It’s been two weeks since the death of actress Elizabeth Taylor and unfortunately Hollywood just can’t catch a break. Saturday morning it was announced that acclaimed director Sidney Lumet had died at the age of 86. Lumet helmed some of the most memorable and prolific films of the sixties and seventies, most of which are held in high regard.
The news of Lumet’s death was confirmed by his stepdaughter Leslie Gimbel who reported his passing to the New York Times. The cause of death was cited as lymphoma.
Sidney Lumet’s career is what Hollywood dreams are made of. Not only did he direct some great titles but he worked with some of the industry’s top talent. He directed the likes of Marlon Brando, Katharine Hepburn, Paul Newman, Ingrid Bergman, Al Pacino, Henry Fonda, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, and Faye Dunaway. His most memorable films include 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, The Verdict, Network, and The Wiz.
The last film Lumet directed was the 2007 crime thriller Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. Over the course of his long career he earned five Oscar and seven DGA nominations for his work, and even though he never won a competitive Academy Award, he received an honorary one in 2005 for his lifetime achievements.
Even though his career wasn’t as consistent as Stanley Kubrick or Martin Scorsese, or even Francis Ford Coppola, Lumet was a legend. When he was great, he was untouchable, and he delivered some of cinema’s most memorable stories and performances. Lumet’s feature directorial debut was in 1957 with 12 Angry Men, which to this day is still one of the strongest dramas ever produced.
Out of all the films Lumet’s directed, 12 Angry Men was a personal favorite. If you haven’t seen it you should really check out. It’s been remade multiple times but nothing is as good as the original. R.I.P. Sidney Lumet.