Sydney Pollack

Director, Producer, Actor
As an Oscar-winning director-producer-actor, Sydney Pollack was remembered as a filmmaker capable of delivering A-list star power in commercially successful, as well as artistically respectable, feature films throughout ... Read more »
Born: 07/01/1934 in Lafayette, Indiana, USA

Filmography

Actor (57)

Made of Honor 2008 (Movie)

Thomas Sr. (Actor)

Pierre Rissient: Man of Cinema 2008 (Movie)

(Actor)

Avenue Montaigne 2007 (Movie)

Brian Sobinski (Actor)

Michael Clayton 2007 (Movie)

Marty Bach (Actor)

Will & Grace 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

Will & Grace: Backstage Pass 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

The Directors 1998 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Tom Cruise 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Changing Lanes 2002 (Movie)

Delano (Actor)

Dustin Hoffman: First in His Class 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Fidel 2002 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Robert Redford 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Score 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Hollywood, D.C.: A Tale of Two Cities 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Robert Redford: Hollywood Outlaw 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The Majestic 2001 (Movie)

of Studio Executive (Voice)

AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

King of the Hill 1994 - 1997, 1999 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Voice

Mad About You 1994 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Eyes Wide Shut 1999 (Movie)

Victor Ziegler (Actor)

Random Hearts 1999 (Movie)

Carl Broman (Actor)

A Civil Action 1998 (Movie)

Al Eustis (Actor)

Independent's Day 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Burt Lancaster 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside the Actors Studio 1994 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

Sex and the Silver Screen 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Narrator

Burt Lancaster: Daring to Reach 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Independent's Day 1996 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

American Cinema 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

John Barry's Moviola 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Death Becomes Her 1992 (Movie)

(uncredited cameo appearance) Doctor (Actor)

Husbands and Wives 1992 (Movie)

Jack (Actor)

Naked Hollywood 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Street Scenes: New York on Film 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The Player 1992 (Movie)

Dick Mellen (Actor)

Jessica Lange: It's Only Make-Believe 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The New Hollywood 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Hello Actors Studio 1988 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Natalie Wood 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Tootsie 1982 (Movie)

George Fields (Actor)

War Hunt 1961 (Movie)

Sgt Van Horn (Actor)

The Twilight Zone (TV Show)

Actor
Producer (46)

Margaret 2011 (Movie)

(Producer)

Leatherheads 2008 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency 1955 - 1966, 1992 - 2000, 2007 - 2008 (Tv Show)

Executive Producer

The Reader 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)

Michael Clayton 2007 (Movie)

(Producer)

Breaking and Entering 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

Catch a Fire 2006 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Sketches of Frank Gehry 2006 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Forty Shades of Blue 2005 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Interpreter 2005 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Cold Mountain 2003 (Movie)

(Producer)

Birthday Girl 2002 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Heaven 2002 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Quiet American 2002 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Blow Dry 2001 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Iris 2001 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Fallen Angels 1955 - 1966, 1992 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Executive Producer

Up At the Villa 2000 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Random Hearts 1999 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Talented Mr. Ripley 1999 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Sliding Doors 1998 (Movie)

(Producer)

Sabrina 1995 (Movie)

(Producer)

Sense and Sensibility 1995 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Flesh and Bone 1993 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Searching for Bobby Fischer 1993 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Firm 1993 (Movie)

(Producer)

Leaving Normal 1992 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Dead Again 1991 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

King Ralph 1991 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Havana 1990 (Movie)

(Producer)

Presumed Innocent 1990 (Movie)

(Producer)

White Palace 1990 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Major League 1989 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Fabulous Baker Boys 1989 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Bright Lights, Big City 1988 (Movie)

(Producer)

Out of Africa 1985 (Movie)

(Producer)

Songwriter 1984 (Movie)

(Producer)

Tootsie 1982 (Movie)

(Producer)

Absence of Malice 1981 (Movie)

(Producer)

Honeysuckle Rose 1980 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Bobby Deerfield 1977 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Yakuza 1974 (Movie)

(Producer)

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? 1969 (Movie)

(Producer)

A Private Matter (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Poodle Springs (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Recount (TV Show)

Executive Producer
Director (24)

Sketches of Frank Gehry 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

The Interpreter 2005 (Movie)

(Director)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1955 - 1966, 1994 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Director

Ben Casey 1961 - 1966, 1994 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Director

Target: The Corrupters 1961 - 1966, 1994 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Director

Random Hearts 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Sabrina 1995 (Movie)

(Director)

The Firm 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Havana 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

Out of Africa 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Tootsie 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Absence of Malice 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

The Electric Horseman 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

Bobby Deerfield 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Three Days of the Condor 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

The Yakuza 1974 (Movie)

(Director)

The Way We Were 1973 (Movie)

(Director)

Jeremiah Johnson 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Castle Keep 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

The Scalphunters 1968 (Movie)

(Director)

The Swimmer 1968 (Movie)

(Director)

This Property Is Condemned 1966 (Movie)

(Director)

The Slender Thread 1964 (Movie)

(Director)
Camera, Film, & Tape (1)

Sketches of Frank Gehry 2006 (Movie)

Video Camera (Video)
Other (1)

The Leopard 1963 (Movie)

voice dubbing supervisor(American version) (Other)

Biography

As an Oscar-winning director-producer-actor, Sydney Pollack was remembered as a filmmaker capable of delivering A-list star power in commercially successful, as well as artistically respectable, feature films throughout the 1970s and '80s. A career that began as an actor and acting coach eventually led to directing, thanks to the advice of actor Burt Lancaster. After years of honing his directorial skills on television, Pollack began picking up feature film work in the mid-'60s. The grueling Depression-era drama "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" (1969) garnered him his first Academy Award nomination and put Pollack on the map as a director of note. He would direct Robert Redford in a total of seven movies, with efforts like "The Way We Were" (1973) and "Three Days of the Condor" (1975) numbering among the star's most popular. Despite the rocky relationship with the film's leading man, Dustin Hoffman, "Tootsie" (1982) elevated the director to an elite level of power and prestige in Hollywood few enjoyed. Pollack went on to win two Oscars as a director and producer for his work on the sweeping romance "Out of Africa" (1985). And while the latter film marked the apex of Pollack's directing career, he continued to turn in deft performances as an actor on such hit series as "Will & Grace" (NBC, 1998-2006) and in acclaimed films like "Michael Clayton" (2007). Consistently in tune with the socio-political themes of the time, Pollack effectively tapped in to the American psyche time and again throughout his decades-long filmmaking career.

Relationships

Claire Griswold

Wife
Married in 1958 former student of her husband

David Pollack

Father
Divorced from Pollack's mother

Rebecca Pollack

Mother
Divorced fom Pollack's father developed emotional problems and became an alcoholic died at age 37 when Pollack was 16

Rachel Pollack

Daughter
Born c. 1969 mother, Claire Griswold

Rebecca Pollack

Daughter
Born c. 1963 mother, Claire Griswold served as vice president of production at United Artists in the 1990s

Steven Pollack

Son
Born c. 1959 mother, Claire Griswold died Nobermber 26, 1993 in a plane crash

Bernie Pollack

Brother
Designed costumes for several of his brother's films, including "Tootsie" (1982), "Sabrina" (1995) and "Random Hearts" (1999)

Sharon Pollack

Sister
Younger

EDUCATION

Graduated from high school in 1952

The Neighborhood Playhouse

New York , New York 1952 - 1954
Awarded fellowship; studied acting with Sanford Meisner, then taught there afterwards, serving as Meisner's assistant until 1960

Milestones

2008

Executive produced the HBO film, "Recount"

2007

Co-starred (also produced) with George Clooney in Tony Gilroy's "Michael Clayton"; earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture

2006

Helmed a documentary about the famed architect, "Sketches of Frank Gehry"

2005

Directed Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn in "The Interpreter"

2003

Produced Anthony Minghella's "Cold Mountain" starring Jude Law and Nicole Kidman

2002

Served as one of the producers on the remake of "The Quiet American"

2000

Executive produced "Up at the Villa" starring Kristin Scott Thomas

2000

Joined by Minghella as a full partner in Mirage Enterprises

2000

Had occasional recurring role on the NBC sitcom "Will & Grace" playing Will's (Eric McCormack) father

1999

Executive produced "The Talented Mr. Ripley"; written and directed by Anthony Minghella

1999

Directed "Random Hearts," a failed romance teaming Kristin Scott Thomas and Harrison Ford

1998

Replaced Harvey Keitel, acting in Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" (film completed 1998; released in 1999)

1998

Executive produced "Poodle Springs," an HBO movie adapted from the Robert B Parker novel based on an unfinished manuscript by Raymond Chandler

1995

Remade Billy Wilder's "Sabrina" (1954), starring Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear

1993

Directed and produced "The Firm"; first movie adapted from a John Grisham novel

1992

Acted in Woody Allen's "Husbands and Wives" and Robert Altman's "The Player"

1989

Split with Mark Rosenberg as partners in Mirage Productions Inc. after three years; company renamed Mirage Enterprises

1989

Sued by producer Richard Roth for over $1 million after being excluded from production of "Havana" (when Pollack decided to produce and direct himself) on which he had worked for 15 years (when project was known as "The New Orleans Story"); released in 19

1986

Served as jury president at 39th Cannes Film Festival

1985

Formed production company, Mirage Productions Inc.

1985

Earned two Oscars, one as producer (Best Picture) and one as Best Director for "Out of Africa"; co-starred Redford and Meryl Streep

1983

Agreed to work with Nova film production company as creative consultant; venture organized by Columbia, HBO and CBS

1982

First feature acting appearance in 20 years as Dustin Hoffman's agent in "Tootsie"; also directed and produced by Pollack; earned Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Picture

1981

Became executive director (with Lee Strasberg) of the Actors Studio in L.A.

1980

Participated in American Legion Seminar with James Woods

1973

Directed Redford and Barbra Streisand in "The Way We Were"

1972

Directed Redford in "Jeremiah Johnson"; won American Heritage Award for Best Western

1968

Directed (also produced) the film "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"; Pollack's first producing credit; received first Best Director Academy Award nomination

1966

First of seven movies directing Redford, "This Property is Condemned"

1965

Directed first feature, "The Slender Thread" starring Sidney Poitier and Anne Bancroft

1964

"Chrysler Theatre" telecast of his "Two is the Number"; won International TV Festival Award in Monte Carlo

1963

Served as voice dubbing supervisor of the American version of Luchino Visconti's "Il Gattopardo/The Leopard" (at Burt Lancaster's request)

1962

Feature film acting debut, "War Hunt"; also Robert Redford's debut

1961

Served as Dialogue coach for Frankenheimer's "The Young Savages" starring Burt Lancaster

1959

Acted on TV in a "Playhouse 90" production of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" directed by John Frankenheimer

1955

Broadway acting debut in Christopher Fry's "Dark Is Light Enough"

1954

Beginning at age 19, assisted Sanford Meisner and taught acting at Neighborhood Playhouse for six years

1954

Off-Broadway acting debut in "A Stone for Danny Fisher" starring Zero Mostel and Sylvia Miles

Introduced to agent-turned-movie mogul Lew Wasserman

Moved to L.A. with his wife

First TV directing assignment, an episode of the syndicated half-hour Western series, "Shotgun Slade"

Served in US Army

Directed for various TV series including "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "The Bob Hope Chrysler Theatre"

Urged to pursue a career in directing by Lancaster

Grew up in South Bend, Indiana

Taught drama at NYU

Bonus Trivia

.

'It's an excuse to spy on other directors," he said. "Directors are very territorial. They're like lions, urinating on every corner of the stage." - Pollack on his occational acting to CNN.com, April 26, 2005

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