The entertainment world suffered a very cruel one two punch on Christmas Eve with the passing of two amazing actors. First word came out about the passing of Jack Klugman. While many remember him for his role on the TV series, “The Odd Couple,” many of us better remember him in the starring role of “Quincy, M.E.” In that show, he played a courageous medical examiner who bucked the system, his boss, or whoever he needed to solve a case.
Quincy was a distinctly different character for the world of television. There had been some shots of morgues in passing, with the medical examiner being interviewed away from it in neutral ground. Quincy broke the mold, taking viewers into the world of forensic medicine, and how it functioned. It was not only entertaining, but it started to raise the curiosity of viewers about this area of police work. Because of this interest, more of these kinds of shows and characters in police shows started to do the same. There would have never been a Bones, Ducky, or other similar characters if Jack Klugman had not led the way as Quincy.
The show also had an impact on our world. Because of the episode involving a person who needed what is called an orphan drug (one that helps people, but does not make a profit for the company), Klugman was invited to testify before a Congressional committee about the matter. His efforts resulted in Congress passing what is called the Orphan Drug Act, which offers incentives to drug companies to make those drugs.