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Empire StatesSydney Pollack (1934 - 2008)

Posted on Tuesday May 27, 2008, 11:23 by David Parkinson in Empire States
Sydney Pollack (1934 - 2008)

Sydney Pollack could never be called an auteur. But he made films with a care and intelligence that made him popular with Hollywood's more conscientious stars and the discerning viewing public.

He studied to be an actor, but Burt Lancaster encouraged him to become a prolific TV director and he made his feature bow with the tense drama, The Tender Thread (1965). Following a handful of misfires, he acquired a reputation for social commitment with They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969), a harrowing account of a Depression dance marathon that earned Gig Young a Best Supporting Oscar.

Twelve actors were nominated under Pollack's tutelage, with Jessica Lange winning Best Supporting Actress for Tootsie (1982), in which Pollack also co-starred as the cross-dressing Dustin Hoffman's agent, and Meryl Streep earning the Best Actress prize for Out of Africa (1985), which also landed Best Picture. However, this proved to be Pollack's penultimate picture with his longest-standing collaborator, Robert Redfor...

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