|Source of Wealth:
|Director, Producer, Screenwriter
|June 25, 1924
|April 9, 2011
|Sidney Arthur Lumet
|5ft. 5 in. (1.65m)
Sidney Lumet was an American director, producer, and screenwriter who was known as one of the most productive filmmakers of the modern era for directing more than one movie in a year since his directional debut in 1957. Lumet was also known for as "one of the finest craftsmen and warmest humanitarians among all film directors", as film critic Roger Ebert described. He was also responsible for leading the first wave of directors for who did a successful transition from TV to movies.
Sidney Arthur Lumet was born on June 25, 1924 in Philadelphia. He grew up in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, and studied theater acting at Professional Children's School of New York , and Columbia University. His father was also a director, producer, actor and writer, while his mother was a dancer, who died when was still a child.
At the age of five, he already made his professional debut on radio and his stage debut at the Yiddish Art Theatre, and appeared in Broadway productions, such as Kurt Weill's "The Eternal Road" and 1935's "Dead End". At an early age, he appeared in several films including Henry Lynn's short film in 1935, Papirossen and the 1939 drama film ...One Third of a Nation....
After returning from service as a radar repairman based in India and Burma from 1942 to 1946, he started working with the Actors Studio, formed his own theater workshop, and organized an Off-Broadway group where he became its director. Lumet was teaching acting at the High School of Performing Arts and at the same time directing in summer stock theatre.
Lumet started his career as a director at Off-Broadway productions and later on evolved to a highly respected TV director. After he worked at off-Broadway and in summer stock, he started directing television in the year 1950 and then developed "lightning quick" method for the reason to the high over turnover required by television. He has directed hundreds of episodes while he was working in CBS such as Mama (1949-1957), Danger (1950-1955), and the historical educational television and radio broadcast You Are There (1953-1957).
He was recognized as "one of the most prolific and respected directors in the business" according to Turner Classic Movies, for directing around 200 episodes for Kraft Television Theatre, Studio One, and Playhouse 90. Due to the impressive quality of several of the television dramas, it was later on adapted as motion pictures.
Lumet's first movie, 12 Angry Men in 1957 was a critical success. He became well-known due to a controversial TV show he directed in 1960 which is The Sacco-Vanzetti Story on NBC, which resulted him earning several prestigious film assignments. He started adapting classic plays for film and television, directing films such as The Fugitive Kind in 1959, A View from the Bridge, Long Day's Journey into Night, and a live television version of Eugene O'Neill's play, The Iceman Cometh.
Directing style, techniques, and setting:
Lumet has been observed for his energetic style of directing. He also believed that movies are an art. He always preferred to work in New York City and claimed that "the diversity of the City, its many ethnic neighborhoods, its art and its crime, its sophistication and its corruption, its beauty and its ugliness, all feed into what inspires him."
In his directing techniques, Lumet had always preferred realism and/or naturalism as stated by Joanna Rapf. Although other critics gave different opinions on his films describing him as a sensitive and intelligent director, and having good taste, as a whole, his body of work is held in high esteem.
Lumet was married four times in his life. From 1949 to 1955, he was married to actress Rita Gam. In 1956, he married artist and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt and eventually ended their marriage on the year 1963. Lumet married his third wife Gail Jones from 1963 to 1978. From 1980 until his death, he was married to Mary Bailey Gimbel, and has two daughters, Amy and Jenny.
Lumet died on April 9, 2011 at the age of 86, due to lymphoma.
As Lumet was liked by many actors, and directors because of his ways in handling others, he directed several successful films, and television dramas. Lumet earned an estimated net worth of $35 million, up until his last day.