At a time when there are so many celebrity feuds, itís easy to forget that there are some people in the public eye who donít actually hate each other. In fact, theyíve drawn on their common experiences and their respect for their work to create meaningful friendships. By all accounts, actors Jack Klugman and the late Tony Randall Ė TVís beloved Odd Couple Ė had such a friendship.
In his slim, moving and sweet memoir Tony and Me: A Story of Friendship, Klugman recounts this special relationship, and what it meant to both men. For one thing, he reveals that he and Randall were quite like Oscar and Felix, the characters they played on television. Klugman was a slob and Randall was neat and finicky. But thatís not why the show worked so well, Klugman said. Itís because the two actors clicked and played off of each other, which Klugman largely attributes to Randallís improvisational skills and generosity as an actor.
But their friendship was rooted in more than a shared love of acting. These are men who cared about each other, and Klugman delves into that, too, talking about how Randall supported him when throat cancer took Klugmanís voice away. Itís sweet reading him describe how much it meant when Randall invited Klugman to perform in a benefit revival of ďThe Odd CoupleĒ on stage, and thereís no doubt that Randallís death was a tremendous blow to Klugman.
Celebrity tell-alls are a dime a dozen, but an honest, tender examination of a Hollywood friendship? Thatís rare, and thatís what makes Tony and Me worth reading.