51 Facts About Jack Lemmon

1.

John Uhler Jack Lemmon III was an American actor.

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2.

Jack Lemmon starred in over sixty films and was nominated for an Academy Award eight times, winning twice, and received many other accolades, including six Golden Globe Awards, two Cannes Film Festival Awards, two Volpi Cups, one Silver Bear, three BAFTA Awards, and two Emmy Awards.

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3.

Jack Lemmon's best known films include Mister Roberts, Some Like It Hot (1959), The Apartment (1960), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), Irma la Douce (1963), The Great Race (1965), Save the Tiger (1973, for which he won Best Actor), The China Syndrome (1979), Missing (1982), and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).

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4.

Jack Lemmon acted in several Broadway plays, earning Tony Award nominations for Tribute and the 1986 revival of Long Day's Journey into Night.

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5.

Jack Lemmon had a long-running collaboration with actor and real-life friend Walter Matthau, which The New York Times called "one of Hollywood's most successful pairings, " that spanned ten films between 1966 and 1998; The Fortune Cookie, The Odd Couple (1968) and its sequel The Odd Couple II (1998), The Front Page (1974), Buddy Buddy (1981), JFK (1991), Grumpy Old Men (1993) and its sequel Grumpier Old Men (1995), The Grass Harp (1995), and Out to Sea (1997).

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6.

Jack Lemmon was born on February 8, 1925, in an elevator at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts.

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7.

Jack Lemmon's parents had a difficult marriage, and separated permanently when Lemmon was 18, but never divorced.

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8.

Jack Lemmon attended John Ward Elementary School in Newton and the Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts.

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9.

Jack Lemmon had spent two years in hospital by the time he turned 12.

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10.

Jack Lemmon attended Rivers Country Day School and Phillips Andover Academy, where he pursued track sports with success, and Harvard College (Class of 1947), where he lived in Eliot House.

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11.

Forbidden to act onstage due to academic probation, Jack Lemmon broke Harvard rules to appear in roles using pseudonyms such as Timothy Orange.

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12.

Jack Lemmon was a pianist, who became devoted to the instrument at age 14 and learned to play by ear.

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13.

Jack Lemmon became a professional actor, working on radio and Broadway.

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14.

Jack Lemmon's film debut was a bit part as a plasterer in the film The Lady Takes a Sailor, but he had already appeared in television shows, which numbered about 400 from 1948 to 1953.

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15.

Jack 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.

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16.

Jack Lemmon 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".

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17.

Jack Lemmon signed a seven-year contract, but ended up staying with Columbia for 10 years.

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18.

Director John Ford decided to cast Jack Lemmon after seeing his Columbia screen test, which had been directed by Richard Quine.

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19.

At an impromptu meeting on the studio lot, Ford persuaded the actor to appear in the film, although Jack Lemmon did not realize he was in conversation with Ford at the time.

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20.

Jack Lemmon 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 and It Happened to Jane (1959), all three under the direction of Richard Quine.

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21.

People who knew his mother, Millie Jack Lemmon, said he had mimicked her personality and even her hairstyle.

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22.

Jack Lemmon received Oscar nominations for his performances in Some Like it Hot and The Apartment.

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23.

In 1966, Jack Lemmon began the first of his many collaborations with actor Walter Matthau in The Fortune Cookie.

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24.

The much-admired comedy Kotch, the only film Jack Lemmon directed, starred Matthau, who was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar.

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25.

In 1972, at the 44th Academy Awards, Jack Lemmon presented the Honorary Academy Award to silent screen legend Charlie Chaplin.

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26.

Jack Lemmon felt Lemmon had a natural tendency toward overacting that had to be tempered; Wilder's 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.

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27.

Jack Lemmon in Save the Tiger plays Harry Stoner, a businessman in the garment trade who finds someone to commit arson by burning down his warehouse to avoid bankruptcy.

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28.

Jack Lemmon was so keen to play the part that he worked for union scale, then $165 a week.

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29.

The role was demanding; like the character, Jack Lemmon came close to breaking point: "I started to crack as the character did, " he recalled.

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30.

Jack Lemmon was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role in The China Syndrome, for which he was awarded Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival.

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31.

Nevertheless, Jack Lemmon was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.

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32.

Jack 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; Jack Lemmon had taken the lead role of James Tyrone in a production directed by Jonathan Miller.

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33.

Jack Lemmon worked with Kevin Spacey in the films The Murder of Mary Phagan, Dad (1989), and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), as well as the production of Long Day's Journey into Night.

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34.

In 1996, Jack Lemmon was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Or Nonmusical Album for his narration on "Harry S Truman: A Journey To Independence".

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35.

Around the same time, Jack Lemmon starred along with James Garner in the comedy My Fellow Americans as two feuding ex-presidents.

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36.

The emotional crowd gave Jack Lemmon a standing ovation to which he replied that, "This is one of the nicest, sweetest moments I have ever known in my life.

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37.

Jack Lemmon was a guest voice on The Simpsons episode "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson", as the owner of the pretzel business.

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38.

Jack Lemmon and first wife actress Cynthia Stone, with whom he had a son, Chris Lemmon was born on 1954, and divorced.

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39.

Jack Lemmon married actress Felicia Farr on August 17, 1962, while shooting Irma La Douce in Paris.

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40.

Jack Lemmon was the stepfather to Denise, from Farr's previous marriage to Lee Farr.

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41.

Jack Lemmon was close friends with actors Tony Curtis and Kevin Spacey, among others.

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42.

Jack Lemmon was fined for driving under the influence in 1976, finally quitting alcohol in the early 1980s.

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43.

Jack Lemmon had suffered from the disease privately for two years before his death.

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44.

Jack Lemmon's body was interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California.

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45.

Jack Lemmon received eight Academy Award nominations and won for Mister Roberts and Save the Tiger (1973).

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46.

Jack Lemmon was nominated for Some Like it Hot, The Apartment (1960), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The China Syndrome (1979), Tribute (1981), and Missing (1982).

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47.

Jack Lemmon received two Tony Award nominations for his performances in Tribute, and Long Day's Journey into Night (1986).

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48.

Jack Lemmon received four Golden Globe Awards from 21 nominations, and received the Golden Globe Cecil B DeMille Award for his lifetime achievement in 1991.

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49.

Jack Lemmon was given tribute at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1996.

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50.

Jack Lemmon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.

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51.

In 1996, Jack Lemmon was awarded the Honorary Golden Bear award at the 46th Berlin International Film Festival.

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