May 27 :Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack, a Hollywood mainstay who achieved commercial success and critical acclaim with the gender-bending comedy "Tootsie" and the period drama "Out of Africa" while often dabbling as a television and movie actor, has died.
Pollack died of cancer on Monday afternoon at his home in Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, surrounded by family, said publicist Leslee Dart. He was 73.
Pollack had been diagnosed with cancer about nine months ago, said Dart.
Pollack, who occasionally appeared on the big screen himself, worked with and gained the respect of Hollywood’s best actors, including Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep, in a long career that reached prominence in the 1970s and 1980s.
"Sydney made the world little better, movies a little better and even dinner a little better. A tip of the hat to a class act," George Clooney said in a statement from his publicist.
"He’ll be missed terribly," Clooney said.
Last fall, he played law firm boss Marty Bach opposite Clooney in "Michael Clayton," a drama that examines the life of a lawyer who fixes sordid problems.
The film, which Pollack co-produced, received seven Oscar nominations, including for best picture and a best actor nod for Clooney.
Tilda Swinton won the Oscar for supporting actress. Courtsey : DD NEWS
Pollack was no stranger to the Academy Awards. In 1986, "Out of Africa" a romantic epic of a woman’s passion set against the landscape of colonial Kenya captured seven Oscars, including best director and best picture.
In accepting his Oscar, Pollack commended Streep, who was nominated for best actress but did not win.