Biography of Jack Lemmon :- Actor of American cinema, one of the great talents of the history of the cinema and one of the most loved by the public, remembered especially by comic papers in films like the apartment or With skirts and Crazy , even though he also excelled in the dramatic genre.
Biography of Jack Lemmon
- Born:- 8 February 1925, Newton, Massachusetts, United States
- Died:- 27 June 2001, Los Angeles, California, United States
- Height:- 1.75 m
- Spouse:- Felicia Farr (m. 1962–2001), Cynthia Stone (m. 1950–1956)
John Uhler Lemmon III, later known as Jack Lemmon, was born on February 8, 1925 in Boston, Massachusetts. All his biographies add that “prematurely,” since his mother, Mildred LaRue Noël, was going to the Newton-Wellesley Hospital for a new routine check on her seven-month pregnancy, and did not give her time to get to the office: To light in the elevator. Today the device displays a plaque that reads: “Here was born Jack Lemmon.”
The Lemmon had a very good pass. Jack was educated at Rivers County School in Chestnut Hill, where, despite delicate childhood health (he underwent tonsillitis and mastoiditis), he was the son of Donut Donut Factory President Donut Factory. Stood out as a good sportsman, thus, at the age of thirteen or fourteen he held the record of the two miles of New England.
He continued his training at the Phillips Academy (in 1945 he joined the US Navy, becoming a communications officer) and Harvard University, where he graduated in dramatic art in 1947, having been a member of the Theater of the institution.
To Hollywood, Via New York
With a loan from his father, Lemmon went to New York and began earning his living at the Old Nick Saloon, a Second Avenue store where he accompanied the silent film screening – when he did not sing or dance – before the piano. Work as an actor on the radio and, almost immediately, on television.
Between 1948 and 1952 he participated in almost all the televising shows of the time (Robert Montgomery Presents, Danger, The Goodyear TV, Playhouse, Kraft Television Theater, Studio One, Suspense, The French Langford-Don Ameche Show) and intervened in more than five hundred Episodes of serial comedies that were broadcast live (That wonderful guy, 1949, Toni Twin time, 1950, The Ad-libbers, 1951, Heaven for Betsy, 1952). In one of them it formed a pair with the actress Cynthia Stone, with whom it married in 1950 and four years later they had their first son, Christopher.
When he was a little over a year on Broadway, Harry Cohn, the “czar” of Columbia Pictures, called him to Hollywood studios and extended his first film deal. He suggested that he change the emes of his surname, which referred to citrus, for enes (which gave rise to “Lennon”). However, the actor was firm in his refusal. Instead, he agreed to call himself Jack instead of John. (The anecdote makes more sense today, because had the opposite happened, there would have been a first John Lennon famous before the Beatles member.)
This strength aroused the admiration of Cohn, who a few days later gave him a role with Judy Holliday in The Blonde Phenomenon (1954), by George Cukor. I could not have made a better start. The first time he stood before the camera and said his sentences in the way he knew best, the one who learned on the boards, Cukor exclaimed: “It has been magnificent, Mr. Lemmon; We will repeat the shot and now try to act a little less. After a dozen repetitions and so many identical recommendations of the director, Lemmon was angry: “As it continues thus, I will finish not acting”. And Cukor, with a smile, replied: “That’s the point, Mr. Lemmon … I see we understand each other.” The actor must have burned that masterful lesson.
A multifaceted actor
This was understood by the Hollywood Academy, which awarded him the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his first major role, Ensign’s Escala in Hawaii (1955), a play by Joshua Logan that brought the John Ford screen and finished to direct Mervyn LeRoy. The popularity that gave the prize made him an indispensable actor for the comedies of the time.
One of his finest filmmakers, Richard Quine, counted on him for six of his films. And the celebrated Billy Wilder – who starred seven brilliant works over twenty-two years – drew more on the character and, behind that undeniable gift, mimicry and those characteristic tics, found the alter ego of the average American and the common man Of any big city, to the point that the studies promoted it, at that time, with the slogan: “The guy who is going to like them” … Of course, they were not mistaken.
Wilder used both sides in the first two films in which he directed, unforgettable skirts and crazy (1959), along with Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis, and The Apartment (1960), with Shirley MacLaine, and both took to the Actor to nominations for the Oscar. But Lemmon still hid other surprises, and Blake Edwards uncovered them by giving him the first truly dramatic role of his career in Days of Wine and Roses (1962), which earned him a new nomination. Later, Wilder was to reveal new facets of the performer, again with Shirley MacLaine, in Irma la dulce (1966), a vaudeville musical that was one of the greatest hits of the time.
Before, around 1956, when Hollywood honeys began to sweeten their trajectory, their family life began to wobble and very soon settled in divorce. In August of 1962, already consecrated for always like one of the most gifted interpreters of the cinema, again contracted marriage with another actress, the delicate and little prodigada Felicia Farr, mother of its children Courtney and Denise and faithful companion during the near forty Years of life that the actor had. So there was still a lot to do. Among other things, meeting his “strange couple”, Walter Matthau, and forming one of the great comic binomials in the history of cinema.
It was Lemmon who imposed it on Wilder. He had just seen Matthau on Broadway in a Neil Simon comedy, The Strange Couple, starring with Art Carney and directed by Mike Nichols (later to be one of the Lemmon-Matthau tandem hits in the film version of Gene Saks ). For Lemmon there was no one better for that role, which the veteran filmmaker was planning to target Frank Sinatra.
Wilder reluctantly agreed; then the success of the film led him to reunite them in two other films: the second remake of Primera plana (1969) and the production with which he decided to close his prolific filmography, Aqui un amigo (1981). However, the actors came together to star in five other titles. The last one was The Strange Couple, Again (1998), which directed Howard Deutch. Without the baton of Wilder, it did not matter much the director: there they were, two seventy more agile and alive than ever, in a new attempt to revitalize that joint experience that in real life made them great friends.
Matthau adored Lemmon and was infinitely grateful. He was responsible for his belated cinematic triumph, something he did not expect. And it was also the actor that he chose – in addition to his own wife, Felicia Farr – for his directorial debut: Kotch (1971), a role that earned him the first Oscar nomination as the protagonist. Walter Matthau died just a year before Lemmon, on July 1, 2000. Billy Wilder, in full lucidity at ninety-five, was able to attend both burials.
Lemmon was one of only three Oscar nominees on eight occasions. He got it in two, the second as protagonist by Salvad al tigre (1973), by John G. Avildsen. He was also the only American to win the Palme d’Or twice at Cannes with two dramatic roles: James Bridges’s The Syndrome of China (1979) and Missin (1981) by Constantin Costa Gavras, and Venice awarded him by Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). He was also several times awarded the Emmy television awards – the last, one year before his death, on Tuesdays with Morrie (1999) – and had four Golden Globes.
But perhaps the fifth, which did not win at the 1998 awards ceremony, is more worthy of mention: Lemmon was a candidate for the remake of William Friedkin’s Twelve Men Without Pity (1997). The winner was the actor Ving Rhames, but when he came to collect the award, unexpectedly for the public, who stood to cheer his decision, offered his trophy to Lemmon with these words: “The judges have been wrong. As a candidate, all prizes must be yours. There is no one worthy to compete with you, master. ”
Billy Wilder, who once said that working with Jack Lemmon was happiness, said: “When any actor walks into a room, you have nothing, and when you enter Jack, you immediately have a situation: it is almost inexplicable what Is capable of provoking him alone, with his rapid verbiage and his rapid movements. ” He probably remembered On a silver platter (1966), in which only the wit of an actor like him could endow a constant character to a character that remains almost the entire film in a wheelchair. Or perhaps Wilder thought of any other comedy or the most desolate drama, just the same.
Lemmon’s gifted talent was worth everything. He defined the sensation he experienced when a shot was started and spent hours in front of a camera as a magic time. It was because the intensity with which it lived and the passion that it put when giving itself to the personage could not be measured with a watch. However, the real magic was his, because surely thanks to that delivery and that passion managed to always seem a human being.