Jack Lemmon

John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III (February 8, 1925 – June 27, 2001) was an American actor who was nominated for an Academy Award eight times, winning twice. He starred in over 60 films, such as Mister Roberts (1955, for which he won the year's Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), Some Like It Hot (1959), The Apartment (1960), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), Irma la Douce (1963), The Great Race (1965), The Odd Couple (1968, and its sequel The Odd Couple II (1998), both with frequent co-star Walter Matthau), Save the Tiger (1973, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor), The China Syndrome (1979), Missing (1982), and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).

Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon - 1968
Lemmon in 1968
John Uhler Lemmon III

February 8, 1925
DiedJune 27, 2001 (aged 76)
Resting placeWestwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
Alma materHarvard College (1947)
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1949–2000
Cynthia Stone
(m. 1950; div. 1956)

Felicia Farr
(m. 1962)
Children2, including Chris Lemmon
Military career
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1945–1946
RankUS Navy O1 infobox.svg Ensign[1]

Early life

Lemmon was born on February 8, 1925, in an elevator at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts.[2] He was the only child of Mildred Burgess LaRue and John Uhler Lemmon, Jr., the president of the Doughnut Corporation of America.[3][4] John Uhler Lemmon II was of Irish heritage, and his son was raised Catholic.[5] His parents had a difficult marriage, and separated permanently when Lemmon was 18, but never divorced.[2][6] He attended John Ward Elementary School in Newton and the Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts. Often unwell as a child, Lemmon had three significant operations on his ears before he turned 10.[7] He had spent two years in hospital by the time he turned 12.[8]

During his acceptance of his lifetime achievement award, he stated that he knew he wanted to be an actor from the age of eight. He began to act in school productions.[9] Lemmon attended Rivers Country Day School and Phillips Andover Academy (Class of 1943), where he pursued track sports with success, and Harvard College (Class of 1947), where he lived in Eliot House[3][10] At Harvard, he was president of the Hasty Pudding Club and vice-president of Dramatic and Delphic Clubs. Except for drama and music, however, he was an unexceptional student.[2] Forbidden to act in theatres, Lemmon broke Harvard rules to appear in roles using pseudonyms like Timothy Orange. [11]

He was also a member of the V-12 Navy College Training Program and Lemmon was commissioned by the United States Navy,[5] serving briefly as an ensign on an aircraft carrier during World War II before returning to Harvard after completing his military service.[12] After graduation with a degree in War Service Sciences[13] in 1947,[14] He studied acting under coach Uta Hagen at HB Studio[15] in New York City.[5] He was a pianist, who became devoted to the instrument aged 14 and learned to play by ear.[3][8] For about a year in New York City, he worked unpaid as a waiter and master of ceremonies at the Old Knick bar on Second Avenue.[2] He also played the piano at the venue.[16]


Early years (1949–65)

Lemmon became a professional actor, working on radio and Broadway.[5] His film debut was a bit part as a plasterer in the film The Lady Takes a Sailor (1949),[17] but he was already appearing in television shows, which numbered about 400 in the five years from 1948.[7]

Lemmon believed his stage career was about to take off when he was appearing on Broadway for the first time in a 1953 revival of the comedy Room Service, but the production closed after two weeks.[18] Despite this setback, he was spotted by talent scout Max Arnow, who was then working for Columbia, and Lemmon's focus shifted to films and Hollywood.[3] Columbia's head Harry Cohn wanted to change Lemmon's name, in case it was used to describe the quality of the actor's films, but he successfully resisted.[19]

His first role as a leading man was in the comedy It Should Happen to You (1954), which also featured the established Judy Holliday in the female lead. Bosley Crowther in his review for The New York Times described Lemmon as possessing "a warm and appealing personality. The screen should see more of him."[20] The two leads soon reunited in Phffft (also 1954).[21] Kim Novak had a secondary role as a brief love interest for Lemmon's character.[22] "If it wasn't for Judy, I'm not sure I would have concentrated on films", he told The Washington Post in 1986 saying early in his career he had a snobbish attitude towards films over the stage.[23] He managed to negotiate a contract with Columbia allowing him leeway to pursue other projects, some of the terms of which he said "nobody had gotten before".[24] He signed a seven year contract, but ended staying with Columbia for ten years.[11] Lemmon's appearance as Ensign Pulver in Mister Roberts (1955), with James Cagney and Henry Fonda, for Warner Bros. gained Lemmon the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Director John Ford decided to cast Lemmon after seeing his Columbia screen test, which had been directed by Richard Quine. At an impromptu meeting on the studio lot, Ford persuaded the actor to appear in the film, although Lemmon did not realise he was in conversation with Ford at the time.[7]

In the military farce Operation Mad Ball (1957) set in a U.S. Army base in France after World War II, Lemmon played a calculating private.[22] He met comedian Ernie Kovacs, who co-starred, and they became close friends, appearing together in two subsequent films, as a warlock in Bell, Book and Candle (1958, a film he apparently disliked)[24] and It Happened to Jane (1959), all three under the direction of Richard Quine. Lemmon starred in six films directed by Quine.[11] The others were My Sister Eileen (1955), The Notorious Landlady (1962) and How to Murder Your Wife (1965).

Chaplin oscar
Charlie Chaplin (right) receiving an Honorary Academy Award from Lemmon at the 44th Academy Awards in 1972

Lemmon worked with Billy Wilder on seven films. Their association began with the director's Some Like It Hot (1959), with Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe.[6] His role required him to perform 80% of the role in drag, although people who knew his mother, Millie Lemmon, said he had mimicked her personality and even her hairstyle.[2] The critic Pauline Kael said he was "demoniacally funny" in the part.[3] The sequence of films with Wilder continued with The Apartment (1960) and Irma la Douce (1963), in which Lemmon co-starred with Shirley MacLaine. He was Oscar nominated for his roles in Some Like It Hot and The Apartment. MacLaine, observing the director's relationship with his male lead, believed it amounted to "professional infatuation".[3]

Lemmon first role a film directed by Blake Edwards was in Days of Wine and Roses (1962) portraying Joe Clay, a young alcoholic businessman. The role, for which he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar, was one of Lemmon's favorite roles. By this time, he had appeared in 15 comedies, a western and an adventure film. "The movie people put a label attached to your big toe — 'light comedy' — and that's the only way they think of you", he commented in an interview during 1984. "I knew damn well I could play drama. Things changed following Days of Wine and Roses. That was as important a film as I've ever done."[3] Days of Wine and Roses was the first film where Lemmon was involved with production of the film via his Jalam production company.[25] Lemmon's association with Edwards continued with The Great Race (1965), which reunited him with Tony Curtis. His salary this time was $1 million, but the film did not return its large budget at the box-office.[26]

Mid-career (1966–78)

In Wilder's The Fortune Cookie (1966), Lemmon first worked with actor Walter Matthau, which the British critic, Philip French, described as their "one truly great film".[27] Another nine films with them co-starring eventually followed.[7] Lemmon's production company Jalem produced Cool Hand Luke (1967) with Paul Newman in the lead.[8] Newman, in gratitude, offered him the role of the Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but Lemmon turned it down.[28]

The best known Lemmon-Matthau film is The Odd Couple (1968), based on the Neil Simon play, with the lead characters being the mismatched Felix Ungar (Lemmon) and Oscar Madison (Matthau), respectively neurotical and cynical.[29] The much admired comedy Kotch (1971), the only film Lemmon directed,[8] starred Matthau who was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. The Out-of-Towners (1970) was another Neil Simon scripted film in which Lemmon appeared.

Lemmon starred with Juliet Mills in Avanti! (1972) and appeared with Matthau in The Front Page (1974). Both films were directed by Wilder. He 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." Wilder though also once said: "Happiness is working with Jack Lemmon".[19]

Lemmon in Save the Tiger (1973) plays Harry Stoner, a businessman in the garment trade who finds someone to commit arson by burning down his warehouse to avoid bankruptcy.[3][8] The project was rejected by multiple studios, but Paramount was prepared to make the film if it was budgeted for only $1 million. Lemmon was so keen to play the part that he worked for union scale, then $165 a week.[18] The role was demanding, like the character Lemmon came close to breaking point: "I started to crack as the character did," he recalled. "I just kept getting deeper and deeper into the character's despair."[7] For this film, Lemmon won the Best Actor Oscar. Having won the Best Supporting actor Academy Award for Mister Roberts, he became the first actor to achieve a double, although Helen Hayes had achieved this feat three years earlier in the equivalent female categories.[3]

Later career (1979–2001)

Lemmon was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role The China Syndrome (1979), for which he was also awarded Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival.[30] In Tribute, a stage drama first performed in 1979, he played a press agent who has cancer while trying to mend his relationship with his son. The Broadway production ran for 212 performances, but it gained mixed reviews. Nevertheless, Lemmon was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.[6] For his role in the 1980 film version, Lemmon gained another Oscar nomination.[31]

His final Oscar nomination was for Missing (1982), as a conservative father whose son has vanished in Chile while it was under the Pinochet, he won another Cannes award for his performance.[6] A contemporary failure was his last film with Billy Wilder, Buddy Buddy (1981). Lemmon's character attempts suicide in a hotel while a hitman (Matthau) in the next suite.[32] Another flop at the box-office was his final film with Blake Edwards, another of his friends, was That's Life! (1986) in which he appeared in the director's self-autobiographical part with Edwards' wife, Julie Andrews. A seductress role was played by Lemmon's wife, Felicia Farr.[8] His later career is said to have been affected by other bad choices, such as Mass Appeal (1984), about a conservative Catholic priest, Macaroni (1985), a tale about old Army friends with Marcello Mastroianni, and That's Life.[11] Lemmon received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1988.

Lemmon was nominated for a Tony Award the second and last time for a revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night in 1986;[33] Lemmon had taken the lead role of James Tyrone in a production directed by Jonathan Miller.[23] It had a London run in 1987, Lemmon's first theatre work in the city, and a television version followed. A return to London in 1989 for the anti-war play Veterans' Day, with Michael Gambon, was poorly received by critics and, following modest audiences, soon closed.[8][19] As well as the production of Long Day's Journey Into Night, Lemmon also worked with Kevin Spacey in the films The Murder of Mary Phagan (1987), Dad (1989), and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).

Jack Lemmon 1988 ArM
Jack Lemmon, attending an awards ceremony in 1988

Lemmon and Matthau had small parts in Oliver Stone's film, JFK (1991) in which both men appeared without sharing screen time.[34] The duo reunited in Grumpy Old Men (1993). The film was a surprise hit. Later in the decade, they starred together in The Grass Harp (from a Truman Capote novel), Grumpier Old Men (both 1995), Out to Sea (1997), and The Odd Couple II (1998). The last film and the other sequel, Grumpier Old Men, were box-office disappointments.[11]

For his role in the William Friedkin[7] directed version of Twelve Angry Men (1997), Lemmon was nominated for "Best Actor in a Made for TV Movie" in the 1998 Golden Globe Awards. The role was as the contentious juror, played in the original 1957 film version by Henry Fonda. Lemmon appeared in the remake with George C. Scott and reunited with him in another television film, this time Inherit the Wind (1999).[6]

Lemmon was a guest voice on The Simpsons episode "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson" (1997), as the owner of the pretzel business. For his role as Morrie Schwartz in his final television role, Tuesdays with Morrie (1999), Lemmon won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. His final film role was uncredited: the narrator in Robert Redford's film The Legend of Bagger Vance.

Lifetime awards

Los Angeles (California, USA), Hollywood Boulevard, Jack Lemmon -- 2012 -- 4999
Lemmon's Star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles, California, USA July 19, 2012

In 1986 the U.S. National Board of Review of Motion Pictures gave Lemmon a "Career Achievement" award;[35] two years later, the American Film Institute gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award in March 1988.[36] In 1995 Lemmon was awarded the inaugural Harvard Arts Medal.[37]

In 1996 Lemmon was awarded the Honorary Golden Bear award at the 46th Berlin International Film Festival.[38]

Personal life

Lemmon was married twice. His first wife was actress Cynthia Stone, with whom he had a son, Chris Lemmon (born 1954), but the couple divorced over their incompatibility. He married his second wife, actress Felicia Farr, on August 17, 1962 in Paris while shooting Irma La Douce. The couple's daughter, Courtney, was born in 1966.[2] Farr had a daughter from her marriage to Lee Farr named Denise. Lemmon was a Catholic.[39] He was close friends with actors Tony Curtis and Kevin Spacey, among others.

As the 1970s progressed, Lemmon began to increase his drinking to cope with stress. He was fined for Driving under the influence (DUI) in 1976, finally quitting alcohol in the early 1980s.[8] On a 1998 episode of the television program Inside the Actors Studio, he stated that he was a recovering alcoholic.[5][40]

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 never able to achieve. The amateur who helps his team most in the Pro-Am portion is annually awarded the Jack Lemmon Award.

During the 1980s and 1990s Lemmon served on the advisory board of the National Student Film Institute.[41][42]

Lemmon was a registered Democrat.[8]


Lemmon died of bladder cancer on June 27, 2001.[3] He had suffered from the disease privately for two years before his death. His body was interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California. (The graves of Walter Matthau and film director Billy Wilder lie in the same cemetery.) Lemmon's gravestone reads like a title screen from a film: "JACK LEMMON in".[43]


  1. ^ "Jack Lemmon's WWII naval service". Combat!. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Jack Lemmon: Behind the Smile". The New York Times. July 12, 1981. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Harmetz, Aljean (June 29, 2001). "Jack Lemmon, Dark and Comic Actor, Dies at 76". The New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2019. Jack Lemmon, the brash young American Everyman who evolved into the screen's grumpiest old Everyman during a movie career that lasted a half century, died on Wednesday at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 76 years of age and was resident in Beverly Hills. The cause was complications from cancer, said a spokesman, Warren Cowan
  4. ^ "Jack Lemmon Biography (1925–2001)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 1998
  6. ^ a b c d e Bernstein, Adam (June 29, 2001). "Actor Jack Lemmon Dies at 76". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Krikorian, Greg (June 29, 2001). "Jack Lemmon, Everyman Star, Dies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Baxter, Brian (June 29, 2001). "Jack Lemmon". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  9. ^ "Jack Lemmon Interview". Ability Magazine. May 2006. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  10. ^ Pepp, Jessica A. (February 24, 1995). "Jack Lemmon to Receive Arts Medal". The Harvard Crimson. Harvard University. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Jack Lemmon". The Daily Telegraph. London. June 29, 2001. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  12. ^ "Jack Lemmon Biography Film Actor (1925–2001)". Biography. Biography.com. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  13. ^ "Jack Lemmon Obituary". CNN. June 28, 2001. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  14. ^ "Actor Jack Lemmon Honored by Glee Club, Hasty Pudding". Harvard University Gazette. Harvard University. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  15. ^ HB Studio Alumni
  16. ^ Wasser, Fred (June 10, 2011). "The Secret Musical Life Of Jack Lemmon". NPR. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  17. ^ Tucker, David C. (2012). Eve Arden: A Chronicle of All Film, Television, Radio and Stage Performances. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 110.
  18. ^ a b "Jack Lemmon, Academy Award Winning Actor, Dies at 76". -The New York Times. Associated Press. June 28, 2001. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  19. ^ a b c "Jack Lemmon". The Times. London. June 29, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2019. (subscription required)
  20. ^ Crowther, Bosley (January 16, 1954). "' It Should Happen to You,' Starring Judy Holliday, Is New Comedy at State". The New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  21. ^ Brody, Richard (May 14, 2010). "Happen-Stance". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  22. ^ a b Lim, Dennis (June 7, 2009). "Jack Lemmon's earlier, lighter side". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  23. ^ a b Richards, David (March 24, 1986). "Lemmon, With a New Twist". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Shipman, David (1989). The Great Movie Stars: The International Years. London: Macdonald. p. 320.
  25. ^ Stang, Joanne (August 29, 1965). "Jack Lemmon: They Loved Him in Moscow". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  26. ^ Shipman, p. 320-21
  27. ^ French, Philip (July 1, 2001). "'The nicest actor on the lot'". The Observer. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  28. ^ A slice of Lemmon for extra character, Bob Flynn, Panorama, p. 7, Canberra Times, August 15, 1998
  29. ^ Gatward, Hannah (February 8, 2018). "Jack Lemmon: 10 essential films". BFI Film Forever. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  30. ^ Howard, Annie (May 9, 2016). "Cannes Winners Who Went on to the Oscars". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  31. ^ Ebert, Roger (March 8, 1981). "Interview with Jack Lemmon". Roger Ebert. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  32. ^ Axmaker, Sean. "Buddy, Buddy". TCM. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  33. ^ "Jack Lemmon Tony Awards Info". www.broadwayworld.com. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  34. ^ Natale, Richard (June 28, 2019). "Oscar winner Jack Lemmon dead at 76". Variety. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  35. ^ "1986 Award Winners". National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  36. ^ Turan, Kenneth (March 12, 1988). "Savouring the Sweetness of Lemmon". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  37. ^ "Harvard Arts Medal". ofa.fas.harvard.edu. Harvard University Office for The Arts. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  38. ^ preistr ger 1996/03 Preistraeger 1996.html "Berlinale: 1996 Prize Winners" Check |url= value (help). berlinale.de. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  39. ^ Don Widener Lemmon: A Biography (1975), page 7
  40. ^ Meredith Blake (May 29, 2013). "James Lipton's 'Inside the Actors Studio' hits 250 on changing Bravo". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  41. ^ Editor (June 10, 1994). National Student Film Institute/L.A: The Sixteenth Annual Los Angeles Student Film Festival. The Directors Guild Theatre. pp. 10–11. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  42. ^ Editor (June 7, 1991). Los Angeles Student Film Institute: 13th Annual Student Film Festival. The Directors Guild Theatre. p. 3. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  43. ^ "THE GRAVE OF JACK LEMMON". Seeing Stars in Hollywood. Retrieved September 21, 2015.


  • Lemmon, Chris (2006). A Twist of Lemmon: A Tribute to My Father. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. ISBN 978-1-56512-480-6.
  • Baltake, Joe (1977). The Films of Jack Lemmon. Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-0560-5.
  • Freedland, Michael (2003). Some Like It Cool: The Charmed Life of Jack Lemmon. Robson Books. ISBN 978-1-86105-510-1.
  • Widener, Don (1975). Lemmon. Macmillan Books.
  • Wise, James. Stars in Blue: Movie Actors in America's Sea Services. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1997. ISBN 1557509379 OCLC 36824724

External links

A Life in the Theatre (1993 film)

A Life in the Theatre is a 1993 American television movie starring Matthew Broderick and Jack Lemmon. It is based on David Mamet's play of the same name. Lemmon was nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Robert.This is the second adaptation of Mamet's play following the 1979 version.

Days of Wine and Roses (film)

Days of Wine and Roses is a 1962 drama film directed by Blake Edwards with a screenplay by JP Miller adapted from his own 1958 Playhouse 90 teleplay of the same name.

The movie was produced by Martin Manulis, with music by Henry Mancini, and features Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford and Jack Klugman. The film depicts the downward spiral of two average Americans who succumb to alcoholism and attempt to deal with their problems.

An Academy Award went to the film's theme music, composed by Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The film received four other Oscar nominations, including Best Actor and Best Actress. In 2018, Days of Wine and Roses was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Fire Down Below (1957 film)

Fire Down Below is a 1957 Anglo-American adventure drama film with a screenplay written by novelist Irwin Shaw, starring Rita Hayworth, Robert Mitchum and Jack Lemmon, and directed by Robert Parrish. Based on Max Catto's 1954 novel with the same title, the picture was made by Warwick Films on location in Trinidad and Tobago, in Technicolor and CinemaScope, and released by Columbia Pictures.

Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

The Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy is an award presented annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. It is given in honor of an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role in a musical or comedy film. Previously, there was a single award for "Best Actor in a Motion Picture", but the creation of the category in 1951 allowed for recognition of it and the Best Actor – Drama.

The formal title has varied since its inception. In 2006, it was officially called: "Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy". As of 2013, the wording is "Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy".

How to Murder Your Wife

How to Murder Your Wife is a 1965 American battle-of-the-sexes satirical comedy film from United Artists, produced by George Axelrod, directed by Richard Quine, that stars Jack Lemmon, Virna Lisi, and Terry-Thomas. Director Quine also directed Lemmon in My Sister Eileen, It Happened to Jane, Operation Mad Ball, The Notorious Landlady, and Bell, Book and Candle.

The comic strip art featured in the film was credited to Mel Keefer, who drew newspaper comic strips such as Perry Mason, Mac Divot, and Rick O'Shay. Comics artist Alex Toth did a teaser comic strip in Keefer's style that ran in The Hollywood Reporter and in several newspapers promoting the film for ten days prior to its theatrical opening.

Missing (1982 film)

Missing (stylized as missing.) is a 1982 American historical drama film directed by Costa-Gavras and starring Sissy Spacek, Jack Lemmon, Melanie Mayron, John Shea, Janice Rule and Charles Cioffi. It is based on the true story of American journalist Charles Horman, who disappeared in the bloody aftermath of the US-backed Chilean coup of 1973 that deposed the democratically elected socialist President Salvador Allende. Set largely during the days and weeks following Horman's disappearance, the movie depicts his father and wife searching to determine his fate. The film examines the relationship between Horman's wife Beth (Spacek) and her father-in-law, American businessman Ed Horman (Lemmon).

The film was released theatrically on February 12, 1982. It was shown in competition at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival where it was jointly awarded the Palme d'Or (with Yol). It received four nominations at the 55th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Lemmon), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Spacek) and winning Best Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium). Missing grossed $16 million against its $9.5 million budget. The film was banned in Chile during Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship, even though neither Chile nor Pinochet is ever mentioned by name (although the Chilean cities of Viña del Mar and Santiago are).

Mister Roberts (1955 film)

Mister Roberts is a 1955 American Warnercolor in CinemaScope comedy-drama film directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy and features an all-star cast including Henry Fonda as Mister Roberts, James Cagney as Captain Morton, William Powell (in his final film appearance) as Doc, and Jack Lemmon as Ensign Pulver. Based on the 1946 novel and 1948 Broadway play, the film was nominated for the three Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Sound, Recording (William A. Mueller), with Jack Lemmon winning the award for Best Supporting Actor.

Operation Mad Ball

Operation Mad Ball is a 1957 military comedy from Columbia Pictures, produced by Jed Harris, directed by Richard Quine, that stars Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs, Kathryn Grant, Arthur O'Connell, and Mickey Rooney. The screenplay is by Blake Edwards, Jed Harris, and Arthur Carter, based on an unproduced play by Carter.


Phffft is a 1954 black-and-white romantic comedy film starring Judy Holliday, Jack Lemmon, and Jack Carson, and features Kim Novak in a small but significant role. The picture was written by George Axelrod and directed by Mark Robson, and was the second film starring Holliday and Lemmon that year, after It Should Happen to You.

Save the Tiger

Save the Tiger is a 1973 drama film about moral conflict in contemporary America directed by John G. Avildsen, and starring Jack Lemmon, Jack Gilford, Laurie Heineman, Thayer David, Lara Parker, and Liv Lindeland. The screenplay was adapted by Steve Shagan from his novel of the same title.

Lemmon won the 1973 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Harry Stoner (making him the first of six actors to win Oscars for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor), an executive in the garment industry who struggles with the complexity of modern life versus the simplicity of his youth.

Some Like It Hot

Some Like It Hot is a 1959 American black and white romantic comedy film set in 1929, directed and produced by Billy Wilder, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. The supporting cast includes George Raft, Pat O'Brien, Joe E. Brown, Joan Shawlee, and Nehemiah Persoff. The screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is based on a screenplay by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan from the French film Fanfare of Love. The film is about two musicians who dress in drag in order to escape from mafia gangsters whom they witnessed commit a crime inspired by the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre.

Some Like It Hot opened to critical and commercial success and is today considered to be one of the greatest films of all time. The film received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. It was voted as the top comedy film by the American Film Institute on their list on AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs poll in 2000, and was selected as the best comedy of all time in a poll of 253 film critics from 52 countries conducted by the BBC in 2017. In 2005, the British Film Institute included this film on its list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.

The film was produced without approval from the Motion Picture Production Code because it plays with the idea of homosexuality and features cross dressing. The code had been gradually weakening in its scope during the early 1950s, due to greater social tolerance for previously taboo topics in film, but it was still officially enforced until the mid 1960s. The overwhelming success of Some Like It Hot is considered one of the final nails in the coffin for the Hays Code.

The Apartment

The Apartment is a 1960 American romantic comedy film, produced and directed by Billy Wilder from a screenplay he co-wrote with I. A. L. Diamond, starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. The supporting cast are Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen, David Lewis, Willard Waterman, David White, Hope Holiday, and Edie Adams.

The story follows C. C. “Bud” Baxter (Lemmon), an insurance clerk who, in the hope of climbing the corporate ladder, lets more-senior coworkers use his Upper West Side apartment to conduct extramarital affairs. Bud is attracted to the elevator operator, Fran Kubelik (MacLaine) who in turn is having an affair with Bud's immediate boss, Sheldrake (MacMurray).

The Apartment was distributed by United Artists to favorable reviews and commercial success, despite controversy owing to its subject matter. At the 33rd Academy Awards, The Apartment was nominated for ten awards and won five, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. Lemmon and MacLaine were Oscar-nominated and won Golden Globe Awards for their performances in the film. It provided the basis for Promises, Promises, a 1968 Broadway musical by Burt Bacharach, Hal David, and Neil Simon.

In the years since its release, The Apartment has come to be regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, appearing in lists by the American Film Institute and Sight and Sound magazine, and being selected by the United States Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.

The China Syndrome

The China Syndrome is a 1979 American disaster thriller film directed by James Bridges and written by Bridges, Mike Gray, and T. S. Cook. It tells the story of a television reporter and her cameraman who discover safety coverups at a nuclear power plant. It stars Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, and Michael Douglas, with Douglas also serving as the film's producer. The cast also features Scott Brady, James Hampton, Peter Donat, Richard Herd, and Wilford Brimley.

"China syndrome" is a fanciful term—not intended to be taken literally—that describes a fictional result of a nuclear meltdown, where reactor components melt through their containment structures and into the underlying earth, "all the way to China."

The China Syndrome premiered at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or while Lemmon received the Best Actor prize. The film was released theatrically on March 16, 1979, twelve days before the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, which gave the film's subject matter an unexpected prescience. Upon release the film was a critical and commercial success with critics praising the film's screenplay, direction and thriller elements and Fonda's and Lemmon's performances. The film grossed $51.7 million on a production budget of $5.9 million. It received four nominations at the 52nd Academy Awards: Best Actor (Lemmon), Best Actress (Fonda), Best Art Direction (George Jenkins, Arthur Jeph Parker), and Best Original Screenplay.

The Dick Powell Show

The Dick Powell Show is an American anthology series that ran on NBC from 1961 to 1963, primarily sponsored by the Reynolds Metals Company. It was hosted by longtime film star Dick Powell until his death from lung cancer on January 2, 1963, then by a series of guest hosts (under the revised title The Dick Powell Theater) until the series ended. The first of these hosts was Gregory Peck, who began the January 8 program with a tribute to Powell, recognizing him as "a great and good friend to our industry." Peck was followed by fellow actors such as Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, Glenn Ford, Charles Boyer, Jackie Cooper, Rock Hudson, Milton Berle, Jack Lemmon, Dean Martin, Robert Taylor, Steve McQueen, David Niven, Danny Thomas, Robert Wagner, and John Wayne.

The Fortune Cookie

The Fortune Cookie (alternative UK title: Meet Whiplash Willie) is a 1966 black comedy film starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in their first on-screen collaboration. It was produced and directed by Billy Wilder from a script by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond.

The Odd Couple (film)

The Odd Couple is a 1968 American comedy Technicolor film in Panavision, written by Neil Simon, based on his play of the same name, produced by Howard W. Koch and directed by Gene Saks, and starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. It is the story of two divorced men - neurotic neat-freak Felix Ungar and fun-loving slob Oscar Madison - who decide to live together, even though their personalities clash.

The film was successful with critics and audiences, grossing over $44.5 million, making it the fourth highest-grossing picture of 1968. The success of the film was the basis for the ABC television sitcom of the same name, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman as Felix and Oscar.

Tribute (1980 film)

Tribute is a 1980 Canadian comedy film directed by Bob Clark and starring Jack Lemmon. It is based on the play of the same name by Bernard Slade.

Tuesdays with Morrie (film)

Tuesdays with Morrie is a 1999 television film adaptation of Mitch Albom's book of the same title. Directed by Mick Jackson, it features Jack Lemmon in a role for which he won an Emmy award. The film was released on December 5, 1999.

Walter Matthau

Walter Matthau (; born Walter John Matthow; October 1, 1920 – July 1, 2000) was an American actor and comedian, best known for his film roles, including as Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple, based on the play of the same title by playwright Neil Simon, in which he also appeared on broadway theatre, and notably, opposite Audrey Hepburn in Charade. He also appeared in the less successful Odd Couple film sequel some 30 years later, The Odd Couple II. Matthau was known for his frequent collaborations with Odd Couple co-star Jack Lemmon, particularly in the 1990s with Grumpy Old Men and its sequel Grumpier Old Men. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1966 Billy Wilder film The Fortune Cookie. Besides the Oscar, he was the winner of BAFTA, Golden Globe and Tony awards.

Awards for Jack Lemmon

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