Half of the odd couple dies at 84



Tony Randall, the comic actor best known for playing fastidious photographer Felix Unger on the television comedy The Odd Couple, has died. He was 84.

Randall died in his sleep on Monday night at New York University Medical Centre of complications from a long illness, according to his publicists, Springer Associates.

He is survived by his wife, Heather Harlan Randall, who made him a father for the first time when he was 77, and their two children, seven-year-old Julia Laurette and five-year-old Jefferson Salvini.

Randall won an Emmy for playing Unger on the sitcom based on Neil Simon's play and film. The show ran from 1970-75, but Randall won after it had been cancelled, prompting him to quip at the awards ceremony: "I'm so happy I won. Now if I only had a job."

The show's charm sprang from Randall's chemistry and conflict with Jack Klugman as sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison, with whom he's forced to share an apartment after both men get divorced.

After The Odd Couple, Randall had two short-lived sitcoms, one of which was The Tony Randall Show, in which he played a stuffy Philadelphia judge.