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Encyclopedia > The Odd Couple
Walter Matthau and Art Carney in the 1965 Broadway production

The Odd Couple was a hit 1965 Broadway play by Neil Simon, followed by a successful film and television series, as well as other derivative works and spinoffs, many featuring one or more of the same actors. The plot concerns two mismatched room-mates, one uptight and the other slovenly. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... Romeo and Juliet by Ford Madox Brown A play, written by a playwright, or dramatist, is a form of literature, almost always consisting of dialog between characters, and intended for performance rather than reading. ... Neil Simon (1966) Neil Simon (born Marvin Neil Simon July 4, 1927 in The Bronx, New York City), is a Jewish American playwright and screenwriter. ...


Simon was inspired to write the play when he saw his brother Danny Simon and theatrical agent Roy Gerber living together after recent divorces. Danny, also a writer, took the first crack at the play, but later handed over the idea to Neil. The show, directed by Mike Nichols, ran for 966 performances and won several Tony Awards, including Best Play. Danny Simon (December 12, 1918, New York City – July 26, 2005, Portland, Oregon) was an American television writer and comedy teacher. ... Mike Nichols (born Michael Igor Peschkowsky) is an Academy Award winning movie director of films such as The Graduate and Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. He was born on November 6, 1931 in Berlin, to a Jewish Russian family. ... What is popularly called the Tony Award® but is formally the Antoinette Perry Award is an annual American award celebrating achievements in theater, including musical theater. ...


Felix Ungar, a neurotic, neat-freak newswriter, is thrown out by his wife, and moves in with Oscar Madison, a slovenly sportswriter. Ungar was played by Art Carney and Madison by Walter Matthau. Matthau was later replaced with Jack Klugman. Felix Unger was one of the principal characters in Neil Simons play The Odd Couple. ... Oscar Madison is a character in The Odd Couple, which was a movie, a very successful television series, and eventually became a Broadway play. ... Art Carney (November 4, 1918 – November 9, 2003) was an Academy Award winning American actor in film, stage, television, and radio. ... Walter Matthau Walter Matthau (October 1, 1920 – July 1, 2000) was an Academy Award winning American comedy actor. ... Jack Klugman (born Jacob Joachim Klugman on April 27, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American television and movie actor. ...


The play and the film both spell Felix's name "Ungar", while the television series spells it "Unger".

Contents

Characters

  • Oscar Madison: A slovenly, recently divorced sportswriter.
  • (TV show only:) [1]Blanche is Oscar's ex-wife, who lives in California, and only makes a few appearances on the show. Oscar is always hoping that Blanche will get married so that he will stop having to make alimony payments, which he rarely makes on time.
  • Felix Unger/Ungar: A fastidious, hypochondriac newswriter whose marriage is ending. (In the television series, he is a professional photographer, portraits a specialty.)
  • Murray: A cop, one of Oscar and Felix's poker buddies. (In the television series, Murray's last name was revealed to be Greshler.)
  • Roy: One of the poker buddies. Oscar's accountant.
  • Speed: One of the poker buddies.
  • Vinnie: One of the poker Buddies.
  • Cecily and Gwendolyn Pigeon: Oscar and Felix's upstairs neighbors, a pair of British sisters. One is a widow, the other a divorcee.

A widow is a woman whose spouse has died. ... Look up Divorcee in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Stage revivals

The Odd Couple was also revised by Neil Simon in 1985 for a female cast (Sally Struthers and Rita Moreno starred). It was based on the same story line and same lead characters, now called Florence Ungar and Olive Madison. The play ran on Broadway for 295 performances and was directed by Gene Saks. Sally Ann Struthers (born July 28, 1948, Portland, Oregon) is an American actress and spokesperson, best known for playing Gloria Stivic; the daughter of Archie and Edith Bunker on All in the Family. ... Rita Moreno on the 1962 album cover for Academy Award Winner Rita Moreno Sings Rita Moreno (born December 11, 1931 in Humacao, Puerto Rico) is an Academy Award-winning actress and the first and only Puerto Rican actress in history (as well as one of only nine people) to have...

Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, stars of the 2005 Broadway production

In 1994 a version of the play relocated to Glasgow toured Scotland, starring Gerard Kelly as Felix and Craig Ferguson as Oscar. Kelly reprised the role of Felix at the 2002 Edinburgh Fringe, opposite Andy Gray. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... Glaswegian redirects here. ... Motto (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity Cha togar mfhearg gun dioladh (Scottish Gaelic)1 Wha daur meddle wi me?(Scots)1 Anthem (Multiple unofficial anthems) Scotlands location in Europe Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official languages English, Gaelic, Scots Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II... Gerard Kelly (born 27 May 1959) is a Scottish actor, who has appeared in many Scottish comedies, most notably in City Lights, Rab C Nesbitt and Scotch and Wry. ... Craig Ferguson (born 17 May 1962) is a Scottish actor, writer and talk show host. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... A street performer on the Royal Mile, with volunteer (2004). ... Andy Gray is a Scottish actor and comedy writer. ...


In a 1997 issue of Premiere Magazine, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams announced a possible stage revival, in anticipation of success of their film Fathers' Day. When that film failed at the box office, the Crystal/Williams revival was quickly forgotten. A similar announcement was made in Premiere in 2005 by Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, in light of their success on stage and screen as the leads in The Producers. Broderick and Lane play Felix and Oscar, respectively. The production opened at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York on October 27, 2005. Lane was replaced for two weeks due to illness by Brad Garrett, who had previously played Murray. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Billy Crystal (born Israel William Krisstalsterne on March 14, 1947 in Long Beach, New York) is a Jewish American actor, writer, producer, comedian and film director. ... Robin McLaurin Williams, born July 21, 1951 (or 1952),[1] is an Academy Award-winning American actor and comedian. ... Fathers Day is a 1997 comedy film that was directed by Ivan Reitman and starred Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Nastassja Kinski. ... Matthew Broderick (born March 21, 1962) is a Tony Award winning American film and stage actor who is perhaps best known for his role as the title character in Ferris Buellers Day Off. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The 1968 film The Producers was adapted as a critically acclaimed Broadway musical by Mel Brooks in 2001. ... The Brooks Atkinson Theatre is a Broadway theater located at 256 West 47th Street in Manhattan. ... October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 65 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bradley H. Gerstenfeld (born April 14, 1960), widely known as Brad Garrett, is a three-time Emmy Award-winning, American actor and comedian best known for his roles on the television sitcoms Everybody Loves Raymond and Til Death. ...


Film and TV adaptations

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in a scene from the 1968 film adaptation

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

1968 film

Main article: The Odd Couple (film)

In 1968 The Odd Couple was made into a highly successful film starring Jack Lemmon as Felix and Matthau (once more) as Oscar. Most of the script from the play is the same, although the setting is expanded: instead of taking place entirely in Oscar's apartment, some scenes take place at various outside locations. The film was also written by Simon (who was nominated for an Academy Award) and was directed by Gene Saks. The Odd Couple is a 1968 film written by Neil Simon, based on his play of the same name, and directed by Gene Saks. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... John Uhler Lemmon III (February 8, 1925 – June 27, 2001), better known as Jack Lemmon, was one of the most award-winning American actors of his generation. ... Although he never won an Oscar for any of his movie performances, the comedian Bob Hope received two honorary Oscars for his contributions to cinema. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


In 1998 Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau resurrected their roles for the film The Odd Couple II, produced by Neil Simon. 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean by UNESCO. [1]. // Coated in ice, power and telephone lines sag and often break, resulting in power outages. ... The Odd Couple II is the 1998 sequel to the 1968s The Odd Couple. ...

Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, stars of the 1970s TV adaptation

Image File history File links The_Odd_Couple. ... Image File history File links The_Odd_Couple. ...

1970-1975 ABC sitcom

The success of the film was the basis for the 1970-75 ABC television series, starring Tony Randall as Felix and Jack Klugman as Oscar. Klugman was familiar with the role as he had replaced Walter Matthau in the original Broadway run. The Odd Couple was a television situation comedy broadcast from September 24, 1970 to July 4, 1975 on ABC. It starred Tony Randall as Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as Oscar Madison. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... The American Broadcasting Company ( oftenly known as ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... The Odd Couple was a television situation comedy broadcast from September 24, 1970 to July 4, 1975 on ABC. It starred Tony Randall as Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as Oscar Madison. ... Tony Randall (February 26, 1920 – May 17, 2004) was an American comic actor. ... Jack Klugman (born Jacob Joachim Klugman on April 27, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American television and movie actor. ...


Randall and Klugman also reunited in 1993 for a made-for-TV reunion film based upon the series.

Title card for DePatie-Freleng’s The Oddball Couple.
Title card for DePatie-Freleng’s The Oddball Couple.

Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ...

Animated series

Main article: The Oddball Couple

DePatie-Freleng's The Oddball Couple was an animated version of Neil Simon’s popular play-turned-movie-turned hit TV show. In the cartoon version, Felix Unger and Oscar Madison were replaced by a cat named Spiffy (voiced by Frank Nelson) and a dog named Fleabag (voiced by Paul Winchell). Spiffy, as his name implies, was the more orderly of the two, while Fleabag was always a shambles. 32 installments of the series (2 10-minute segments per half-hour show) were produced for the series, which aired on ABC Saturday Morning from September 6, 1975 to September 3, 1977. The Oddball Couple was an animated half hour Saturday morning show that ran on the ABC TV network from September 6th, 1975 to September 3rd, 1977. ... DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (sometimes abbreviated to DFE) was a Hollywood-based animation production company, active from 1963 to 1981. ... Frank Nelson was an American born comedic actor best known for playing put-upon foils on radio and television. ... Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney Paul Winchell (December 21, 1922 – June 24, 2005), born Pinkus Wilchinski (the family later shortened the name to Wilchin) in New York City, was an American ventriloquist and voice actor whose fame flourished in the 1950s and 1960s. ... The American Broadcasting Company ( oftenly known as ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Morning mist Morning Forest The word morning originally referred to the sunrise, but has been extended to mean the whole early part of the day, from dawn to noon. ... September 6 is the 249th day of the year (250th in leap years). ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... September 3 is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years). ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ...

Demond Wilson and Ron Glass in the 1982 TV adaptation.

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

1982-1983 ABC sitcom

Main article: The New Odd Couple

In 1982, ABC aired a new version of the series, entitled The New Odd Couple, with a predominately African-American cast. Ron Glass played Felix and Demond Wilson played Oscar. This new version was not successful and was cancelled after just 13 episodes. The New Odd Couple was a short-lived TV show that ran from 1982-1983, which was a remake of the 1970s classic. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Languages Predominantly American English Religions Protestantism (chiefly Baptist and Methodist); Roman Catholicism; Islam Related ethnic groups Sub-Saharan Africans and other African groups, some with Native American groups. ... Ron Glass (born July 10, 1945 in Evansville, Indiana) is an American actor, best known for his role as the witty Detective Ron Harris in the long-running television sitcom Barney Miller (1975-1982). ... Wilson as Lamont on Sanford and Son. ...

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