Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sydney Pollack 1934-2008

It is with a very heavy heart that I report that Sydney Pollack passed away Monday afternoon at his home in Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles. Pollack was considered an actors director because Pollack started out as an actor. Pollack studied under the renowned Stanford Meisner, he then spent several years cutting his teeth in various areas of theater, eventually becoming Meisner's assistant. He worked on such shows as "Playhouse 90", and "Alfred Hitchcock presents". By the 1950's after appearing in several Broadway shows Pollack went into directing. He began on TV series such as "Naked City" and "The Fugitive," then moved to film. Pollack's first full-length feature was "The Slender Thread".

Sydney Pollack went on to direct such films as: "The Way We Were", Three Days of the Condor, Absence of Malice, Tootsie, which won best picture. In 1985 Pollack won an Oscar for best director for his film Out of Africa starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.

Pollack had begun to play more and more characters in other pictures such as "Michael Clayton", and "Made of Honor". It was Dustin Hoffman in "Tootsie" that convinced Pollack to take the role of his agent in the film. Till then Pollack had not acted.

Sydney Pollack was an extremely talented and beloved director in Hollywood. Pollack once said that "stars are like thoroughbreds. Yes, it's a little more dangerous with them. They are more temperamental. You have to be careful because you can be thrown. But when they do what they do best — whatever it is that's made them a star — it's really exciting."

Pollack is survived by his wife, Claire; two daughters, Rebecca and Rachel; his brother Bernie; and six grandchildren.*

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