Jack Lemmon didn’t spend much time in the West. Apart from an appearance on television’s Zane Grey Theatre and a brief Western appearance in The Great Race, his only cowboy movie role was Delmer Dave’s Cowboy in 1959, co-starring Glenn Ford. Still, it was a good Western, typical of the caliber of professionalism that typifies Lemmon’s performances.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1925, the son of the president of a doughnut company, he was educated at various prep schools and then Harvard, where he developed a love for acting. After a stint in the Navy as an ensign, he headed for Broadway. Equally at home on the stage and screen, and as comfortable with comedy as he was with drama, he will probably be best remembered for his long association with close friends, actor Walter Matthau and director Billy Wilder.
With his own production company, Jalem, he gave Paul Newman one of his best pictures in Cool Hand Luke. A two-time Academy Award® winner, Lemmon also received the Life Achievement award from the American Film Institute in 1988.