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Jack Klugman (1922 - 2012): How Television Shows Have Advanced the Work Of Criminology and Forensics
Jack Klugman Snubbed at the Emmys 2013
Jack Klugman's son, Adam, and the rest of the family became vocal about Klugman's snubbing by the 2013 Emmy Awards producers.
Despite a legendary career in television and films, along with his large contribution to the development of forensics in crime investigation, Jack Klugman was relegated to a few seconds in the usual In Memorium segment of the awards show. It was a quick scan of actors and those behind the cameras that died in 2012.
Klugman was not selected as one of five recently deceased stars to be paid special tribute, but Cory Montieth of Glee was selected, having never won an Emmy and having poisoned himself with substance abuse. Not only the Klugman Family is angry. Other fans of The Odd Couple with Tony Randall and the show that helped spur the creation of the CSI, Jag, and NCIS franchises, Quincy M.E., are angry as well. Some angry people are comparing the tribute to Corey Montieth with the flag-lowering done for Whitney Houston, who died of a drug overdose; they say both are ludicrous.
Some angry people say that only drug-crazed young stars are honored by today's society, especially those stars aged 30 and younger. I'd like to hear what Twelve Angry Men in a jury would say about it.
Starring Jack Klugman
Randall and Klugman
The Good Of Television: Changing the World
Two television shows helped to advance the field of criminology and the use of forensics to a greater extent that any other two series before or after. The first was Earle Stanley Gardner's The Court of Last Resort in the 1950s and the second was Jack Klugman's Quincy, M.E., from 1976 - 1983, before DNA research had advanced enough to be applicable to the law.
Actor Jack Klugman, son of Russian immigrants, was impressed by movements toward increased social justice in his childhood and translated his appreciation of them into his television series.
At one point this actor was called to testify before the US Congress about crime and criminal investigation procedures. His testimony was one that helped to advance the development of forensics, not to mention forensic Tv shows.
He made television count for something important to the welfare of humankind. Unfortunately, Jack Klugman died on Christmas Eve afternoon in California in 2012.
Forensic TV Today
Two shows that delve most deeply into medical forensics in the 2010s are Body of Proof and Bones. Others include NCIS and the CSI franchise.
Jack Klugman lost his voice following vocal cord surgery to remedy cancer in the 1980s, but learned to speak again.
Truth and Accuracy In Forensics
The Innocence Project begun in 1996 was the first highly publicized effort to dig into Death Row cases and save innocent people from execution. However, it was Earle Stanley Gardner, trial attorney and writer, who pioneered this concept early on in the first half of the 20th Century.
The Court of Last Resort as an organization formed in 1948 on the strength of Gardner's expertise in crime investigation and criminal defense, his fight against paid expert witnesses that lied on the witness stand, and his dogged determination to clear his clients' names by finding out who really did commit the crimes involved.
Gardner built a network of professional relationships in criminal investigation and prosecution in the United States and chose one or two of these professionals to whom to dedicate each of his Perry Mason novels. One person recognized was the investigator Frances Lee, who succeeded in developing the "nutshell" reconstruction method of crime scenes and in teaching forensics classes before women were widely accepted in law enforcement overall.
An example of the latter problem for women is portrayed in the series Life on Mars in the 1970s police department sequences. A woman officer working her way into a detective slot is verbally diminished and called names by male officers until she is promoted. it is not attractive to see and hear. Gardner, however, showcased all good investigators in his books, at law and crime conventions, and in government meetings, no matter what the gender.
An education can be had in reading Gardner's book dedications and forwards alone. If law enforcement is corrupt anywhere in the USA now, it was much more so back then, and Gardner is responsible in part for righting many aspects of it. In fact, today's law classes often adopt a Death Row case each year in order to ensure that free men and women are not executed or confined to life sentences in error.
Earle Stanley Gardner died in 1970. Otherwise, he would have dedicated one of his next novels to Jack Klugman for his work on Quincy, M.E.
One of the situations that galled Jack Klugman in the medical world was the existence of orphan drugs, a subject handled in a Quincy episode. These are drugs that can be used to treat rare illnesses successfully, but which are not used often enough to make profits for pharmaceutical companies. Therefore, the drugs are not manufactured, causing people with associated rare illnesses to die, because the drugs have not been produced, but could be produced. Jack testified in Congress in 1982 on this matter, with positive results. Many other medical and social issues were addressed during the course of Quincy,M.E.
- The Quincy Examiner
The Quincy Examiner: On-line Home to Fans of Quincy, M.E.