The world of filmmaking lost a giant Saturday morning when Sidney Lumet died at the age of 86.
Born in 1924, Lumet started out as a theatre actor before moving on to directing (and occasionally performing in) live TV. He segued to film with a stone cold classic – how many people can claim a first movie as great as jury room drama 12 Angry Men?
After that successful launch, he’d go on to critical acclaim with the likes of Long Day’s Journey into Night, The Verdict, Fail-Safe, and his two collaborations with Al Pacino, Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon. As well as his work with Pacino, he’ll likely be best remembered for bringing the world the fizzing, prophetic news satire Network, based on Paddy Chayefsky’s script.
While his later work, including The Wiz and Gloria, didn’t find quite the same level, he ended strong with Find Me Guilty and 2007’s blend of family drama and criminal chaos, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.
Criminally, though he was nominated for five Oscars, he never won one. He was, however, handed an honorary award in 2005. And despite his lack of award recognition, he’s long since been an influence on younger filmmakers.
His wife, stepdaughter Leslie Gimbel, stepson Bailey Gimble and daughters Amy Lumet and Jenny Lumet as well as nine grandchildren and a great grandson survive him. Look for more on Lumet soon.