Spacey's Debt To Lemmon
KEVIN SPACEY credits JACK LEMMON with inspiring his acting career - after the movie legend reached out to THE USUAL SUSPECTS star when he was a 14-year-old wannabe. The American Beauty Oscar winner first met Lemmon at a seminar, and the pair went on to become firm friends. After Lemmon's death in 2001, Spacey vowed to follow his mentor's advice - and find proteges of his own. Spacey, who is currently artistic director of London's Old Vic Theatre, says, "I was 14 when I was taken to a seminar and production of the play Juno and the Paycock in Los Angeles with Walter Matthau, Maureen Stapleton and Jack Lemmon. "I can tell you, as a budding actor, having Jack Lemmon put his hand on my shoulder and say, 'That was terrific, kid; you oughta do this professionally' was a big deal for me. "Jack became an extraordinary mentor, and he always said that if you've been fortunate enough to be successful in the business that you wanted to be in, then it is your obligation to send the elevator back down." Years after that first meeting, Spacey teamed up with Lemmon on the big screen, in 1992 movie Glengarry Glen Ross.