playing a character named... Bosley. Creepy, isn't it?

BTW, Jack Ritter? Don't you mean Janet DeWitt?