Best-known as an Academy Award-winning actor, Jack Lemmon also issued several recordings over the years. Born John Uhler Lemmon III on February 8, 1925, in Newton, MA, it wasn't until he attended Harvard University that Lemmon began taking acting seriously and joined the school's drama club. After serving in the Navy, Lemmon worked in a beer hall playing piano before eventually landing spots on Broadway, radio, TV, and by the mid-'50s, movies (alternating between comedies and dramas). It didn't take long for the public to recognize Lemmon's acting talents; he won an Academy Award in 1955 for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the movie Mister Roberts and earned further nominations as Best Leading Actor in the late '50s/early '60s (1959's Some Like It Hot, 1960's The Apartment, 1962's Days of Wine and Roses). It was also around this time that Lemmon began issuing albums, including such titles as Twist of Lemmon and Sings and Plays Music From Some Like It Hot in the late '50s, as well as Piano Selections From Irma La Douce and E.B. White's Here Is New York in the early '60s.
In 1968, Lemmon gave perhaps his best-known performance in a movie as the neurotic neatnic Felix Unger in The Odd Couple, while further Academy Award nominations came in (1979's The China Syndrome, 1980's Tribute, and 1982's Missing), in addition to winning a Best Leading Actor Academy Award for 1972's Save the Tiger and a pair of Best Leading Actor Cannes Film Festival Awards for The China Syndrome and Missing. The early '90s saw Lemmon issue his first musical albums in nearly two decades, with 1990's Piano & Vocals and 1991's Peter and the Wolf (the latter of which had Lemmon team up with the Prague Festival Orchestra). Lemmon continued to act regularly until the late '90s when he was diagnosed with cancer; he eventually succumbed to the illness on June 27, 2001, in Los Angeles, CA, at the age of 76. A 2-in-1 CD that included both Twist of Lemmon and Sings and Plays Music From Some Like It Hot was issued a week after his passing.