Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sydney Pollack

Two of my favorite movies are Tootsie and Out of Africa, so I was saddened to hear of the death of Sydney Pollack, the director of both of these fine films...may he rest in peace,

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From the New York Times...

LOS ANGELES — Sydney Pollack, a Hollywood mainstay as director, producer and sometime actor whose star-laden movies like “The Way We Were,” “Tootsie” and “Out of Africa” were among the most successful of the 1970s and ’80s, died Monday at home here. He was 73.


The cause was cancer, said the publicist Leslee Dart, who spoke for his family.

Mr. Pollack’s career defined an era in which big stars (Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, Warren Beatty) and the filmmakers who knew how to wrangle them (Barry Levinson, Mike Nichols) retooled the Hollywood system. Savvy operators, they played studio against studio, staking their fortunes on pictures that served commerce without wholly abandoning art.

Hollywood honored Mr. Pollack in return. His movies received multiple Academy Award nominations, and as a director he won an Oscar for his work on the 1985 film “Out of Africa” as well as nominations for directing “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” (1969) and “Tootsie” (1982).

“Michael Clayton,” of which Mr. Pollack was a producer and a member of the cast, was nominated for a best picture Oscar earlier this year. He delivered a trademark performance as an old-bull lawyer who demands dark deeds from a subordinate, played by George Clooney. (“This is news? This case has reeked from Day 1!” snaps Mr. Pollack’s Marty Bach.) Most recently, Mr. Pollack portrayed the father of Patrick Dempsey’s character in “Made of Honor.”

Mr. Pollack became a prolific producer of independent films in the latter part of his career. ...

read more HERE....

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From CNN....

(CNN) -- Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack, who achieved critical acclaim with the period drama "Out of Africa" and the romantic comedy "Tootsie," died of cancer Monday, his agent told CNN.

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Sydney Pollack's notable films include "Out of Africa," "Tootsie" and "The Way We Were."

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Pollack, 73, died at his home in Los Angeles. He was surrounded by his wife of nearly 50 years, Claire Griswold, their two daughters, Rebecca and Rachel, and his brother, Bernie, agent Leslee Dart said. the Pollacks' only son, Steven, died in a plane crash in 1993.

Pollack, who often appeared on the screen himself, worked with and gained the respect of Hollywood's best actors in a long career that reached prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the Associated Press.

"Sydney made the world a little better, movies a little better and even dinner a little better. A tip of the hat to a class act," actor George Clooney said in a statement issued by his publicist, the Associated Press reported.

Last fall, Pollack played Marty Bach opposite Clooney in "Michael Clayton," a drama that examines the life of a fixer for lawyers. The film, which Pollack co-produced, received seven Oscar nominations, including best picture and a best actor nod for Clooney.

Pollack was no stranger to the Academy Awards. His 1985 film "Out of Africa," a romantic epic of a woman's passion set against the landscape of colonial Kenya, captured seven Oscars, including best director and best picture.

Read more HERE...

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