Skip to main content

Sidney Lumet: A Life

About the Book

Sidney Lumet: A Life

The first-ever biography of the seminal American director whose remarkable life traces a line through American entertainment history.

Acclaimed as the ultimate New York movie director, Sidney Lumet began his astonishing five-decades-long directing career with the now classic 12 Angry Men, followed by such landmark films as SerpicoDog Day Afternoon and Network. His remarkably varied output included award-winning adaptations of plays by Anton Chekhov, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill, whose Long Day’s Journey into Night featured Katharine Hepburn and Ralph Richardson in their most devastating performances.

Renowned as an “actor’s director,” Lumet attracted an unmatched roster of stars, among them: Henry Fonda, Sophia Loren, Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Ethan Hawke and Philip-Seymour Hoffman, accruing 18 Oscar nods for his actors along the way.

With the help of exclusive interviews with family, colleagues and friends, author Maura Spiegel provides a vibrant portrait of the life and work of this extraordinary director whose influence is felt through generations, and takes us inside the Federal Theater, the Group Theatre, the Actors Studio and the early “golden age” of television.

From his surprising personal life, with four marriages to remarkable women --- all of whom opened their living rooms to Lumet’s world of artists and performers like Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson --- to the world of Yiddish theater and Broadway spectacles, SIDNEY LUMET: A LIFE is a book that anyone interested in American film of the 20th century will not want to miss.

Sidney Lumet: A Life
by Maura Spiegel