Director Sidney Lumet, who worked closely with some of Hollywood’s biggest actors and made dozens of classic films, died on April 9, 2011 at the age of 86. His best-known films —12 Angry Men (1957), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976) and The Verdict (1982) — earned him Oscar nominations for Best Director; and in 2005, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy. Some five decades before that ultimate recognition — when Lumet was a 29-year-old TV director — LIFE magazine photographed him at work on the set, capturing his contagious energy and love of the craft. Then, three years later, LIFE was on hand when he married his second wife, the ravishing socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, in 1956. Here, the best photographs from those now-classic shoots, as well as two photographs from the first time Lumet appeared in LIFE.
Remembering Sidney Lumet