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Jeffrey Lyons    

NBC Movie Critic

Jeffrey Lyons has reviewed more than 15,000 movies and 900 Broadway and off-Broadway plays—more than anyone in any medium. He grew up in an extraordinary household, where his father, a famed Broadway columnist whose "Lyons Den" was a must-read for millions six days a week, was the key to his knowing every luminary of his time. Lyons 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's lectured at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, and four times at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and has enjoyed a career on television and radio spanning 42 years. He's also worked for Lifetime, A&E, Biography, ABC World News Now, CBS Radio, Mutual Radio and CBC Radio Canada, and Tribune, among other media. He had an op-ed piece on baseball published in The New York Times, worked for the Newhouse Newspapers as a reporter and sports reporter, and been published in various magazines.

He's appeared on The Today Show three 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 New York, the Sci Fi channel, and others, in addition to his regular TV jobs.

After receiving his JD from Syracuse Law School in 1969, he conducted his first professional interview for NBC radio's iconic "Monitor" program with Debbie Reynolds. Since then, he's interviewed nearly every movie star of the past four decades.

He began his journalism career working summers for the Newhouse Newspapers, then The New York Times, then Westinghouse Radio, where he covered both national political conventions in the turbulent summer of 1968. Two years later, he joined New York's WPIX-TV, where he would review movies and theater and conduct interviews for 21 years. He began to be seen nationally 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Previews, the famous PBS movie review program, and during his 12 seasons on that show (1982-92, 1994-96), they often outdated their more publicized competing shows.

Then in 1996 he 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. Knowing who the interviewer would be, many stars—even those he'd never met—knew of his reputation and agreed to come. Thus 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 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 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's written six books to date. His newest is Stories My Father Told Me: Notes from the Lyons Den, a collection of anecdotes from his father Leonard Lyons's iconic Broadway column, along with his own interviews. Jeffrey's family friends growing up 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 this book, which has received rave reviews from, among others, The Wall Street Journal, and in articles in The New York Times, New York Post, and the respected industry publication Kirkus Books.

Lyons continues his career reviewing movies on a New York radio station and through national syndication on "Lyons Den" radio, and occasionally on TV. He is the father of the TV personality and film critic Ben Lyons, recently of the E! Channel (seen in 62 countries) and now with the syndicated TV series Extra!

Jeffrey Lyons is also the author of 101 Great Movies for Kids, Out of Left Field, Curveball and Screwball, Short Hops and Foul Tips, and Catching Heat: The Jim Leyritz Story.

Speech Topics


what to look for in a movie

how to be comfortable in front of a tv camera

film criticism

print vs. tv critics

acting techniques

how to conduct an interview on live television

interviewing stars

Reflections on 42 Years in the Dark

The People I Have Known

Baseball Insight & Trivia

Books


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Stories My Father Told Me: Notes from "The Lyons Den"

News


Former Ch. 4 film critic Jeffrey Lyons says local news is lacking ...

Former WNBC/Ch. 4 entertainment guru Jeffrey Lyons say viewers are suffering from a lack of local critics on New York stations. He thinks station brass blew it ...

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