The controversial new Marilyn Monroe movie Blonde is not for everyone—not even every fan of the iconic star or of Old Hollywood in generals. But, there are some aspects of the movie classic film fans might find particularly interesting. Many reviewers have pointed out the attention to detail in recreating some key moments from Monroe's public life and her performances, right down the casting of the people around her. For one particular co-star, Blonde turned to a lookalike family member to portray him. Jack Lemmon's son Chris Lemmon, 68, makes a brief cameo in the movie as his famous dad.
Chris is one of Jack's two children. He welcomed Chris with his first wife, Cynthia Stone, to whom he was married from 1950 to 1956. The star then welcomed Courtney Lemmon with his second wife, Felicia Farr. Jack and Farr were married from 1962 until The Odd Couple actor's death in 2001.
Read on to find out more about Chris Lemmon, his relationship with his dad, and his involvement in Blonde.
Monroe and Jack starred in a beloved movie together.
Jack was one of Monroe's co-stars in the 1959 film Some Like It Hot, in which Monroe plays a member of an all-women traveling band, while Jack and Tony Curtis are two men who disguise themselves and join the group to hide from mobsters who are after them.
In a 1993 interview with Charlie Rose (via Express), Jack said that he and Monroe got along "great" while also discussing what he said was her fear of the camera.
"What happened was—I'm going to be an armchair analyst as if I really knew—because we liked each other and we respected each other and we got along great," Jack said. "Yes, she was afraid because she would be fully dressed and made up and everything and still sit for an hour or more in the little portable dressing room on the set and not come out until she had psyched herself up and could face the cameras."
Chris appears in a scene depicting the making of that movie.
Say what you will about BLONDE — and lots has been said — but you gotta give it up for the background extra absolutely killing it as Jack Lemmon in SOME LIKE IT HOT… who turns out to be Jack Lemmon's actual son! pic.twitter.com/IHGLoKFuTs
— Nathan Weinbender (@ntweinbender) October 3, 2022
In Blonde, Chris portrays Jack during the filming of Some Like It Hot, done up as his father's character "Daphne."
That film set was evidently a stressful one, as Monroe was dealing with substance abuse issues at the time. She had trouble remembering lines and showing up on time for work. While Jack was 34 years old when Some Like It Hot was released, Chris is currently 68. At the time the movie came out, Chris was four years old.
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Chris is also a professional actor.
His Blonde cameo is hardly Chris' first role. He's been an actor since the 1970s, though he hasn't appeared on screen as much in recent years as he used to. In a 2019 interview with Fox News, Chris said he retired following undergoing a lung transplant surgery. When he was still working regularly, however, he was in the TV series Duet and Knots Landing, among others. He also was in three movies with Jack: Airport '77, That's Life!, and Dad.
Even before playing his dad, the performer didn't downplay his connection to Hollywood history. Chris wrote the 2006 book A Twist of Lemmon: A Tribute to My Father and later adapted it into a stage show, in which he starred.
Chris said his dad "saw [Monroe] for what she was."
In his interview with Fox News, Chris opened up about his father's working relationship with Monroe.
"It was terrific," he said. "He saw Marilyn for what she was, unlike the persona. … Marilyn had her own gimmick. But that wasn't her at all. She was a very dedicated actress and a very intelligent woman. But also a very troubled woman who was hit by stardom way too quickly. She just simply didn't know what to do with it. So my father instantly took to her because he saw those qualities. My father easily took to everybody. Jack Lemmon could get along with a log."