Grumpy old men were the perfect odd couple

HOLLYWOOD'S odd couple and grumpiest, oldest men - Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon - left behind an army of fans as they died within nearly a year of each other in 2000 and 2001.

A Harvard graduate, Lemmon was commissioned by the United States navy and served briefly during World War II as an ensign on an aircraft carrier while Matthau's interest in acting was piqued in his role as a radioman-gunner for the armed forces.

Lemmon was an eight-time Academy Award nominee, claiming two wins - best supporting actor for Mister Roberts and best actor for the 1973 film Save The Tiger.

What was your favourite Walter Matthau-Jack Lemmon film?

This poll ended on 31 December 2017.

Current Results

Grumpy Old Men

25%

The Odd Couple

25%

The Fortune Cookie

25%

Kotch

0%

Out To Sea

0%

Grumpier Old Men

25%

The Odd Couple II

0%

Buddy Buddy

0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Matthau also claimed an Academy Award - best supporting actor alongside Lemmon, the first time they worked together, in The Fortune Cookie - but had success off the big screen as well, wining a BAFTA, Golden Globe and Tony Awards.

Despite both being cast in dramatic roles, the pair quickly struck the funny bone as the bickering roommates Felix Ungar (Lemmon) and Oscar Madison (Matthau) in the 1968 comedy hit The Odd Couple.

They would continue to work together over the next 30 years, finding a new generation of fans with the hilarious Grumpy Old Men (1993).

Lemmon, an avid golf fan, last starred in the film The Legend Of Bagger Vance, allowing him to indulge one of his off-screen loves and play a golfer who looks back over his life and career before, eerily with life imitating art, walking towards the afterlife.

Matthau, meanwhile, said goodbye to his legion of fans opposite Diane Keaton in the 2000 film Hanging Up.

Matthau died of a heart attack on July 1, 2000 while Lemmon, who battled alcoholism during his career, almost a year to the day later, succumbed to bladder cancer on June 27, 2001.

Matthau married twice, Grace Geraldine Johnson and Carol Marcus, and had three children, two with his first wife and a son with Marcus.

Lemmon was also married twice and had two children (one with both wives, Cynthia Stone and Felicia Farr), while Farr had a daughter from a previous marriage.

The lifelong friends were buried next to each other at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in California.


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