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Character Biographies

Oscar Madison

Oscar Oscar is a sports columnist for the New York Herald, which makes him a semi-celebrity, and has allowed him to appear on tv with such celebrities as Howard Cosell, David Steinberg, Dick Cavett, and Monty Hall. When Felix''s wife Gloria threw him out of the house, he invited Felix to stay in his apartment - a decision he has regretted ever since. Oscar is a slob, and likes being that way. Felix can''t stand the sight of his bedroom, because the regular decor includes clothes all over the floor and on his bedroom furniture, food that is several days old, and cigar butts. He is often seen with a blue baseball cap on his head and a cigar in his mouth. He loves to bet on horseraces, which has gotten him into trouble on more than one occasion, when he bet using money that belonged to other people (like Felix).

Felix Unger

Felix Felix is a commercial photographer (portraits a specialty) and a neurotic neat freak. He can always be counted on to constantly clean the apartment, often to Oscar''s dismay. Felix seems to be able to drive anybody crazy just by living with them (including not only Oscar, but also Gloria, Murray, Vinnie, and the Pigeon Sisters). He is a hypochondriac who always has a stash of vitamins and medications nearby. Whenever he gets upset, his sinuses clog up, and he starts "honking." And when Felix gets really upset, his back is liable to go out. Felix loves going to the opera, and is a connoisseur of fine wines.

Murray Greshler

Murray In the first season, Murray was just one of Oscar and Felix''s poker buddies, but he gained more prominence after the first season, when the other side characters were eliminated. Murray is a New York City cop, and is seldom seen out of uniform on the show. His large nose is often the focus of many jokes. Murray has often walked off his beat to play a hand of poker or just hang out at Oscar''s apartment.

Myrna Turner

MyrnaMyrna is Oscar''s secretary at the New York Herald. She always refers to Oscar and Felix as "Mr. Madison" and "Mr. Unger." She quit her job in episode 93, when she married her boyfriend, Sheldn.

Miriam Welby

MiriamMiriam lives upstairs from Oscar and Felix, and is Felix''s semi-steady girlfriend during the latter half of the series. (I say"semi-steady" because Felix dated other women in some later episodes.) She often goes with Felix to the opera, and seems better able to put up with Felix''s neuroses than Oscar.

Dr. Nancy Cunningham

NancyWhen Felix got sick and called a doctor, he and Oscar were surprised when this attractive woman doctor made the house call. Oscar asked her out, and she and Oscar dated during the first and second seasons.

The Pigeon Sisters

The Pigeon Sisters Gwendolyn and Cecily Pigeon met Oscar when the three of them were stuck in an elevator together (according to the movie). These two British sisters live upstairs from Oscar and Felix, and the four of them double dated a few times during the first season. Both of them are very sympathetic toward Felix, and are always ready to defend him againstOscar in an argument.

Gloria Unger

GloriaGloria is Felix''s ex-wife, whom he spends almost the whole series pining over. Gloria divorced him on the grounds of pestiness, and even though it''s clear that she still has feelings for him, she can''t stand living with him. He was always insanely jealous, and unwittingly made her feel inadequate, by re-cooking her meals, and telling her how to set the table and do the laundry. Depending on which episode you''re watching, Gloria''s maiden name is either Fleener or Schaefer.

Blanche Madison

BlancheBlanche 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 is forever behind in. (Once, Blanche sent him a singing telegram threatening to get him sent to jail if he didn''t pay up.) Unlike Felix and Gloria, these two clearly have no desire to get back together. Depending on which episode you''re watching, Blanche''s maiden name is either Somers or Jefferson.

Speed

SpeedSpeed is one of Oscar and Felix''s poker buddies, and the most compulsive gambler of the group. In "Murray the Fink" (31) we find out that his real name is Homer Deegan.

Vinnie

VinnieVinnie Barella is another of the poker buddies, and a rather mild-mannered person.

Roy

RoyRoy is yet another poker buddy, and he is also Oscar''s accountant.

Leonard Unger

The First LeonardThe Second LeonardLeonard is Felix''s son, played first by Willie Aames, and then by Leif Garrett. He likes playing sports, and Oscar is the coach of hisfootball team. While Leonard isn''t much like his father, he did honk in one episode when he was upset.

Edna Unger

The First EdnaThe Second Edna Edna is Felix''s daughter, played by two actresses, first by Pamelyn Ferdin (the brunette) and then by Doney Oatman (the blond). In the first two episodes she appeared in, Edna didn''t seem to care much for her "Uncle Oscar," and was a bit like her father. She shuddered at the sight of Oscar''s room and exclaimed, "How can you live like this?!" She even used Felix''s phrase "Oscar, Oscar, Oscar." In her later episodes, she regarded Oscar with a sense of awe and amusement, and seemed to think he was much cooler than her father.