Jack Lemmon

Trivia and Quotes

Quotes (11)

  • (on how his film choices changed as he got older) Jack: As I grew older, my thinking changed. I thought less about Lemmon and his damn career and more and more about the world and the society we live in. I became more concerned with films that have something to say. When I was just a kid, I was totally absorbed with trying to get ahead, which is normal, I suppose. Actually, I think my ego is well placed. (he pauses). I guess that's an egotistical remark, isn't it?

  • (on why films should combine drama and comedy) Jack: In life, as we all know, no matter how dire the circumstances, funny things do happen and if we didn't have some humor in our lives, I think we'd all go crazy.

  • (on his approach to acting in 1996) Jack: ... as I get older, rely more and more on my instincts, when I was younger I used to beat a part to death. I'd think and think and think about it. I don't do that much now. I'll wait until I get on the set with the other actors and see what happens.

  • (on his faults) Jack: I'm a very compulsive person. I have a tremendous amount of nervous energy and everything is on tap. If I'm really excessive, it's about emotion, but I can't help it. I let emotions ruin me if I'm not very careful. I have probably cried at more comedies than anyone who ever lived. When something is done well, really well, I cry. I have sat in comedies in a theater or in a movie and seen a scene and the actors are doing it so brilliantly, it moves me and I cry.

  • Jack: Some Like It Hot, is the funniest film I ever made... I think it would've been exactly that funny even if somebody else would've played my part.

  • (on why he values his wife's opinion) Jack: ... she's not afraid to criticize me - she's the most honest woman I've ever known - which can be infuriating, because I have my own ego and vanity, but, oh, I listen. She's one of the handful of people I really go to for advice. Her taste is on a very high level. I have done a few pieces of shit about which she said, "Guess what's going to happen?" and she's been right.

  • Jack: If you really do want to be an actor who can satisfy himself and his audience, you need to be vulnerable. You must reach the emotional and intellectual level of ability where you can go out stark naked, emotionally, in front of an audience.

  • Jack: I did Save the Tiger for nothing, and I'm prouder of it than all those movies I made millions on all rolled into one.

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Trivia (24)

  • In 2000, Jack won another Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie playing Morrie Schwartz on Tuesdays with Morrie.

  • In 1972, Jack won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Program - Variety or Musical - Variety and Popular Music in his work on 'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous, 'S Gershwin.

  • His ancestry was Scottish, Irish, English, French and German, which he stated on Inside The Actors Studios.

  • Jack's Broadway Appearances include: Room Service as Leo Davis (1953) Face of a Hero as David Poole (1960) Tribute as Scottie Templeton (1978) Long Day's Journey into Night as James Tyrone (1986).

  • Awards Academy Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Mister Roberts (1956) (Won). Best Actor in a Leading Role for Some Like it Hot (1960) (Nomination). Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Apartment (1961) (Nomination). Best Actor in a Leading Role for Days of Wine and Roses (1963) (Nomination). Best Actor in a Leading Role for Save the Tiger (1974) (Won). Best Actor in a Leading Role for The China Syndrome (1980) (Nomination). Best Actor in a Leading Role for Tribute (1981) (Nomination). Best Actor in a Leading Role for Missing (1983) (Nomination). BAFTAs Best Foreign Actor for Mister Roberts (1956) (Nomination). Best Foreign Actor for Some Like it Hot (1960) (Won). Best Foreign Actor for The Apartment (1961) (Won). Best Foreign Actor for Days of Wine and Roses (1964) (Nomination). Best Foreign Actor for How to Murder your Wife (1966) (Nomination). Best Foreign Actor for Good Neighbour Sam (1966) (Nomination). Best Actor for The China Syndrome (1980) (Won). Best Actor for Missing (1983) (Nomination). Berlin International Film Festival Silver Berlin Bear for Best Actor for Tribute (1981) (Won). Honorary Goldern Berlin Bear (1996) (Won). Canne Film Festival Best Actor for The China Syndrome (1979) (Won). Best Actor for Missing (1982) (Won). Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Actor in a Play for Tribute (1979) (Nomination). Outstanding Actor in a Play for Long Day's Journey into Night (1986) (Nomination). Hollywood Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award for 'his greatness as an actor, and his achievements as a performer, ... nothing less than an American icon, a legend.' (1999) (Won). Screen Actors Guild Awards Lifetime Achievement (1990) (Won). Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries for 12 Angry Men (1998) (Nomination). Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for Tuesdays with Morrie (2000) (Won). Tony Awards Best Actor in a Play for Tribute (1979) (Nomination). Best Actor in a Play for Long Day's Journey into Night (1986) (Nomination).

  • Jack's Music Jack has recorded several albums, inluding A Twist of Lemmon and Piano and Vocals. He wrote the theme song for the movie/play Tribute. He taught himself to play the piano.

  • Jack appeared in the first film directed by Charles Matthau (The Grass Harp, 1995), son of his close friend Walter.

  • Jack was born in an elevator in Newton Wellesley, Boston. A plaque commemorating his birth was placed above the doors.

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