Jack Lemmon dead at 76

Jun 28, 2001 by Ian Evans

Jack Lemmon, the beloved actor who was equally comfortable in drama or comedy, has died at the age of 76. He died with his family at his side at the University of Southern California’s Norris Cancer Center from complications from cancer.

Lemmon, who often teamed with his offscreen friend Walter Matthau, was a two time Oscar® winner and also won an Emmy for the recent Tuesdays with Morrie.

Harvard-educated, Lemmon yearned to be an actor in his youth. In the Fifties, after working in theater and live television, he ended up in Hollywood and appeared opposite Judy Holliday in two films. He won an Academy Award® in 1955 for best supporting actor playing Ensign Pulver in Mister Roberts. He later won a best actor Oscar® in 1973 for Save the Tiger. Oscar loved the lovable actor and he received six other nominations.

Walter Matthau teamed up with Lemmon in 1966 on The Fortune Cookie. In 1968, they filmed The Odd Couple and teamed up in the 90’s for Grumpy Old Men. All in all, they made eight films together.

Other classic Lemmon films include Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, The Days of Wine and Roses, The Front Page, The Prisoner of Second Avenue and The China Syndrome. Stage work was still in his blood. He appeared in Broadway’s Tribute in 1978 and performed in the 1985 revival of Long Day’s Journey Into Night.