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Sydney Pollack (1934 -- 2008)

Sydney Pollack was respected worldwide as a film director, producer and actor, and will be greatly missed in Hollywood and far beyond. He grew up in Indiana but moved to New York to study acting in the 1950s. He performed on stage and branched out into directing TV shows in the 1960s. His film debut, in Denis Sanders' 1962 Korean War drama, War Hunt, cast him alongside Robert Redford, whom he would later direct in six varied movies including The Way We Were (1973) and Three Days of the Condor (1975). Pollack's best remembered films as director include the hilarious Tootsie (1982) with Dustin Hoffman, Out of Africa (1985) for which he won Oscars® for Best Director and Best Film, and The Firm (1993) with Tom Cruise. He produced many films for other directors, including Presumed Innocent, Sliding Doors, Cold Mountain and The Quiet American. He acted throughout his career, including recently in Michael Clayton (2007) and Made of Honor (2008). In 2005, he directed and photographed the fine documentary, Sketches of Frank Gehry, which was released in cinems. He died of cancer in Los Angeles aged 73, with his wife of 50 years, Claire, at his side.