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Tuesday, 14 August, 2001, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Stars pay tribute to Jack Lemmon
More than 500 friends and colleagues of Jack Lemmon have paid tribute to the actor who died of cancer in June.

Many warm and amusing memories of The Odd Couple star were shared at the service in the Paramount Studios theatre in Los Angeles.

Lemmon with Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe
Lemmon with Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe
Kevin Spacey, who stared alongside Lemmon in Long Day's Journey Into Night, recalled the time his dog had relieved itself on the actor's prized golf clubs.

Paying tribute, he said: "Hollywood has given no greater, or versatile, actor to the world than Jack Lemmon."

Comedy writer Larry Gelbart and playwright Neil Simon continued the comedic theme with a number of one liners.

Haphazard speech

But it was Tom Hanks who took everyone by surprise by turning into the inadvertent comedian of the evening.

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks gave a comedic speech
On several occasions the Castaway star mistook Jack Nicholson for Jack Lemmon.

The actor's haphazard speech drew laughter from friends and family and a "Thank you Kevin" from the MC of the evening PBS' Charlie Rose.

Jack Lemmon was reknowned for both his comedy and dramatic roles and during his career he received seven Oscar nominations, including two for lead actor.

The star won Oscars as best supporting actor in 1955 for Mister Roberts and best actor for Save The Tiger in 1973.

Last words

But Lemmon is probably best-known for his comedy roles and for his pairing with Walter Matthau.

They first appeared together in the 1966 film The Fortune Cookie but it was the 1968 hit The Odd Couple which cemented their relationship.

They went on to co-star in six more films.

After thanking everyone for attending the service, Lemmon's son Chris revealed his father's last words.

"At the end I held him in my arms and all he was able to do was mouth the words 'I love you' to his family.

"He never complained about his illness; he tried to make it easy on his loved ones."

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