Sydney Pollack dies in Los Angeles

Tue May 27, 2008 4:42am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood filmmaker Sydney Pollack, who won a pair of Academy Awards for the epic romance "Out of Africa" and earned praise for acting stints in films including "Tootsie" and "Michael Clayton," died on Monday after a battle with cancer, his spokeswoman said. He was 73.

During a varied career spanning almost half a century, Pollack directed such stars as Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford in "The Way We Were," Tom Cruise in "The Firm" and Dustin Hoffman in "Tootsie." Redford starred in seven of his films, including "Out of Africa," alongside Meryl Streep.

Pollack died at his home in the coastal Los Angeles suburb of Pacific Palisades at about 5 p.m. local time. He was diagnosed with cancer about 10 months ago, but doctors were never able to determine the primary source of the disease, said spokeswoman Leslee Dart.

At the time of the diagnosis, he was directing the HBO movie "Recount," but left the project to seek medical treatment. The political drama about the controversial Florida presidential vote in 2000 premiered on the cable network on Sunday.

The tall, curly-haired Indiana native, who started out as an acting coach and TV director, focused on producing and acting in later years.

He received a best picture Oscar nomination this year for producing the George Clooney legal thriller "Michael Clayton," in which he had a supporting role as an attorney. He is featured in the newly released romantic comedy "Made of Honor" as actor Patrick Dempsey's serial-dating father.


Pollack's final directing efforts were the 2005 thriller "The Interpreter," starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, and the 2006 documentary "Sketches of Frank Gehry," about the famed architect.   Continued...

<p>Producer-director Sydney Pollack during the 59th Cannes Film Festival in a May 2006 photo. Pollack, who earned an Oscar for the epic romance "Out of Africa" and also won praise as an occasional actor, died on Monday at age 73, after a battle with cancer, The New York Times reported. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>