Academy Award-winning director, Sydney Pollack, has died at the age of 73. He died of cancer at his home in Los Angeles, California on Monday, 26 May.
Pollack started his career as an actor and acting teacher before moving behind the lens as both director and producer. He began his directorial career in television, working on such projects as the Alfred Hitchcock Hour, hospital drama, Ben Casey, and The Fugitive. His first foray into film was the 1965 drama, The Slender Thread, starring Anne Bancroft and Sidney Poitier.
He first appeared in one of his own films in 1979, in The Electric Horseman. A few years later he took the part of Dustin Hoffman’s agent, George Fields, in Tootsie. He went on to appear in many of his own films and those directed by his contemporaries including Husbands and Wives, The Player, Death Becomes Her, Eyes Wide Shut and Michael Clayton.
He won two Academy Awards in 1986 for Out of Africa for both Best Director and Best Picture. He was also nominated for Best Director in 1970 for They Shoot the Horses, Don’t They? and again in 1983 for Tootsie for which he also received a Best Picture Nomination. In 2008 he was nominated for Best Picture for Michael Clayton.
Beside his own collection of awards garnered throughout his career, he directed many actors to Academy Award nominations including: Jane Fonda, Gig Young, Susannah York, Barbra Streisand, Paul Newman, Melinda Dillon, Jessica Lange, Dustin Hoffman, Teri Garr , Meryl Streep, Klaus Maria Brandauer and Holly Hunter.
Pollack is survived by his wife and his two daughters, Rebecca and Rachel. Pollack’s son, Steven, died in a 1993 plane crash in Santa Monica.