Jeffrey Lyons...Preeminent Film and Theater Critic, author, baseball and movie trivia expert
Jeffrey Lyons has reviewed more than 15,000 movies, 900 Broadway and off-Broadway plays--more than anyone in any medium. He grew up in an extraordinary household, where his father, (Leonard, the famed Broadway columnist whose ”Lyons Den” was a must read for millions six days a week), was the key to their knowing every luminary of his time. Jeffrey has interviewed nearly 500 actors; written or co-authored six books; co-hosted three national movie review shows on PBS, MSNBC and NBC; and, received two honorary degrees so far. He has lectured at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.; four times at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; and, has enjoyed a career on television and radio spanning 42 years.
Mr. Lyons has also worked for Lifetime, A&E “Biography”, ABC World News Now, CBS Radio, Mutual Radio, CBC Radio Canada and Tribune, among other media. Jeffrey has had an Op Ed piece on baseball published in The New York Times, worked for Newhouse Newspapers and his articles have been featured in various magazines. He has appeared on “TODAY” several times; The Oprah Winfrey Show; The Joan Rivers Show; The Late Show With Conan O'Brien; The McLaughlin Group; The CBS Early Show; GOOD DAY NY; and, the Sci Fi Channel, in addition to his regular TV jobs.
Jeffrey Lyons began his journalism career working as a reporter and sports reporter for Newhouse, followed by The New York Times. He conducted his first professional interview (Debbie Reynolds) for NBC radio's iconic “Monitor” program. In the turbulent summer of 1968, he moved to Westinghouse Radio, where he covered both national political conventions. Two years later, he joined New York's WPIX-TV, where he would review movies, theater and conduct interviews for the next 21 years. He went national on “The Independent Network News” via Tribune Broadcasting in 1980. In 1982, he was chosen over 300 aspirants to co-host “SNEAK PREVIEWS”, the famous PBS movie review program, and during his 12 seasons there (1982-1992, 1994-1996), the show often drew higher ratings than the more publicized competition.
In 1996, Mr. Lyons joined WNBC as their film and theater critic and began bringing movie stars to his studio--something he'd done regularly at WPIX but which few if any competitors in the #1 TV market did with regularity. Many stars--even those he had never met--knew of his reputation and agreed to participate. He interviewed everyone from Clint Eastwood to Dame Judi Dench, James Earl Jones, Penelope Cruz (in English and Spanish for Telemundo), Javier Bardem and Antonio Banderas (also in Spanish); Sir Michael Caine, Sir Ben Kingsley, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Helen Mirren, Seth Rogen, Robin Williams and Sir Anthony Hopkins, to name just a few.
In 2003, he reviewed movies with his son Ben Lyons (formerly of E! Channel, now with “Extra”) on MSNBC's “At The Movies”. Then, in 2004 he created and co-hosted “REEL TALK”, a ratings winner on all 154 NBC stations, for five years. He continues to review movies on a New York radio station, through national syndication on Lyons Den radio, and occasionally on TV.
Jeffrey Lyons' family friends during his youth included Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, two-time Presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson, Joe DiMaggio, Richard Burton, Sofia Loren, Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, President Harry S. Truman, and dozens more, all chronicled in his latest book, Stories My Father Told Me, which received rave reviews from, among others, the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York Post and the respected industry publication, Kirkus Books.
Growing up, Jeffrey trained with the New York Football Giants (as a field goal kicker); studied bullfighting in Spain (arranged by Ernest Hemingway); spent seven summers touring with Spain's greatest matador, Antonio Ordonez; sang in the Boys' Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera; studied acting with the great teacher Lee Strassberg (founder of the revered Actors' Studio); and, portrayed himself (unconvincingly) in the movies (“The French Connection” and “Deathtrap”) and on TV's “Wiseguy”.
Jeffrey Lyons graduated from the Syracuse University Law School with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in 1969. He has received honorary degrees from Hofstra University (2000) and St. Mary's College (2002).
Suggested Speech Topics*
My Life As A Critic: An Inside Look From 1970 To The Present
Almost Perfect: The Best Movies And Plays Of The Past 40 Years
Between The Lines: Why Baseball Matters To America
*Mr. Lyons' personal home movies of major movie stars, directors, authors and other film and theater personalities are also part of his programs.
Jeffrey Lyons is available for keynote speeches, seminars and extended residencies.
Books Written by Jeffrey Lyons
Jeffrey Lyons is the author or co-author of six books including:
1 - Stories My Father Told Me: Notes From The Lyons Den (Abbeville Press, Inc., 2011) (A collection of anecdotes from his father Leonard Lyons' iconic Broadway column, along with his own interviews)
2 - Catching Heat: The Jim Leyritz Story (Health Communications, Inc. 2011)
3 - Jeffrey Lyons' 101 Great Movies for Kids (Simon and Schuster, 1996)
4 - Out of Leftfield: Over 1,134 Newly Discovered Amazing Baseball Records, Connections, Coincidences and More (Times Books, 1998)
5 - Curveballs and Screwballs: Over 1,286 Incredible Baseball Facts, Finds, Flukes and More (Times Books, 2001)
6 - Short Hops and Foul Tips: 1,734 Wild and Wacky Baseball Facts (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2005)