The New Stuff

‘Dog Day Afternoon’ Director Sidney Lumet Dead at 86


NEW YORK, N.Y. ---- Legendary film director Sidney Lumet, best known for his work on films such as,12 Angry Men and Dog Day Afternoon died Saturday at the age of 86.

The New York Times reported early Saturday that Lumet, a four time Oscar nominee, died of lymphoma at his New York home as reported by his stepdaughter, Leslie Gimbel.

The iconic director who got his start directing theater and then television secured his reputation as a true artisan with films like, “Serpico,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Network,” and “Dog Day Afternoon.”

Lumet’s gritty, true-to-life films often shot on the streets of New York rather than a Hollywood back lot were always thought provoking while celebrating individual courage and justice.

One of the leading film directors of the second half of the 20th century, Lumet directed over 40 movies in various genres.

Although nominated four times, Lumet never won an Oscar for films he directed; in 2005 he was awarded an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. He also received the Directors Guild of America's prestigious D.W. Griffith Award for lifetime achievement in 1993.

Lumet worked with Hollywood's biggest names, including Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Al Pacino, Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, Robert Duvall, and Faye Dunaway.

Al Pacino, who produced memorable performances for Lumet in both "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Serpico," introduced the director at the 2005 Academy Awards.

"If you prayed to inhabit a character, Sidney was the priest who listened to your prayers, helped make them come true," the actor said.

Accepting the award, Lumet thanked the many directors who had inspired him, then added, "I guess I'd like to thank the movies (too)."

Lumet was married three times -- to Rita Gam, Gloria Vanderbilt and Gail Jones -- before marrying his current wife Mary Gimbel in 1980. He is survived by his wife, stepdaughter Leslie Gimbel, stepson Bailey Gimble and daughters Amy Lumet and Jenny Lumet as well as nine grandchildren and a great grandson.

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