Legendary filmmaker Sidney Lumet has died today from lymphoma at his Manhattan home, aged 86. Born in Philadelphia in 1924 to show business parents, the Academy Award-nominated director enjoyed a long and distinguished career, becoming one of the pre-eminent figures of the New York filmmaking scene with over fifty film credits to his name. As a child, Lumet starred in a number of Broadway plays and short films, along with the feature …One Third of a Nation… (1939), before entering military service in World War II. Resuming his career as an Off-Broadway director, Lumet soon entered the fledgling TV business in 1950 and earned a reputation for his prolific shooting methods on series such as Danger, Kraft Television Theater, Mama, Playhouse 90 and You Are There.
Lumet transferred his skills to the silver screen in 1957 for his directorial debut 12 Angry Men, which earned him the first of his Oscar nominations for Best Director. Over the next two decades he collaborated with some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Marlon Brando, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Sophia Loren, James Mason, Vanessa Redgrave and Omar Sharif before helming the classic Al Pacino crime drama Serpico in 1973. Two years later he would earn his second Oscar nomination directing Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and repeated the feat the following year with the acclaimed satire Network (1976).
Following his run of critical success, Lumet explored a variety of genres with his later work, directing films such as the Broadway adaptation Equus (1977), musical fantasy The Wiz (1978), courtroom thriller The Verdict (1982), for which he received his final Academy Award nomination, and indie drama Running on Empty (1988). Lumet also received a screenwriting Oscar nomination for the 1981 police thriller Prince of the City and in 2005 he was the recipient of an Honorary Academy Award, before releasing his final film Before the Devil Knows Your Dead in 2007.