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“But any script that starts in New York has got a head start,” he said in 1999. “It’s a fact the city can become anything you want it to be.”

His first three marriages ended in divorce: to actress Rita Gam, heiress Gloria Vanderbilt and Lena Horne’s daughter, Gail Jones. In 1980, he married journalist Mary Gimbel.

He is survived by his wife, daughters Amy and Jenny Lumet, stepchildren Leslie and Bailey Gimbel, nine grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

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Thomas reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writer Christopher Weber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.