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Klugman, Conrad Given Lifetime Achievement Honors

4 Oct, 2006 By: John Latchem

Jack Klugman and Robert Conrad

Two TV legends are set to be honored Thursday with the third annual TV DVD Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Jack Klugman and Robert Conrad will be presented with the awards during the fourth annual TV DVD Conference, held Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. The conference and awards ceremony are produced by Home Media Retailing magazine in cooperation with The Hollywood Reporter, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and the Entertainment Merchants Association.

“All of us grew up with shows like ‘The Odd Couple' and ‘Wild Wild West,” said conference chair Don Rosenberg, VP of Home Media Retailing owner Questex Media's entertainment group. “Jack and Robert are part of our TV family and truly deserving of this honor.”

Previous recipients of the TV DVD Lifetime Achievement Awards are Jerry Mathers, television's beloved “Beaver,” and Carl Reiner, who received the first honor in 2004.

Klugman, a native of Philadelphia, is best known for starring as the slovenly Oscar Madison in “The Odd Couple” (1970-75) and as the title character in “Quincy, M.E.” (1976-83). He won two Emmy Awards for “The Odd Couple,” in 1971 and again in 1973, although his first Emmy came a decade earlier for his work in the TV series “The Defenders.”

One of Klugman's earliest TV appearances was in a live broadcast of The Petrified Forest, with Humphrey Bogart and Henry Fonda. He subsequently appeared in scores of other shows, including four episodes of “The Twilight Zone.”

In the early 1990s, Klugman lost a vocal cord to cancer, but he has continued acting on stage and on television. Recent guest roles included “Diagnosis Murder,” “Third Watch” and “Crossing Jordan.”

In 2005, Klugman published Tony and Me: A Story of Friendship, a book about his long friendship with his “Odd Couple” co-star, the late Tony Randall.

Conrad is best known for his role as charming gunslinger James West on CBS' 1965-69 sci-fi Western “The Wild Wild West.” He reprised his role as West in made-for-TV movies in 1979 and 1980. He did most of his own stunt work for the show and would become the only actor inducted into the Stuntman's Hall of Fame.

Conrad got his start in the 1950s with guest roles on such TV Westerns as “Maverick” and “Bat Masterson” before earning a starring role as a detective in “Hawaiian Eye” from 1959 to 1963.

In the 1960s and '70s, Conrad made appearances on “Mission: Impossible,” “Adam-12” and “Columbo.” In 1976 he landed the role of World War II fighter ace Pappy Boyington in “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” and three years later played a freelance spy in the short-lived secret agent series “A Man Called Sloane.”

In 2006, Conrad recorded special audio introductions for every episode of the first season of “The Wild Wild West” for its DVD release.

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