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Oscar-Winning Director Sydney Pollack Dies

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May 27 2008, Published 4:00 a.m. ET

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Academy Award–winning director, producer and actor Sydney Pollack passed away on Monday. He was 73.

The film legend died from cancer at his Pacific Palisades home, surrounded by family and friends, his publicist announced. He was diagnosed with the disease about nine months ago.

A prolific filmmaker, Sydney had notched more than 40 producing credits and was at the helm of more than 20 feature films, including The Way We Were and 1985’s Best Picture winner, Out of Africa, for which he picked up a pair of Oscars—one for directing and one for producing.

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He was nominated four other times, for directing They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, directing and producing Tootsie, and producing last year’s Michael Clayton, in which he also appeared.

"Sydney made the world a little better, movies a little better and even dinner a little better," George Clooney, his Clayton costar, said in a statement. "A tip of the hat to a class act. He'll be missed terribly."

In later years, Sydney took up acting, appearing in Eyes Wide Shut, The Player, The Sopranos, Entourage, Will & Grace and The Interpreter, which he also directed and produced.

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His last screen appearance is in this month’s Made of Honor, playing Patrick Dempsey’s father.

Sydney is survived by his wife of 50 years, Claire, daughters Rebecca and Rachel, brother Bernie and six grandchildren.

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