Who is Jenny Lumet?
Jenny Lumet is an American actor and screenwriter, best known for writing the original screenplay for the 2008 drama movie 'Rachel Getting Married.' She hails from a family of artists. Thus, it comes as no surprise that she is multi-talented. Lumet is the daughter of film director Sidney Lumet and the granddaughter of the legendary actor Lena Horne. In the initial phase of her career, Lumet mostly made appearances in films directed by her father. However, she gained prominence because of his skills behind the camera. Lumet has also contributed to the screenplay of a popular TV series. She made headlines after she revealed that she had previously been sexually assaulted by entrepreneur Russell Simmons.
Childhood & Early Life
Born on February 2, 1967, in New York City, Lumet is the younger daughter of director, producer, and screenwriter Sidney Lumet and his journalist-writer wife, Gail Buckley. Her elder sister, Amy, is a sound editor.
She graduated from 'Dalton School' in 1984.
At the age of 17, Lumet worked as a coat-check girl at a restaurant called 'Indochine'
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Lumet began her career as a voice-over artist in the “stage 4” of the 1975 independent animated film 'Everybody Rides the Carousel,' depicting the various stages of life.
She had a brief role in the 1982 black comedy/mystery film 'Deathtrap,' adapted from Ira Levin's 1978 play of the same name. Following this, she made an appearance in the 1988 drama film 'Running on Empty,' directed by her father.
Her first credited and relatively notable movie role was that of 'Pam' in 'Tougher Than Leather,' released in 1988. She gained prominence with her performance as 'Nancy Bosch,' wife of Puerto Rican crime boss 'Roberto "Bobby Tex," Texador' (played by Armand Assante) and former girlfriend of 'ADA Aloysius Francis "Al" Reilly' (played by Timothy Hutton) in Sydney Lumet's 1990 crime film 'Q & A,' an adaptation of a novel authored by ‘New York State Supreme Court’ judge Edwin Torres.
In 1994 and 1995, she appeared in the shorts 'Assassination' and 'DodgeBall,' playing 'Stephanie Merrin' and 'Claudette Mitty,' respectively.
Lumet made her debut as a screenplay writer with the 2008 drama film 'Rachel Getting Married,' which premiered at the '65th Venice International Film Festival.' She received a nomination for the 'Film Independent Spirit Award.' She also won a 'New York Film Critics Circle Award’ and a 'Toronto Film Critics Association Award.' In 2009 she bagged an 'NAACP Image Award.'
In 2016, Lumet worked on a 'CBS' drama, co-produced by 'CBS Television Studios' and Alex Kurtzman's production company, 'Secret Hideout.' The pilot for the show was made but was never released. The series was a crime procedural, starring Brad William Henke and featuring Yadira Guevara-Prip.
In 2018, Lumet began working as a consulting producer for the 'CBS All Access' anthology 'Star Trek: Discovery' and was later promoted to the position of co-executive producer. She co-wrote 'Runaway,' the first mini-episode from the anthology 'Short Treks.'
She wrote the screen story for the 2017 action-adventure film 'The Mummy.'
Lumet also worked as a drama teacher at the 'Manhattan Country School' in New York City.
Family & Personal Life
Lumet's father, Sydney, is of Polish Jewish ancestry, while her mother is African–American. She is the granddaughter of singer-actor Lena Horne and the former sister-in-law of American political satirist and journalist P.J. O'Rourke. Lumet is also the stepsister of sound editor Leslie Gimbel and the step-granddaughter of musical director Lennie Hayton.
Yiddish theater actor Baruch Lumet was her paternal grandfather.
Lumet married actor Bobby Cannavale in 1994, but the couple divorced in 2004. They have a son named Jake Cannavale, who is an actor. Lumet married Alexander Weinstein in 2008 and has a daughter with him.
In November 2017, Lumet publicly accused American entrepreneur, record executive, writer, and film producer Russell Simmons of sexually assaulting her in 1991. She made the revelation at a time when model Keri Claussen Khalighi, too, accused him of assault.
As a response to Lumet's accusation, Simmons stepped down from his positions in his businesses and his media firm, ‘Rush Communications.’
Lumet revealed the incident through a letter that detailed her horrifying experience with the celebrity. They met in around 1987, through American record producer and former co-president of 'Columbia Records,' Rick Rubin. The two eventually ended up with a bunch of mutual friends and also appreciated each other.
Reportedly, Simmons, had expressed his admiration for Lumet's maternal grandmother, Horne. However, as mentioned in the letter, they continued to interact and meet at public events even after the sexual assault.