Jack Lemmon Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (2)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (88)  | Personal Quotes (18)  | Salary (8)

Overview (4)

Born in Newton, Massachusetts, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (bladder cancer)
Birth NameJohn Uhler Lemmon III
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Jack Lemmon was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Mildred Lankford Noel and John Uhler Lemmon, Jr., the president of a doughnut company. His ancestry included Irish (from his paternal grandmother) and English. Jack attended Ward Elementary near his Newton, MA home. At age 9 he was sent to Rivers Country Day School, then located in nearby Brookline. After RCDS, he went to high school at Phillips Andover Academy. Jack was a member of the Harvard class of 1947, where he was in Navy ROTC and the Dramatic Club. After service as a Navy ensign, he worked in a beer hall (playing piano), on radio, off Broadway, TV and Broadway. His movie debut was with Judy Holliday in It Should Happen to You (1954). He won Best Supporting Actor as Ensign Pulver in Mister Roberts (1955). He received nominations in comedy (Some Like It Hot (1959), The Apartment (1960)) and drama (Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The China Syndrome (1979), Tribute (1980) and Missing (1982)). He won the Best Actor Oscar for Save the Tiger (1973) and the Cannes Best Actor award for "Syndrome" and "Missing". He made his debut as a director with Kotch (1971) and in 1985 on Broadway in "Long Day's Journey into Night". In 1988 he received the Life Achievement Award of the American Film Institute.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Jack Lemmon was born on February 8, 1925 in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. He initially acted on TV before moving to Hollywood for the big screen, cultivating a career that would span decades. An eight time Academy Award nominee, with two wins, Lemmon starred in over 60 films including Some Like It Hot (1959), The Apartment (1960), Irma la Douce (1963), The Odd Couple (1968), Save the Tiger (1973) and Grumpy Old Men (1993). Some of his most beloved performances stemmed from his collaborations with acclaimed director Billy Wilder and with his fellow friend and actor Walter Matthau.

A versatile and beloved performer, Jack Lemmon was a celebrated virtuoso in both comedy and drama. The only child of Mildred Lankford Noel and John Uhler Lemmon Jr., who was the president of a doughnut company, Lemmon had a fairly affluent upbringing. He attended the prestigious Phillips Academy (Class of 1943) and Harvard College (Class of 1947). At Harvard, Lemmon found his passion for theater. He was also a member of the V-12 Navy College Training Program and served briefly as an ensign on an aircraft carrier during World War II before returning to Harvard following his time served in the military.

After college, Lemmon moved to New York City and spent much of his time there playing piano in a bar before landing small roles on the radio, stage and television. Two years later, Lemmon earned his first big role in the comedy war drama Mister Roberts (1955) with Henry Fonda and James Cagney. His complex portrayal of a somewhat dishonest but sensitive character earned him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Lemmon would go on to work on a number of films with comedian and close friend Ernie Kovacs, including Bell Book and Candle (1958). In 1959, Lemmon gave one of the top comedic performances of his career when he starred alongside Tony Curtis in the romantic comedy film Some Like It Hot (1959), the first of several collaborations with director Billy Wilder. Lemmon also received critical acclaim for his portrayal of C.C. 'Bud' Baxter in the The Apartment (1960) while working again with Wilder. Lemmon enjoyed great success on the big screen throughout the 1950s and 60s.

The Fortune Cookie (1966) served as the start of a comedic partnership between Lemmon and Walter Matthau and the two would come together again, two years later, for The Odd Couple (1968), one of their most endearing films together. As the 1970s came around, Lemmon began to undertake more dramatic roles and won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Save the Tiger (1973). Throughout the 80s and 90s, Lemmon continued to excel in his character performances and earned a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1988.

Sometimes referred to as "America's Everyman", Lemmon's versatility as an actor helped the audience more closely identify and relate to him. He was able always to elicit a laugh or sympathy from his viewers and his charismatic presence always shined on the big screen. He often portrayed the quintessence of aspiring man and established a lasting impression on the film industry.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Kyle Perez

Spouse (2)

Felicia Farr (17 August 1962 - 27 June 2001) ( his death) ( 1 child)
Cynthia Stone (7 May 1950 - 4 December 1956) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (5)

Frequently worked with Billy Wilder.
Often cast in films with Walter Matthau.
Known for playing likeable but down on their luck characters
Often played average working class men trying to get ahead in life
Speedy delivery

Trivia (88)

An accomplished, self-taught pianist, he wrote the theme for the movie Tribute (1980) and played jazz in a Bobby Short TV special.
Ranked #47 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
His son, Chris Lemmon, appeared with him in Airport '77 (1977).
Became a father for the 1st time at age 29 when his 1st [now ex] wife Cynthia Stone gave birth to their son Christopher Boyd Lemmon [aka Chris Lemmon] on June 22, 1954.
Became a father for the 2nd time at age 40 when his 2nd wife Felicia Farr gave birth to their daughter Courtney Noelle Lemmon [aka Courtney Lemmon] on January 7, 1966.
Born at 2:00pm-EST.
Lemmon admitted to having had a serious drinking problem at one time, which is one reason he looked back on his Oscar-winning role as Harry Stoner in Save the Tiger (1973) as perhaps the most gratifying, emotionally fulfilling performance of his career.
He was pleasantly shocked by Golden Globe winner Ving Rhames in 1998 when Rhames called him up to the stage and actually gave him the award for Best Actor in a TV Movie, which he had just won, to express his admiration to the veteran actor.
Described his flamboyant, authoritarian mother as "Tallulah Bankhead on a road show." Laughed about how she used to hang out with her girlfriends at the Ritz Bar in Boston and how she tried to have her cremation ashes placed on the bar (the management refused).
Since his middle initial was U., he had to deal with ribbing from kids who taunted him with, "Jack, u lemon".
In Harvard, he was in Navy ROTC and graduated with a degree in "War Service Sciences."
He studied with Uta Hagen, and considers her his prime early mentor.
Lemmon's dad, a bakery executive, didn't approve of his son taking up acting, but told him he should continue with it only as long as he felt passion for it, adding: "The day I don't find romance in a loaf of bread..." His dying words to Jack were: "Spread a little sunshine."
Was born February 8, 1925, in an elevator at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts.
1947 graduate of Harvard University.
Lemmon passed away four days shy of one year after his frequent co-star, Walter Matthau.
Was president of the Harvard Hasty Pudding Club.
Graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, in 1943.
During WW II, he served in the Naval Reserve and was the communications officer on the USS Lake Champlain.
Before any take he would say, "It's magic time."
Is a recipient of the Connor Award, an award given to someone who displays an excellence in the communicative arts, handed out by the brothers of the fraternity Phi Alpha Tau from Emerson College in Boston.
Was good friends with Walter Matthau and Biff Elliot.
He was voted the 33rd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
He once had a Baskin-Robbins ice cream flavor named after him: "Jack Lemmon". It was still being produced in the early 1980s but has since been discontinued and is not listed on the Baskin-Robbins website.
Appeared on an episode of The Simpsons (1989), in which he convinced Marge to get into the pretzel business. Shelley Levene, his character from Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), was the inspiration for another Simpsons character, the usually jobless Gil, who Marge first met while working at a real estate firm.
He was voted the 45th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premiere Magazine.
Did all of his own stunts for My Fellow Americans (1996).
First actor to win two "Best Actor" Award at the Cannes Film Festival. (Dean Stockwell won twice at the festival before, but he had to share both of his awards with his co-stars)
He and Walter Matthau acted together in 10 movies: The Fortune Cookie (1966), The Odd Couple (1968), The Front Page (1974), Buddy Buddy (1981), JFK (1991), Grumpy Old Men (1993), Grumpier Old Men (1995), The Grass Harp (1995), Out to Sea (1997) and The Odd Couple II (1998). Lemmon also directed Matthau in Kotch (1971).
Billy Wilder directed him in 7 movies: The Apartment (1960), Avanti! (1972), Buddy Buddy (1981), The Fortune Cookie (1966), The Front Page (1974), Irma la Douce (1963) and Some Like It Hot (1959).
He and The China Syndrome (1979) co-stars Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda have all won Oscars for Leading Roles. Lemmon won for Save the Tiger (1973), Fonda won for Klute (1971), and Douglas won for Wall Street (1987).
His headstone reads "Jack Lemmon in".
Appears in Mister Roberts (1955) with Henry Fonda, in which he takes over Fonda's position of Cargo Officer when Fonda is transferred off the USS Reluctant. In 12 Angry Men (1997), Lemmon plays the same juror that Fonda played in the original.
His performance as Jerry/Daphne in Some Like It Hot (1959) is ranked #65 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
A passionate but unskilled golfer who tried for 33 years to make the cut at Pebble Beach but didn't.
Starred opposite Henry Fonda in Mister Roberts (1955) in 1955 and opposite Henry's daughter, Jane Fonda, in The China Syndrome (1979) in 1979.
His performance as Jerry/Daphne in Some Like It Hot (1959) is ranked #29 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Father-in-law of Gina Raymond and Peter McCrea.
Owner of Jalem Productions, which co-produced many of his films as well as Cool Hand Luke (1967) starring Paul Newman.
The only actor to be offered the role of George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) before Richard Burton was cast. He accepted the role but quickly changed his mind the next day without offering any explanation.
Holds the record for most Golden Globe nominations for acting, including both actors and actresses (22 total).
Best remembered by the public for his roles playing the "average Joe" and for his many roles opposite good friend Walter Matthau.
During his early days as a contract player with Columbia Pictures, studio head Harry Cohn wanted Lemmon to change his screen name to "Jack Lennon." Cohn feared that critics would make use of Lemmon's last name (i.e., "Jack Lemmon's performance in the film is a lemon."). Lemmon convinced Cohn if he changed his name to "Lennon," everyone would think that he was related to V.I. Lenin, the founder of Soviet Communism (this was the 1950s, the time of the McCarthy "Red Scare", and years before the appearance of John Lennon and The Beatles). Referring to Vladimir Lenin, Cohn told Lemmon, "No, that's wrong. They pronounce his name 'Len-IN." "No," Lemmon replied, firmly. "It's pronounced 'LEN-in." After making a phone call to a Russian associate, who confirmed that Lenin's name was pronounced "LEN-in",' Cohn agreed to let Lemmon keep his own name.
Kevin Spacey dedicated his Oscar for American Beauty (1999) to Lemmon.
Openly admitted on Inside the Actors Studio (1994) that he was an alcoholic.
His father, John Uhler Lemmon II has an uncredited role in The Notorious Landlady (1962).
Producer Howard Koch originally wanted Art Carney to replicate his role of Felix in The Odd Couple (1968), but Paramount production chief Robert Evans wanted Jack Lemmon, who was a superstar. Carney would later win the Academy Award as Best Actor for Harry and Tonto (1974) (1974) one year after Lemmon picked up his Best Actor Oscar for Save the Tiger (1973).
Jack Lemmon was the top male Box Office Star of 1964, as ranked by Quigley Publications' survey of movie exhibitors. He ranked #2 that year, topped only by Doris Day. In the 11 years from 1960 to 1970, Lemmon was ranked a Top 10 Box Office Star eight times (1960, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969 and 1970).
Was considered for the role of Carl Fox in Wall Street (1987).
"Gil", on The Simpsons (1989), is based on Lemmon's character, "Shelley Levine", from Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).
Directed one Oscar-nominated performance: Walter Matthau in Kotch (1971).
Release of the book, "A Twist of Lemmon: A Tribute to My Father" by Chris Lemmon. [2006]
He had English, Irish, and more distant French, Dutch, and Welsh, ancestry.
Has appeared in four films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Mister Roberts (1955), The Apartment (1960), Missing (1982), and JFK (1991). The Apartment won in the category. He was nominated for his performances in all of these films except J.F.K., winning Best Supporting Actor for Mister Roberts.
Is one of just 6 actors to win both a leading and supporting actor Oscar. The other 5 are Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Denzel Washington. Lemmon was also the first actor to accomplish this feat.
Kevin Spacey has frequently said that working with hero Jack Lemmon on stage in a production of "Long Day's Journey into Night" was a transformative experience for him. Spacey described himself as basically a bitter, stand-offish type at that time but was amazed that Lemmon was friendly and generous to everyone he interacted with both backstage and with the audience at the stage door and Spacey said it convinced him that being a great actor and a good person weren't mutually exclusive. The two would later share the screen in Long Day's Journey Into Night (1987), Dad (1989) and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).
One of four people to have achieved the rare feat of winning an acting prize in the three major film festivals: Venice Film Festivel, Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival. The others to do so are Julianne Moore, Sean Penn and Juliette Binoche. Lemmon was the first one to achieve this feat. Additionally, all four actors have won acting Oscars.
In 1958 he turned down the lead in the Broadway production of William Inge's "Two for the Seesaw in 1958. He said, "It's great, but the crux of it is the girl's story." Henry Fonda ultimately played the role.
Named the British classic, The Magic Box (1951), as his favorite film in an AFI poll.
Was just 17 years younger than Burgess Meredith, who played his father in Grumpy Old Men (1993) and Grumpier Old Men (1995).
Jack's son, Chris Lemmon, wrote a play about his father and their relationship. Performed in the voice of Jack Lemmon and featuring many of his father's Hollywood friends, the play opens at St James Theatre, London on 1st June 2016 - 18th June 2016.
He died on the same day as Chet Atkins, and John Lee Hooker.
He was considered for the role of Leonard Vole in Witness for the Prosecution (1957) that went to Tyrone Power.
He was originally cast as Halfdan the Black in Erik the Viking (1989), but dropped out. John Cleese replaced him.
He was considered for the lead role in All That Jazz (1979), but was deemed too old.
He turned down the role of Walt Whitaker in The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming (1966) that went to Carl Reiner.
He was considered for the role of George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) that went to Richard Burton.
He was considered for the role of Uncle Joe McTeague in Greedy (1994) that went to Kirk Douglas.
He was offered the lead role in Cool Hand Luke (1967), but turned it down, feeling that it would be better suited to Paul Newman. His production company made the film.
He turned down the lead role in The Hustler (1961).
To golfers everywhere Lemmon was known as the "star" of the celebrity-packed third round telecast of the annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, held at Pebble Beach Golf Links each February. Lemmon's packed gallery was there not only for his humor but also to root him on in his lifelong quest to "make the cut" to round 4, something he was not able to achieve. The amateur who helps his team most in the Pro-Am portion is annually awarded the Jack Lemmon Award.
He was going to star in Death Wish (1974) with Sidney Lumet directing.
He was Blake Edwards' original choice for the lead role in 10 (1979), but he never responded to it.
He was considered for the role of Colorado Ryan in Rio Bravo (1959) that went to Ricky Nelson.
He was considered for the role of Jordan "Jordy" Benedict III in Giant (1956) that went to Dennis Hopper.
He expressed an interest in playing the title role in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) when Billy Wilder was having trouble casting.
He was considered for the role of William C. Irvine in Heaven's Gate (1980) that went to John Hurt.
He lobbied for the role of Captain John Yossarian in Catch-22 (1970).
He was considered for the lead role in The Straight Story (1999).
He was considered for the role of Taylor and Cornelius in Planet of the Apes (1968). Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall were cast.
Paul Newman offered him the chance to costar in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), but he was busy making The Odd Couple (1968). He also cited a dislike of horse riding.
He was considered for the role of Orville Spooner in Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) that went to Roy Watson.
Became the first ever male actor to win Academy Awards for both Best Actor (for Save the Tiger (1973)) and Best Supporting Actor (for Mister Roberts (1955)).
He has appeared in three films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Some Like It Hot (1959), The Apartment (1960) and Days of Wine and Roses (1962).
The China Syndrome (1979) was the only movie he acted in where his character died.
His father was an amateur singer and soft shoe dancer.
He was a Harvard graduate and had 5 years experience in radio. television and Summer stock.
He was on Broadway in a revival of 'Room Service' which led to a Hollywood contract.

Personal Quotes (18)

[accepting his award at the 2000 Golden Globes] In the spirit of Ving Rhames, I'm going to give this award to Jack Lemmon.
If you think it's difficult to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball.
The worst part about being me is when people want me to make them laugh.
I won't quit until I get run over by a truck, a producer or a critic.
It's hard enough to write a good drama, it's much harder to write a good comedy, and it's hardest of all to write a drama with comedy. Which is what life is.
Nobody deserves this much money - certainly not an actor.
[on Marilyn Monroe] Difficult? Yes. But she was a wonderful comedienne and she had a charisma like no one before or since.
[on Judy Holliday] She was intelligent and not at all like the dumb blonds she so often depicted. She didn't give a damn where the camera was placed, how she was made to look, or about being a star. She just played the scene -- acted with, not at. She was also one of the nicest people I ever met.
[on Billy Wilder] I've had directors who were marvelous at breaking scenes down and handling people. But when you would string all the pearls together, they wouldn't make a beautiful necklace. But Billy is the kind of picture-maker who can make a beautiful string of pearls. He makes the kind of movies that are classics and last forever.
[on Walter Matthau] Walter is a helluva actor. The best I've ever worked with.
[on Shirley MacLaine] She hated rehearsals and had a bad habit of ad-libbing, which didn't set well with Billy Wilder. But we got used to each other, because mainly she's a helluva girl.
(On comedic roles in 1970) I really can't be funny unless it's part of the character. It really bugs me when someone thinks of me as a comic. If I read 'comedian Jack Lemmon,' I gag. That means I'm not an actor - which I am.
(In a 1984 interview) "I've worked with great actors, great directors, and had some marvelous parts. Oh, my God, I don't know any actor who has had more tremendous parts! I really don't. I don't know of one, and I think it's why we're sitting here. I think it's why I'm still around.
(on Judy Holliday) She was one of the greats, and her early death was one of the great tragedies. She was also one of the nicest people I ever hope to meet. She was hardly the dizzy blonde. If she were alive today, she would've zipped right through the Mensa puzzles. God, I was sweating gumdrops, on the plane coming here trying to do those those suckers.
(On Marilyn Monroe) ... a good light comedienne, unique. She wasn't that enormously talented, but her gift was knowing how to use the special kind of talent she had to great advantage... I really couldn't get to know what was inside her. She would put up a glass window and never let anyone in.
It's better to work with a Billy Wilder once or with a John Ford once than to work with four other directors who do not have that touch of genius.
Wilder goes for the home run every time, and sometimes he strikes out. So did Babe Ruth, but Ruth was the greatest of them all, and, in my opinion, so is Billy.
Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure.

Salary (8)

Some Like It Hot (1959) $100,000
The Apartment (1960) $175,000
Irma la Douce (1963) $350,000 + 7.5% of the gross.
The Great Race (1965) $125,000
The Odd Couple (1968) $1,000,000 against 10% of the gross
Save the Tiger (1973) Scale and % of profits.
The China Syndrome (1979) $250,000
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) $1,000,000

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