Lumet was a child actor, and appeared as a youth in numerous Broadway productions, including Dead End, The Eternal Road, Journey to Jerusalem, and Brooklyn U.S.A.
Lumet would later direct three Broadway productions, including the short-lived 1956 play Night of the Auk, a 1960 production of Caligula, starring Kenneth Haigh, and the 1962 musical Nowhere to Go But Up, which ran for only nine performances, but earned Dorothy Loudon a Theatre World Award.
He began work in television in the 1950s, where his work included productions of such plays as Stage Door, The Philadelphia Story, and The Iceman Cometh.
In 1957, Lumet directed his first film, 12 Angry Men -- which he previously helmed for television -- starring Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb, and which earned him the first of his five Oscar nominations.
Lumet directed numerous film adaptations of stage works over the years, including The Fugitive Kind (based on Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending), A View from the Bridge, Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Seagull, Deathtrap, Equus, and The Wiz.
He received Oscar nominations for directing Dog Day Afternoon, Network, and The Verdict, and one for co-writing Prince of the City, which he also directed. He received an honorary Oscar in 2005. Hs many other films include The Pawnbroker, The Group, Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express, and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.
Lumet is survived by his fourth wife, Mary; his marriages to the actress Rita Gam, the socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, and Gail Jones, the daughter of actress Lena Horne, ended in divorce. He is also survived by his daughters by Ms. Jones, Amy Lumet and Jenny Lumet; his stepson, Bailey Gimble; his stepdaughter, Ellen Gimble, and nine grandchildren.