In a TV world where most masculine characters were generally played (and written) unconvincingly, or shallowly, he was a real guy.
I doubt if anyone else could’ve played Oscar Madison as well.
(I was biased against the movie, having seen it later. But I don’t think Matthau was nearly as much fun).
And he made Quincy watchable.
I wish I remembered his Twilight Zone episodes more clearly. I do remember he was excellent in “A Game of Pool”, though (opposite Jonathan Winters in a brilliant, serious role).
I’m sure I saw “12 Angry Men”, on TV, when I was a little kid. But I have no recollection.
In interviews, his throat cancer surgery didn’t seem to slow him down - just another thing, in life, to deal with.
I’m glad he got to a ripe old age.