Sidney Lumet began his career acting and directing for the theater, and made his screen acting debut in the movie, One Third of a Nation, in 1939.
This interview was conducted on January 13 and 15, 2004.
Lumet began directing television in the late 1940's for celebrated anthology series such as Studio One, You Are There, United States Steel Hour, The Alcoa Hour, Kraft Television Theatre and Playhouse 90. In 1961, he was nominated for an Emmy for his work on Sunday Showcase.
The first feature Lumet directed, 12 Angry Men, was a critical and box office success, garnering nominations for a DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and the Golden Bear at the 1957 Berlin International Film Festival. He went on to direct more than 40 feature films, with 17 of the actors receiving Oscar nominations for their performances.
Over the years, Lumet's work received numerous accolades, including six additional DGA Award nominations for Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Pawnbroker, Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express, Dog Day Afternoon, and Network; four Oscar nominations; four Golden Palm nominations at the Cannes Film Festival; five Golden Globe nominations, including one win for Network, and countless other honors. He has also directed movies for television, including Mr. Broadway; All the King’s Men; The Iceman Cometh; and Rashomon.
The DGA honored Sidney Lumet with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993 and the Honorary Life Member Award in 1989. He also received Career Achievement and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the New York Film Critics Circle, as well as an Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2005.