Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sydney Pollack Dies At 73

Just yesterday, I wrote about the death of comic Dick Martin over the weekend. Now today I am sad to say that Oscar-winning director/producer Sydney Pollack has succumbed to cancer at the age of 73. He died Monday afternoon at his home according to his publicist. Pollack had been diagnosed with cancer nine months ago.

Pollack was one of the most prolific and respected directors of the last 40 years. He received his 1st of 3 Academy Award nominations for directing 1969's "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" He was also nominated for helming "Tootsie" in 1982 and finally took home the statuette for the 1985 drama "Out of Africa". A frequent collaborator was Robert Redford, whom Pollack directed in "Jeremiah Johnson", "The Way We Were", "Three Days of the Condor", "The Electric Horseman", the aforementioned "Out of Africa", and "Havana".

Although mainly known for his work behind the scenes, Pollack turned in some solid work in front of the camera. After a 20 year break from acting, Pollack was convinced by Dustin Hoffman to pull double duty and play the role of Hoffman's agent in "Tootsie". Over the last quarter century, some of Pollack's other acting roles were in "Husbands and Wives", "The Player", "Death Becomes Her," and "Eyes Wide Shut." His last screen appearance was as the oft-married father of star Patrick Dempsey's character in the current film "Made of Honor".

To honor the work of Sydney Pollack, Turner Classic Movies will revise its primetime schedule on Monday, June 2nd:

8:00 PM The Slender Thread (’65) (his directorial debut)
10:00 PM Three Days of the Condor (’75)
12:00 AM Tootsie (’82)
2:00 AM Jeremiah Johnson (’72)

Below is a clip of his turn as the agent of Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels (Dustin Hoffman) in "Tootsie".


Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Truly a brilliant director/producer.

Jessica said...

He was great. Tootsie is one of my all time favorite movies! :)

pjazzypar said...

This was sad to hear, He was a prolific director and producer. I love his work behind the camera, but for some reason I remember him acting in the movie "Eyes Wide Shut".

Malcolm said...

Thanks to all who've commented. "Tootsie" is a fave of mine too. I wish I could have found the clip where Dustin Hoffman (as Dorothy Michaels) approaches Sydney Pollack's character in a restaurant. I love it when Dustin goes back and forth between Dorothy's voice and his real one. I only saw part of "Eyes Wide Shut", so I can't remember if I saw any of his scenes or not.

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