TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (11)
|Also Known As:||Died:||June 27, 2001|
|Born:||February 8, 1925||Cause of Death:||complications from cancer|
|Birth Place:||Boston, Massachusetts, USA||Profession:||Cast ...|
He was an honoree for the annual tribute from the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 1993.
Lemmon received the Spencer Tracy Award from UCLA in 2000.
"When I read a script, if I don't know how to play the part, I'll get excited and want to do it. Good writing is harder to play because there are depths, and it's delicious hell to decide which depths you're going to bring out. Eighty percent of acting is that delicious hell of finding out who the guy is. The rest is execution--letting somebody else know what you already know ... Usually it's two, three, four weeks into a movie before you find the guy. All of a sudden you come out of a scene and you say, 'I've got him.' You know him. Then you paint on the rest of the face and say, 'There he is.' But if I know how to play it, then it's very surface stuff, very simple. It's 3B, 4H; I've done it a dozen times." --Jack Lemmon quoted in "The Films of Jack Lemmon" by Joe Baltake (Citadel Press, 1977).
On his relationship with Walter Matthau: "Well, we're very, very close. We always have been from the first film we did together. Our wives immediately hit it off just as we did. The working relationship was heaven because we were always on the same wavelength and we never got off it. So, it's just sort of like sitting down and chatting with each other when we rehearse--there's nothing to it. We just run the lines a couple of times and say, 'Let's go.'" --Lemmon in Daily News, October 6, 1996.
During the 1998 telecast of the Golden Globe Awards, winner Ving Rhames (for HBO's "Don King: Only in America") called fellow nominee Lemmon (for Showtime's "12 Angry Men") onstage and in an expression of admiration for the actor presented him with the award. A flustered Lemmon didn't quite know what to make of the matter but accepted. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) later announced that Lemmon could retain the trophy although he would not be sent a plaque to attach, indicating he had won. The HFPA intended to send a trophy with plaque to Ving Rhames, the rightful recipient.
About those 1998 Golden Globes Awards: "The only thing I remember is, when I passed Jack Nicholson, he said, 'Give it to me! Give it to me!' I didn't know what in hell he was talking about." --Lemmon quoted in People, May 18, 1998.
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