Jack Lemmon

Jack Lemmon

Oscar win for 'Mister Roberts' (1955)

Background:

“I won’t quit until I get run over by a truck, a producer or a critic.” Jack
Lemmon

Deceased American actor Jack Lemmon (born in 1925, died in 2001) won two Academy
Awards for his performances in John Avildsen’s Save the Tiger (1973) and the
war-comedy Mister Roberts (1955). He also received two Oscar nominations for his
remarkable roles as C.C. Baxter in The Apartment (1961) and Joe Clay in Days of
Wine and Roses (1963).

On the small screen, Lemmon achieved popularity after taking home a Screen
Actors Guild award for playing the title character in Oprah’s TV film production
Tuesdays with Morrie (1999). He earned additional attention with his
Emmy-nominated performances in The Entertainer (1976), 12 Angry Men (1998) and
Inherit the Wind (1999).

Off screen, the actor, who was voted one of Empire magazine’s “The Top 100 Movie
Stars of All Time” (1997), had been married twice. He was married to actresses
Cynthia Boyd Stone from 1950 to 1956 and Felicia Farr from 1962 until his death.
From his marriages, Lemmon was the father of son Chris Lemmon (actor, mother:
Cynthia Boyd Stone) and daughter Courtney Lemmon (mother: Felicia Farr).


John Uhler Lemmon III

Childhood and Family:

In an elevator at a hospital in Newton, Massachusetts, John Uhler Lemmon III,
who would later be famous as Jack Lemmon, was born on February 8, 1925, to the
president of Doughnut Corporation of America, John Uhler Lemmon Jr., and Mildred
LaRue Lemmon.

Jack, who showed an interest in acting at an early age, attended Rivers County
School in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and continued his studies at the
Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. After he graduating in 1943,
Jack attended Harvard University, where he was the president of the university’s
drama club, Hasty Pudding. Four years later, he finished his studies and joined
the Naval Reserve, serving as the communications officer on the USS Lake
Champlain. After his service with the Navy, he worked as piano player in a beer
hall.

Jack was married twice. On May 7, 1950, he was married to actress Cynthia Boyd
Stone, but the couple divorced in 1956. Jack and Cynthia shared a son named
Chris Lemmon (born on January 22, 1954), who later followed in his father’s
footstep and became an actor. Jack then married actress Felicia Farr on August
17, 1962, during the making of Irma La Douce (1963). The couple had a daughter
named Courtney Lemmon (born in 1966) who runs a charity foundation established
by Jack Lemmon. From his son, Chris, Jack had a grandson named Christopher Boyd
Lemmon, who was born on April 3, 1994.

On June 27, 2001, at USC/Norris Cancer Center in Los Angeles, California, Jack
died at age 76 of cancer complications. His wife and children were at his
bedside during his final hours.


The Odd Couple

Career:

4-year-old Jack Lemmon first appeared on stage when his father put him in an
amateur production of “Gold in Them Thar Hills.” After being dismissed from the
Navy, he pursued his passion in showbiz and made his TV debut with a guest
appearance in the TV series “Suspense” (1949). He continued to appear on
television with small roles in numerous soap operas and series, including “Toni
Twin Time” (1950), “Pulitzer Prize Playhouse” (1951), “Heaven for Betsy” (1952)
and “Campbell Playhouse” (1953). In 1953, he debuted on Broadway with the
production of “Room Service” (1953), wherein he was cast as Leo Davis. His
talent caught the attention of Columbia who soon offered him a deal to play a
role in a big screen project. After signing the contract, Lemmon began his movie
career by playing the supporting role of filmmaker Pete Sheppard, opposite Judy
Holliday, in George Cukor’s It Should Happen to You (1954). He followed it up
with another supporting turn as Robert Tracey, Judy Holliday’s husband, in
Phffft! (1954).

In between small roles in TV series like “The Ford Television Theatre” (1954),
“Ford Star Jubilee” (1956) and “Zane Grey Theater” (1957), Lemmon played a
supporting role in Three for the Show (1955, as Marty Stewart) and had a
significant supporting turn in Mister Roberts (1955). For his superb performance
in the latter film, he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and earned
a BAFTA nomination for Best Foreign Actor.

After his award-winning performance, Lemmon was seen in My Sister Eileen (1955,
as Robert ‘Bob’ Baker), You Can’t Run Away from It (1956, as Peter Warne), Fire
Down Below (1957, playing Tony) and Cowboy (1958, costarring as Frank Harris).
Lemmon also began to acquire bigger parts on the small screen and was seen in
the drama series “Goodyear Theatre” (1957-1958) and “Alcoa Theatre” (1957-1958).
In 1958, he gave a fine turn as Nicky Holroyd in the movie Bell Book and Candle
(1958), a role that won him a starring role as Jerry/Daphne in Billy Wilder’s
Some Like It Hot (1959). Delivering a notable portrayal as a band member forced
to dress like a woman, Lemmon won a Golden Globe for Best Actor (Comedy or
Musical) as well as a British Film Academy award for Best Foreign Actor. The
role also gave him another Oscar nomination.

Following his starring role as George Denham in It Happened to Jane (1959), the
actor had another victory in his hands when he rejoined director Billy Wilder
for The Apartment (1960), portraying C.C. ‘Bud’ Baxter. As an unlucky clerk who
loaned his apartment to his superiors in the attempt of getting a job promotion,
Lemmon was so impressive that he took home a second Golden Globe for Best Actor
(Comedy or Musical) and a British Film Academy for Best Foreign Actor. He also
received another nomination at the Oscars.

1960 saw Lemmon perform on Broadway in a production of “Face of a Hero.” That
same year, he narrated the movie Le Voyage en Ballon, had a cameo role in Pepe
and starred as Lt. Rip Crandall in The Wackiest Ship in the Army. He then played
William Gridley in The Notorious Landlady before offering a bravura starring
turn as an alcoholic husband named Joe Clay in Blake Edwards’ Days of Wine and
Roses (both in 1962). For his efforts in the drama film, he earned an Academy
Award and Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor, in addition to a BAFTA
nomination for Best Foreign Actor.

In the subsequent years, Lemmon received more recognition. He nabbed Golden
Globe nominations for his unforgettable performances in Irma la Douce (1963,
played Nestor Patou/Lord X) and Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963, as Mr. Hogan). He
also earned BAFTA nominations after skillfully portraying Sam Bissel in Good
Neighbor Sam (1964) and Stanley Ford in Richard Quine’s How to Murder Your Wife
(1965). The next Golden Globe nomination came for his comic role of Professor
Fate/Prince Hapnik in Blake Edwards’ The Great Race (1965).

Next up for Lemmon, he had roles in Billy Wilder’s The Fortune Cookie (1966,
opposite Walter Matthau), Luv (1967) and There Comes a Day (1968), before taking
the off-camera position as an executive-producer for “Cool Hand Luke” (1967),
starring Paul Newman. Returning to acting, he continued his collaboration with
Walter Matthau in Gene Saks’ screen adaptation of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple
(1968), wherein his performance as Felix Ungar gave him not only further
popularity, but also a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Lemmon’s turn in
The April Fools (1969) and The Out-of-Towners (1970) led him to his directorial
debut, Kotch (1971), starring his friend Walter Matthau and his second wife
Felicia Farr. In the drama-comedy Kotch, he also appeared as the sleeping bus
passenger.

The charismatic actor once again attracted public attention when Wilder cast him
in the starring role of Wendell Armbruster, Jr. in the crisis comedy Avanti
(1972). Due to his good acting, Lemmon was handed a Golden Globe for Best Actor.
The same year, he also played Peter Edward Wilson in The War Between Men and
Women. In 1973, Lemmon delivered the starring role of Harry Stoner, opposite
Jack Gilford, in John Avildsen’s Save the Tiger. His captivating dramatic turn
as a struggling dress manufacturer garnered him his second Oscar, this time for
Best Actor, as well as brought him a Golden Globe nomination.
After his turn as the narrator in La Polizia ha le mani legate (1974), Lemmon
amazed fans again when he took the Golden Globe-nominated role of Hildebrand
‘Hildy’ Johnson in The Front Page (1974). After playing roles in Wednesday
(1975) and The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975), the multi-talented actor
resurfaced on the small screen and earned an Emmy nomination for the part of
Archie Rice in the made-for-TV version of John Osborne’s The Entertainer (1976).
Following his starring turn as Capt. Don Gallagher in Airport ‘77 (1977), Lemmon
returned to Broadway and received his first Tony nomination after playing
Scottie Templeton in “Tribute” (1978).

He then starred as a nuclear plant executive refusing to participate in an
accident cover-up, alongside Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda, in the movie The
China Syndrome (1979) and was so outstanding that he picked up a Cannes Film
Festival and a BAFTA for Best Actor, as well as earned a Golden Globe
nomination. The next year, he reprised his role of Scottie Templeton in the wide
screen version of Tribute and co-wrote the theme song “It’s All for the Best”
with Alan Jay Lerner. This revival won him a Berlin Film Festival award for Best
Actor and a Genie award for Best Foreign Actor, in addition to a Golden Globe
nomination.

Amid his big screen success, Lemmon continued to appear on the small screen by
taking parts in such TV films as Musical Comedy Tonight II (1981) and Stars Over
Texas (1982). He further established his reputation as a silver screen icon by
winning a Cannes Film Festival for Best Actor for his starring turn as Ed Horman,
a conservative father in search of his lost journalist son, in Costa-Gravas’
drama-thriller Missing (1982). Lemmon also offered notable turns as Father Tim
Farley in Mass Appeal (1984), Robert Traven in Maccheroni (1985), and Harvey
Fairchild in Blake Edwards’ That’s Life (1986), in which his convincing
portrayal of a depressed 60-year-old man in the latter film brought him a Golden
Globe nomination for Best Actor. He acquired his second Tony nomination for the
Broadway production of Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (1986),
playing James Tyrone, Sr., Kevin Spacey’s father. He reprised his role on the
small screen version of the play in 1987 and gained a Golden Globe nomination
for Best Actor.

Lemmon kept on delivering prize-winning roles both on the small screen and large
screen. He collected Golden Globe nominations by playing roles in movies like
The Murder of Mary Phagan (1988, TV, as Gov. John Slaton) and Dad (1989,
starring as Jake Tremont). After taking the supporting role of Jack Martin in
Oliver Stone’s JFK (1991), Lemmon starred as salesman Shelley Levene, who was
forced to commit a robbery, in James Foley’s Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), in
which his excellent acting won a National Board of Review and a Venice Film
Festival for Best Actor. He was then seen as Paul Finnigan, opposite Andie
MacDowell and Bruce Davison, in Robert Altman’s drama Short Cuts (1993), in
which he netted a 1994 Golden Globe for Best Ensemble Cast. He received another
Golden Globe nomination for his leading role in Gregory Mosher’s made-for-TV
drama A Life in the Theater (1993), which was followed by his reunion with
Walter Matthau in the highly successful Grumpy Old Men (1993) and Grumpier Old
Men (1995). After taking the leading role of President Russell P. Kramer in
Peter Segal’s adventure-comedy My Fellow Americans (1996), Lemmon provided an
exceptional portrayal of a juror in the TV film 12 Angry Men (1997). For his
fine portrayal, he received an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild
nomination for Best Actor.

After having his last costarring role with Walter Matthau in the sequel of The
Odd Couple, the Howard Deutch-helmed The Odd Couple II (1998), Lemmon was cast
as lawyer Henry Drummond in Daniel Petrie’s revival Inherit the Wind (1999, TV),
a role that brought him an Emmy nomination for Best Actor. By the end of 1999,
Lemmon was seen as Morrie Schwartz in the made-for-TV Tuesdays with Morrie
(1999). In the film executive-produced by Oprah Winfrey, Lemmon astonishingly
portrayed a retired teacher suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease and garnered a
Screen Actors Guild award for Best Male Actor (Television, Movie or Miniseries)
as well as a Golden Globe nomination.

Before his death, the gifted actor took an unaccredited part as the narrator in
Robert Redford’s The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000). The film also featured Will
Smith, Matt Damon, and Charlize Theron.


Awards:

Las Vegas Film Critics Society: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2000
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a
Television Movie or Miniseries, Tuesdays With Morrie, 2000
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion
Picture Made for TV, Inherit The Wind, 2000
Golden Apple: Hollywood Legend Award, 2000
Hollywood Film Festival: Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999
Screen Actors Guild: Male Actor (Televison Movie or Miniseries), Oprah
Winfrey Presents: Tuesdays with Morrie, 1999
Los Angeles Drama Critics: Lifetime Achievement, 1997
Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award, 1996
Berlin International Film Festival: Honorary Golden Berlin Bear, 1996
Golden Globe: Best Ensemble Cast, Short Cuts, 1994
NATO/ShoWest: Lifetime Achievement, 1993
Venice Film Festival: Best Actor, Glengarry Glen Ross, 1992
National Board of Review: Best Actor, Glengarry Glen Ross, 1992
Hollywood Foreign Press Association: Cecil B. DeMille Award, 1991
Screen Actors Guild: Life Achievement, 1989
American Film Institute: Life Achievement, 1988
Cannes Film Festival: Best Actor, Missing, 1992
Berlin Film Festival: Best Actor, Tribute, 1981
Genie: Best Foreign Actor, Tribute, 1981
Cannes Film Festival: Best Actor, The China Syndrome, 1979
BAFTA: Best Actor, China Syndrome, 1979
Oscar: Best Actor, Save the Tiger, 1973
Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical), Avanti,
1972
British Film Academy: Best Foreign Actor, The Apartment, 1960
Golden Globe: Best Actor (Comedy or Musical), The Apartment, 1960
British Film Academy: Best Foreign Actor, Some Like it Hot, 1959
Golden Globe: Best Actor (Comedy or Musical), Some Like it Hot, 1959

Oscar: Best Supporting Actor, Mister Roberts, 1955
Everything that is truly worthwhile - I think passion is involved in your approach to it. No matter what it is.More Jack Lemmon quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
When I'm reading material, if I'm a little bit afraid of a part and I'm willing to admit that to myself, then I'll do it, definitely. If I'm worried about being able to do it, to get it -I absolutely just love it.More Jack Lemmon quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I would rather play Hamlet with no rehearsal than TV golf.More Jack Lemmon quotes [07/30/2011 05:07:46]
I think whatever you do, if you are going to do well or even if you don't do it well, you have to have a passion for it, and I am passionate about it. I love it. I respect it and it gets me. I get off on acting.More Jack Lemmon quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I was lying ten and had a thirty-five foot putt. I whispered over my shoulder: "How does this one break?" And my caddie said, "Who cares?"More Jack Lemmon quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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