Jack Lemmon  (1925 - 2001)

Name at birth: John Uhler Lemmon III

Born: 8 February 1925 , to the president of a doughnut company,
Jack Lemmon began his career as an actor in the Dramatic Club
in Harvard, as well as graduating with a degree in War Service

Birthplace: Newton, Massachusetts

Date of Death
27 June 2001 (complications from cancer)


Lemmon was born in an elevator at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of
Boston. He was the son of Mildred Burgess LaRue (née Noel) and John Uhler Lemmon, Jr., who was
the president of a doughnut company. Lemmon attended John Ward Elementary School in Newton.
He later revealed that he knew he wanted to be an actor from the age of eight. Lemmon attended
Phillips Academy (Class of 43) and Harvard University (Class of 47) where he was an active member
of several Drama Clubs - becoming president of the Hasty Pudding Club - as well as a member of the
Delphic Club for Gentleman, a final club at Harvard. At twenty-two years of age, Lemmon graduated
from Harvard University and joined the Navy, receiving V-12 training and serving as an ensign. On
being discharged, he took up acting professionally, working on radio, television and Broadway. He
studied acting under Uta Hagen. He also became enthused with the piano and learned to play it on his
own. He could also play the harmonica and the bass fiddle.

Lemmon's film debut was a bit part as a plasterer/painter in the 1949 film The Lady Takes a Sailor but
he was not noticed until his official debut opposite Judy Holliday in the 1954 comedy, It Should
Happen to You. Lemmon worked with many legendary leading ladies of the cinema screen, among
them Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Betty Grable, Janet Leigh, Shirley MacLaine, Romy Schneider,
Doris Day, Kim Novak, Judy Holliday, Rita Hayworth, June Allyson, Virna Lisi, Ann Margret, Sophia
Loren, Grace Lee Whitney, Kathryn Grant and many, many more. He was also close friends with Tony
Curtis, Ernie Kovacs and Walter Matthau. He made two films with Curtis and eleven with Matthau.

He became a favorite actor of director Billy Wilder, starring in his films Some Like It Hot, The
Apartment, Irma La Douce, The Fortune Cookie, Avanti!, The Front Page and Buddy Buddy. Wilder
felt Lemmon had a natural tendency toward overacting that had to be tempered; the Wilder biography
Nobody's Perfect quotes the director as saying, "Lemmon, I would describe him as a ham, a fine ham,
and with ham you have to trim a little fat". The biography also quotes Jack Lemmon as saying, "I am
particularly susceptible to the parts I play... If my character was having a nervous breakdown, I started
to have one".

Lemmon recorded his own album in 1958 while filming Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe. Twelve
jazz tracks were created for Lemmon and another twelve tracks were added which were the
soundtracks to the film. Lemmon also played the piano and recorded his own versions of Monroe's
trademark songs, I Wanna Be Loved By You and I'm Through With Love, for the album which was
released in 1959 as A Twist of Lemmon/Some Like It Hot.

Lemmon was awarded the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1956 for Mister Roberts (1955) and the
Best Actor Oscar for Save the Tiger (1973), becoming the first actor to achieve this double. He was
also nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role in the controversial film Missing in 1982 and for his
role in Some Like it Hot. In 1988, the American Film Institute gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jack Lemmon
Days of Wine and Roses (1962) was one of his
favorite roles. He portrayed Joe Clay, a young,
fun-loving alcoholic
businessman. In that film, Lemmon delivered the
line, "My name is Joe Clay ... I'm an alcoholic."
Three and a half decades later, he admitted on the
television program, Inside the Actors Studio, that
he was not acting when he delivered that line, that
he really was a recovering alcoholic at the end of
his life.

Lemmon's production company JML produced
Cool Hand Luke in 1967. Paul Newman was
grateful to Lemmon for his support and offered him
the role later made famous by Robert Redford in
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but Lemmon
turned it down. He did not like riding horses and he
also felt he'd already played too many aspects of
the Sundance Kid's character before.

Throughout his career, Lemmon often appeared in
films alongside actor Walter Matthau. They would
go on to be one of the most beloved duos in
cinema history. Among their pairings was as Felix
Movie Credits
FILM DEBUT--The Lady Takes a Sailor (1949)
It Should Happen to You (1954)
Phffft! (1954)
Three for the Show (1955)
Mister Roberts (1955)
My Sister Eileen (1955)
Hollywood Bronc Busters (1955)
You Can't Run Away from It (1956)
Fire Down Below (1957)
Operation Mad Ball (1957)
Cowboy (1958)
Bell, Book and Candle (1958)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
It Happened to Jane (1959)
The Apartment (1960)
Stowaway in the Sky (1960)
Pepe (1960)
The Wackiest Ship In the Army (1960)
The Notorious Landlady (1962)
Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
Irma la Douce (1963)
Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963)
Good Neighbor Sam (1964)
How to Murder Your Wife (1965)
The Great Race (1965)
The Fortune Cookie (1966)
Luv (1967)
There Comes a Day (1968)
The Odd Couple (1968)
The April Fools (1969)
The Out-of-Towners (1970)
Kotch (1971)
The War Between Men and Women (1972)
Avanti! (1972)
Save the Tiger (1973)
The Police Can't Move (1974) (narrator)
The Front Page (1974)
Wednesday (1975)
The Gentleman Tramp (1975) (narrator)
The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975)
Alex & the Gypsy (1976)
Airport '77 (1977)
The China Syndrome (1979)
Portrait of a 60% Perfect Man (1980)
Tribute (1980)
Buddy Buddy (1981)
Missing (1982)
Mass Appeal (1984)
Macaroni (1985)
That's Life! (1986)
Dad (1989)
JFK (1991)
Beyond 'JFK': The Question of Conspiracy (1992)
The Player (1992)
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Luck, Trust & Ketchup: Robert Altman In Carver County (1993)
Short Cuts (1993)
Grumpy Old Men (1993)
The Grass Harp (1995)
Grumpier Old Men (1995)
Getting Away with Murder (1996)
My Fellow Americans (1996)
Hamlet (1996)
Out to Sea (1997)
Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's (1997)
Puppies for Sale (1998)
The Odd Couple II (1998)
The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
Unger (Lemmon) and Oscar Madison (Matthau) in the 1968 film, The Odd Couple. They also starred
together in The Fortune Cookie (for which Matthau won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor), The
Front Page and Buddy Buddy. In 1971, Lemmon directed Matthau in the comedy Kotch. It was the
only movie that Lemmon ever directed and Matthau was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for his
performance. Additionally, Lemmon and Matthau had small parts in Oliver Stone's 1991 film, JFK (the
only film in which they both appeared but shared no screentime). In 1993, the duo teamed up again to
star in Grumpy Old Men. The film was a surprise hit, earning the two actors a new generation of
young fans. During the rest of the decade, they would go on to star together in Out to Sea, Grumpier
Old Men and the widely-panned The Odd Couple II. The only death scenes that Lemmon performed
were in The China Syndrome in 1979 and in The Legend of Bagger Vance where he played
uncredited introductory and final scenes. For his part in The China Syndrome, he was awarded Best
Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1982, he won another Cannes award for his performance in
Missing (which also received the Palme d'Or). He is currently the only actor other than Marcello
Mastroianni to have won it twice.

At the 1998 Golden Globe Awards, he was nominated for "Best Actor in a Made for TV Movie" for his
role in Twelve Angry Men losing to Ving Rhames. After accepting the award, Rhames asked Lemmon
to come onstage and in a move that stunned the audience, gave his award to him. (The Hollywood
Foreign Press Association, which presents the Golden Globes, decided to have a second award
made and sent to Rhames.).

Lemmon was one of the best-liked actors in Hollywood. He is remembered as making time for people
as the actor Kevin Spacey recalled in a tribute. When already regarded as a legend, he met the
teenage Spacey backstage after a theater performance and spoke to him about pursuing an acting
career. Spacey would later work with Lemmon in Dad (1989), the critically acclaimed film Glengarry
Glen Ross (1992) and on stage in a revival of Long Day's Journey Into Night. Lemmon's performance
even inspired Gil Gunderson, a character on The Simpsons that is modeled on Lemmon's character
in the film.

Lemmon was married twice. His son, Chris Lemmon, (b. 1954), was his first child by his first wife,
actress Cynthia Stone (b. February 26, 1926, Peoria, Illinois). He is also an actor. His second wife was
the western actress Felicia Farr, with whom he had a daughter, Courtney, born in 1966.

Jack Lemmon died of colon cancer and metastatic cancer of the bladder on June 27, 2001. He had
been fighting the disease, very privately, for two years before his death.

Lemmon's son, Chris Lemmon, made several TV shows and movies. He also wrote a book about his
father after his death named A Twist of Lemmon: A Tribute to My Father.

inducted into the Delta films Hall of Fame - Actor
Date Unknown
Walk of Fame - unknown  - Star on the Walk of Fame Motion Picture
At 6357 Hollywood Blvd.
Emmy Awards - Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie   for: Tuesdays with Morrie
Golden Globes, USA - Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or    
        Motion Picture Made for TV     for: Inherit the Wind
Golden Apple Awards - Hollywood Legend Award   
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards  - Lifetime Achievement Award
Screen Actors Guild Awards - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television
                     Movie or Miniseries       for: Tuesdays with Morrie
Hollywood Film Festival - Lifetime Achievement Award  
Berlin International Film Festival - Honorary Golden Berlin Bear
Golden Globes - Won Special Award Best Ensemble Cast    for: Short Cuts
ShoWest Convention, USA - Lifetime Achievement Award   
Venice Film Festival - Volpi Cup Best Ensemble Cast    for: Short Cuts
Film Society of Lincoln Center - Gala Tribute
Valladolid International Film Festival - Best Actor   for: Glengarry Glen Ross
Venice Film Festival  -  Volpi Cup Best Actor    for: Glengarry Glen Ross
National Board of Review - NBR Award Best Actor   for: Glengarry Glen Ross
Golden Globes - Won Cecil B. DeMille Award
American Comedy Awards  - Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy  
Screen Actors Guild Awards   - Life Achievement Award   
American Film Institute, USA  - Life Achievement Award  
National Board of Review - Career Achievement Award  
Cannes Film Festival - Won Best Actor    for: Missing
Berlin International Film Festival - Silver Berlin Bear Best Actor   for: Tribute
Genie Awards - Genie Best Performance by a Foreign Actor   for: Tribute
David di Donatello Awards - David Best Foreign Actor    for: The China Syndrome
BAFTA Awards - BAFTA Film Award Best Actor   for: The China Syndrome
Cannes Film Festival  - Best Actor    for: The China Syndrome
David di Donatello Awards - David Best Foreign Actor   for: The Front Page
Academy Awards - Oscar Best Actor in a Leading Role   for: Save the Tiger
Golden Globes - Golden Globe Best Motion Picture Actor - Musical/Comedy   for: Avanti!
Hasty Pudding Theatricals, USA - Man of the Year   
Emmy Awards  - Emmy Outstanding Single Program - Variety or Musical - Variety and Popular
               Music       for: 'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous, 'S Gershwin
Laurel Awards - Golden Laurel - Male Comedy Performance   for: The April Fools
Laurel Awards - Golden Laurel - Male Star
Laurel Awards - Golden Laurel - Male Comedy Performance   for: How to Murder Your Wife
Laurel Awards - Golden Laurel - Top Male Comedy Performance   for: Irma la Douce
Fotogramas de Plata - Fotogramas de Plata Best Foreign Performer
                                for: Days of Wine and Roses
Sant Jordi Awards - Sant Jordi Best Performance in a Foreign Film   
                                for: Days of Wine and Roses
Laurel Awards - Golden Laurel Top Male Dramatic Performance for: Days of Wine and Roses
San Sebastián International Film Festival - San Sebastián Prize - Best Actor
                                                                    for: Days of Wine and Roses
Laurel Awards - Golden Laurel Top Male Comedy Performance    for: The Apartment
BAFTA Awards - BAFTA Film Award Best Foreign Actor    for: The Apartment
Golden Globes - Golden Globe Best Motion Picture Actor - Musical/Comedy
                        for: The Apartment
BAFTA Awards - BAFTA Film Award Best Foreign Actor   for: Some Like It Hot
Golden Apple Awards - Golden Apple Most Cooperative Actor
Golden Globes - Golden Globe Best Motion Picture Actor - Musical/Comedy
                          for: Some Like It Hot
Academy Awards - Oscar Best Actor in a Supporting Role   for: Mister Roberts