Jack Lemmon Poster

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 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lake Champlain CV-39.

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 Vladimir 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.