Director who preferred the streets of New York to the back lots of Hollywood and whose stories of conscience — “12 Angry Men,” “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “The Verdict,” “Network” — became modern American film classics. Sidney Lumet was born on June 25, 1924, in Philadelphia to Baruch Lumet and Eugenia Wermus, both actors in Yiddish theater. His father was born in Poland and moved his family to New York when Sidney was a baby and joined the Yiddish Art Theater. By the time he was 4, Sidney was appearing onstage with his father, and he went on to make his Broadway debut in 1935 as a street kid in Sidney Kingsley’s “Dead End.” After wartime service as a radar technician in the Far East, Mr. Lumet returned to New York and started directing Off Broadway and in summer stock. His big break came in 1950, when he was hired by CBS and became a director on the television suspense series “Danger.” His career soared in 1953, when he began directing original plays for dramatic series on CBS and NBC, including “Studio One,” “Playhouse 90” and “Kraft Television Theater,” eventually adding some 200 productions to his credits. He returned to the theater to direct Albert Camus’s “Caligula,” with Kenneth Haigh as the Roman emperor, and George Bernard Shaw’s “Man and Superman,” among other plays. Mr. Lumet’s first three marriages — to the actress Rita Gam, Gloria Vanderbilt and Gail Jones, the daughter of Lena Horne — ended in divorce. He married Mary Gimbel in 1980. She survives him. Besides his stepdaughter, Leslie Gimbel, he is also survived by two daughters he had with Ms. Jones, Amy Lumet and Jenny Lumet, a screenwriter; a stepson, Bailey Gimbel; nine grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. Mr. Lumet also had a home in East Hampton, on Long Island.