Jeffrey Lyons is a three time Emmy Award-winner who has reviewed some 15,000 movies on TV, radio and in print, more than any other critic in any medium, 900 Broadway and off-Broadway plays, interviewed nearly 500 actors, and written or co-authored six books. He is the only movie critic who’s co-hosted three national movie review shows on PBS (“SNEAK PREVIEWS”), MSNBC (MSNBC’s “AT THE MOVIES”) and the NBC stations (“REEL TALK”).
A frequent speaker, Jeffrey has lectured on baseball at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and four times at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cooperstown, N.Y. and on movies and film criticism in venues all over the country, and in his second language, Spanish, under the auspices for the State Department in Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. He’s lectured on bullfighting for the Young Presidents’ Organization in Madrid, having traveled with famed matador Antonio Ordoñez for seven summers touring Spain, first arranged by family friend Ernest Hemingway in 1961. He carried the last letter from Hemingway to his godson Ordoñez, subject of Hemingway’s The Dangerous Summer. Jeffrey first appeared on television as a boy on Edward R. Murrow’s iconic “Person to Person”, when Murrow visited his family’s home to interview his father, famed Broadway columnist Leonard Lyons, in December, 1955.
Jeffrey holds degrees in Journalism from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Dr. of Jurisprudence degree from Syracuse Law School. He has received honorary degrees from Hofstra University and St. Mary’s College. In 1969, he conducted his first professional interview with Debbie Reynolds for NBC Radio’s famous “Monitor”. Jeffrey has interviewed nearly every movie star of the past four decades from Milton Berle and Ray Milland to Susan Sarandon, Clint Eastwood, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Seth Rogen, and Dame Judi Dench; from Dustin Hoffman to Sir Michael Caine (6 times), James Earl Jones, Clint Eastwood and Judd Apatow and James Franco. On radio, he’s reviewed movies, Broadway shows, and conducted interviews with major stars for WCBS, and CBS stations from 1974-92 and recently rejoined the station reviewing movies via his syndicated LYONS DEN RADIO. He’s also heard on WNYM radio in New York and on the CBS RADIO network hourly news doing expert commentaries in obituaries of stars. He was also the critic for the Mutual Broadcasting System and CBC Radio Canada. He was also a guest panelist on The McLaughlin Group, the long-running political TV show and Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher on Comedy Central.
Jeffrey has written six books to date. The latest is Stories My Father Told Me, Notes From the Lyons Den, a collection of anecdotes from his father Leonard Lyons’ iconic Broadway columns spanning 1934-74, culling stories from 12,470 columns, along with his own interviews. Jeffrey’s family friends growing up included Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, two-time Presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson, Joe DiMaggio, Ingrid Bergman, Her Serene Highness Grace Kelly, Richard Burton, Sofia Loren, Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, John Steinbeck, President Harry S. Truman, and dozens more. His book received rave reviews from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, New York Post and Kirkus Books. He’s at work on a sequel called What A Time It Was! due in 2015 again from Abbeville Press.