The Hollywood Collection

Season 2010 Episode 03.09.10

Jack Lemmon: America's Everyman

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Episode Summary

Jack Lemmon: America's Everyman
John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III, was born on February 8, 1925. An only child, he was raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and was that rarity among Hollywood stars, a man with affectionate memories of his parents. Graduating from Harvard, Jack headed for New York City to become a professional actor. A job playing piano to silent movies gave him the chance to study comics like Keaton and Chaplin up close. His first acting was on soap opera and live TV drama. But it was his appearance in a Broadway revival of Room Service that led to a co-starring role with Judy Holliday in his first movie, It Should Happen To You (1954). However, Jack had no intention of "going Hollywood" and he adamantly refused to change his name. His unmistakable intellect and his boyish but average looks played against him becoming a romantic leading man. But his live TV and comedy training gave him the perfect timing, the precise emotional balance and the total believability that showed in films as diverse as Mister Roberts (1955), Some Like It Hot (1959), The Apartment (1960), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), and The Odd Couple (1968). In his later films, Save the Tiger (1973), The China Syndrome (1979), and Glengarry Glenn Ross (1992), Jack exposed some of the darker side of the American Way of Life. Jack Lemmon made over sixty films and received numerous awards, including eight Academy Award Nominations and two Oscars. Later in life, his achievement was enriched by new challenges in which he exposed the vulnera...moreless

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