Family, friends gather to mourn director Pollack - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Family, friends gather to mourn director Pollack

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Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2008 11:47 am | Updated: 11:42 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

LOS ANGELES - Friends, family and show business colleagues gathered to remember late Oscar-winning director, producer and actor Sydney Pollack at a private memorial service, according to a person with knowledge of the service.

The person insisted on anonymity because the family wanted details of the service on Saturday to be kept private and the person was not authorized to release any information.

The 73-year-old director, producer and actor died of cancer on May 26 while surrounded by family at his home in Los Angeles, according to his publicist, Leslee Dart. Pollack had been diagnosed with cancer about nine months ago.

Pollack won Academy Awards for best picture and best director for the 1985 epic "Out of Africa." In a career spanning nearly five decades, he directed over 20 films, including "The Firm," "Havana" and "Absence of Malice." The last film he directed was the 2006 documentary "Sketches of Frank Gehry."

Pollack had worked with seemingly every A-list star in the business: Al Pacino, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda, Sean Penn, Nicole Kidman, Barbra Streisand and George Clooney. He collaborated with Robert Redford on seven films, including "Out of Africa," 1973's "The Way We Were," 1975's "Three Days of the Condor" and 1979's "The Electric Horseman."

While best known as a director, Pollack frequently stepped in front of the camera. He played the agent of Dustin Hoffman's cross-dressing soap star in 1982's "Tootsie," which he also directed, and the old-school law firm boss in 2007's "Michael Clayton," which he also co-produced. He also appeared on "Will & Grace," "Entourage" and "The Sopranos."

Pollack is survived by his wife, Claire; two daughters, a brother and six grandchildren. Pollack's son, Steven, died in a plane crash in 1993.

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