Director Sidney Lumet Passes Away at 86

The man behind such classics as ‘Network’, ‘Dog Day Afternoon’, and ‘12 Angry Men’ succumbs to lymphoma in his Manhattan home.
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Sidney Lumet passes away at 86 Legendary director Sidney Lumet, the man behind such classic films as 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, and Network, passed away Saturday morning in his Manhattan home at the age of 86. The cause of death was lymphoma.

Sidney Lumet was a technical genius known for his ability to get Oscar-worthy performances out of his actors. A thick social commentary runs throughout the late director's oeuvre, as he was an artist whose life goal was to examine the consequences of prejudice, corruption, and betrayal. Often compared to his contemporary Martin Scorsese, Sidney directed more than forty movies in his lifetime, most of which were set in New York City.

Lumet began his career as an actor on Broadway at a very young age, appearing alongside such icons as Yul Brynner and Eli Wallach. He made his stage directing debut in 1955, and then went onto direct for CBS, helming numerous episodes of both Danger and You Are There.

He made his directorial debut with the 1957 classic 12 Angry Men, which was nominated for Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay Oscars. He would later direct the late Marlon Brando in The Fugitive Kind, and made a name for himself throughout the 60s with films such as Fail-Safe and A Long Day's Journey Into Night.

He found great commercial success in 1973 and 1975 with Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon, two films that propelled Al Pacino to stardom, and the later of which garnered six Academy Award nominations. It is perhaps his 1976 masterpiece Network that is most remembered, having won four Academy Awards for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress. His very next project was The Wiz, which reimagined the The Wizard of Oz with an all-black cast. The movie was a substantial bomb, proving that Sidney Lumet wasn't prefect.

The director continued working throughout the last three decades, directing modest hits like Power and Running on Empty. His last appearance as an actor was in the 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate, and his last film was 2007's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, which starred Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke.

Though his films had won numerous Academy Awards, Sidney Lumet himself never received one for directing. In 2005, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented him with an Honorary Award.

Sidney Lumet is survived by his wife since 1980, Mary Gimbel, his stepdaughter Leslie Gimbel, his two daughters Amy Lumet and Jenny Lumet, his stepson Bailey Gimbel, nine grandchildren and a great grandson.

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  • m2 • 4 years ago

    R.I.P :(


    • justhim-sir • 4 years ago

      Hey, a lot of black appreciate the wiz movie, a classic in their eyes.


      • slysnide • 4 years ago

        R.I.P. Lumet. Favorite had to be '75s "Dog Day Afternoon." Classic.


        • unknown21 • 4 years ago



          • julianleft • 4 years ago

            Thumbs down because it saddened me.


            • Lautarous • 4 years ago

              "Fail-Safe" . . . that's a film I haven't seen yet.

              I can imagine that now after Lumet's death, his filmography gonna receive a much better treatment in DVD and Blu-Ray editions. . . that's so typical!

              Well, it's a opportunity to discover or rewatch his best work!


              • 2movieguys • 4 years ago

                Network (1976) - I want you to go to the window, open it, stick your head out and yell: "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore."

                Love this film ....Faye Dunaway rocks in it!!


                • 2movieguys • 4 years ago


                  Do not grieve at the passing of mortality,for life's but a thing of terrible gravity.And the planets gravitate around you, and the stars shall dance about you,and the angels in heaven adore you,and the saints all stand and applaud you. So faraway, so faraway and yet so close. Nick Cave, "Far Away, So Close"

                  Best Films:

                  Murder on the Orient Express

                  Dog Day Afternoon



                  Running on Empty

                  Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

                  Dog Day Afternoon

                  The Morning After - Jane Fonda, Jeff Bridges


                  12 Angry Men - Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb


                  The Pawnbroker


                  • jonspidey07 • 4 years ago


                    RIP man

                    and weird because Im about to watch 12 Angry Men in class


                    • furankisan • 4 years ago

                      One of my heroes and a fellow New Yorker. Great film school 101 when you listen to his commentaries on his films. My fav: Fail-Safe (1964) a much better film than Dr. Stangelove even tho they are both diff takes on the same subject. 2 classics in Black & White!


                      • Lautarous • 4 years ago

                        Magnificents films as "12 Angry Men" (1957), "The Fugitive Kind" (1960), "The Pawnbroker" (1964), "Serpico" (1973) and "Dog Day Afternoom" (1975) are a few good examples of Lumet's talent, professionalism and social sensibility.

                        He truly is one of the greatest american filmmakers. Sidney has passed away, buth his legacy will live long to reenchant new generations.

                        My sympathies and best wishes to his family and friends!


                        • david-dvd-1988 • 4 years ago

                          Made 3 of the greatest films of the 70s in Dog Day Afternoon Serpico and Network R.I.P.


                          • cupid • 4 years ago

                            Everyones gotta go sometime :P


                            • fat-jesus • 4 years ago


                              God that alone makes me give this man all the respect in the world.


                              • ejk1 • 4 years ago

                                Mr. Lumet, the first movie you directed is a great factor into my decision to become a lawyer (even though no lawyer appears). 12 Angry Men is one of the best acted movies of all-time, and the fact that it was your debut is an incredible testament to your talent. The fact that you were the architect of Peter Finch's legendary role in Network only adds to the greatness of your talents. RIP, Mr. Lumet.


                                • skywise • 4 years ago

                                  His films were outstanding. RIP Lumet.


                                  • narrator • 4 years ago

                                    Bummer. I enjoyed Dog Day Afternoon, and his other works. R.I.P.


                                    • SherlockHolmes2009 • 4 years ago

                                      Great man R.I.P.


                                      • cripple • 4 years ago

                                        This really makes me sad, he is a terrific director. RIP.


                                        • dan1 • 4 years ago

                                          Holy sh*t....

                                          RIP, great sir.


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