Sidney Lumet is often referred the "actor's director." This is in part due to his rigorous rehearsal process, or techniques in character development, but also (and maybe most importantly) to his own, personal history as an actor. Lumet was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 25, 1925. He moved to Manhattan - a city with which he later became synonymous - to study acting at the prestigious Professional Children's School and, later, at Columbia University. His schooling allowed him to simultaneously pursue a professional career, appearing in a number of Broadway shows and short films. After college, Lumet continued to pursue his career in theater, but was abruptly interrupted by World War II. He served the US Army for three years, before returning to New York. Upon his return, Lumet started his own theater collective and Off-Broadway group. It was this collective that afforded him the opportunity to direct.
Lumet's transition to film came in 1957 with 12 Angry Men, a film that would set the stage both thematically and artistically for his prolific career. Lumet is arguably one of the most prolific filmmakers in history, producing at least one film per year since 1957 - having, at the time of his death, over 50 films to his credit. His artistic style favored naturalism and social realism, portraying themes of social and ethical justice, race, religion, and - above all - sense of place. Martin Scorsese said of Lumet: "He was a New York filmmaker at heart, and our vision of the city has been enhanced and deepened by classics like Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and, above all, the remarkable Prince of the City."
Lumet is immortalized in his breadth of work and reputation. My condolences extend to his family, friends, and many fans.