Broadway is this week honoring late actors Jack Klugman of "The Odd Couple" and Charles Durning, who both passed away recently.
Their deaths were announced on December 24 -- Christmas Eve. Klugman, who played messy Oscar Madison in the Broadway comedy play "The Odd Couple" in the mid-1960s and later reprised his role in a 1970s TV series by the same name," passed away at his California home at age 90. (Check out more details about Jack Klugman).
"I lost my mentor, second father and my dear friend," he Tweeted on December 25. "I will miss you so much jack and will be eternally grateful. RIP JACK KLUGMAN."
Klugman made his Broadway debut in 1952 in a revival of the drama play "Golden Boy." He went on to appear in the original show "A Very Special Baby" and then played Herbie in the musical "Gypsy" between 1959 and 1961.
Klugman reunited with Tony Randall, his co-star on the TV show "The Odd Couple," for a benefit performance in 1991. The two also starred together in a 1997 revival of the play "The Sunshine Boys."
Durning, another Broadway alum who won a Tony for his role in a 1990 revival of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," died on December 24 at age 89 at his home in Manhattan. He is better known for his on-screen roles, namely those in movies such as "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "Tootsie."
The lights of Broadway theater marquees were dimmed on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for one minute to honor Durning. This will occur again on Friday, December 28, at the same time in memory of Klugman, Playbill.com reported.
"In his many stage performances, as well as on film and TV, we all felt like we knew him personally; he had that kind of approachability," Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League said about Klugman in a statement posted on the group's website. "As with all fine actors, he made the work look effortless. Our thoughts are with his fans, friends, and family."
He made his Broadway debut in 1964 in the original play "Poor Bitos." He went on to star in the musicals "Drat! The Cat!," "Pousse-Café" and "The Happy Time" and plays such as "That Championship Season," in which he portrayed George Sikowski.
He last performed on Broadway in 2000, when he appeared in a revival of Gore Vidal's "The Best Man." (Check out 9 facts about Charles Durning).
"Charles Durning was a memorable figure on Broadway who delighted audiences in thousands of performances, St. Martin said. "It made no difference if he was an ensemble player or leading man, his talent enabled him to show the truth and reveal the story of any role. He will be greatly missed."