American film icon Jack Lemmon has died in Los Angeles aged 76, his publicist has announced. Lemmon, a two-time Academy Award winner, died at USC Norris Cancer Hospital on Wednesday night (June 27, 2001).

Since his silver screen debut in 1954 comedy It Should Happen To You, opposite Judy Holliday and Peter Lawford, Lemmon built a reputation as one of America's best loved and most respected actors. His versatility was renowned, appearing in classic dramas including Save The Tiger, Missing and Glengarry Glen Ross, as well as the comedies for which he was best known.

Legendary collaborations with director Billy Wilder, including Some Like It Hot and The Apartment, and actor Walter Matthau (The Odd Couple, Grumpy Old Men), who died a year ago on Sunday, will secure his place in Hollywood history. Lemmon received eight Oscar nominations during his career. Of the seven lead actor nods, two were for comedy, five for drama; he won for Save The Tiger (1973). He won his only supporting actor nomination for his role in Mister Roberts (1955).

Meanwhile, the Taormina Film Festival, which opens tomorrow (June 29), has announced that it will pay tribute to Lemmon with a special screening of Ettore Scola's Macaroni, in which he co-starred with Marcello Mastroianni. The film will be shown in a special midnight screening tomorrow in the Sicilian town's Greek Amphitheatre, festival organisers said.

Macaroni, which was made in 1985, features Lemmon as an American executive who returns to Naples on business 40 years after the end of World War II.