Jack Lemmon first made a splash as Ensign Pulver in the stage play Mr. Roberts in the 1950s. He reprised the role in the film of the same name in the early 1960s. Another fine performance can be seen in the film The Days of Wine and Roses. He also turned in a masterful performance in Save the Tiger, a film that is a fine commentary on the generation gap -- no matter what your generation.

American actor (1925-2001). Born John Uhler Lemmon III in an elevator in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, a baker, did not approve of his son's choice of career, but told him to follow his dreams as long as they made him happy. He started out as a comedic actor and later crossed over to serious drama, proving to be equally skilled at both styles. He was half of one of the best known actor pairings in cinema, appearing with Walter Matthau in everything from "The Odd Couple" to "Grumpy Old Men". He was also an accomplished, self-taught pianist.

In some 50 years of acting, Lemmon appeared in (deep breath) "It Should Happen to You", "Mister Roberts", "Bell, Book and Candle", "Some Like It Hot", "The Apartment", "Days of Wine and Roses", "How to Murder your Wife", "The Great Race", "The Odd Couple", "The Out-of-Towners", "Kotch" (which he also directed), "Avanti!", "Save the Tiger", "The Front Page", "Airport '77", "The China Syndrome", "Tribute", "Buddy Buddy", "Missing", "JFK", "The Player", "Glengarry Glen Ross", "Short Cuts", "Grumpy Old Men", "Hamlet", "Out to Sea", "The Odd Couple II", television movies of "Inherit the Wind" and "Tuesdays with Morrie", and an uncredited bit of voice work in "The Legend of Bagger Vance", his last movie. He won Academy Awards for "Mister Roberts" and "Save the Tiger", he was named the Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for "Missing" and "The China Syndrome", he won an Emmy for "Tuesdays with Morrie", and he won Golden Globe awards for "Inherit the Wind", "Avanti!", "The Apartment", and "Some Like It Hot".

In 1998, Lemmon lost out at the Golden Globes to Ving Rhames, who surprised the veteran actor by calling him up on the stage with him, enthusiastically praising him, and virtually giving Lemmon his award. Two years later, when Lemmon won the Golden Globe for "Inherit the Wind", he said, "In the spirit of Ving Rhames, I'm going to give this award to Jack Lemmon."

We lost a good one there...

Addendum: dannye notes that Lemmon tried for years to make the cut at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament. Clearly, the Pebble Beachers need to learn when to just let a great man play.

Mucho information provided by the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com).

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