Sydney Pollack Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Sydney Pollack

Birthday :

July 1, 1934

Died On :

May 26, 2008

Also Known For :

Director, Film Actor, Producer, Television Actor

Birth Place :

Lafayette, Indiana, United States of America

Zodiac Sign :


Sydney Pollack was born on July 1, 1934. Sydney Pollack was an American director, actor, and producer. He was known for his film ‘Out of Africa.’

Early Life

Sydney Pollack was born on July 1, 1934, in Lafayette, Indiana, United States of America. Sydney Pollack was born to David Pollack who was a pharmacist and boxer and Rebecca Miller who was a pianist and singer. He was brought up alongside his brother, Bernie. His family moved to South Bend while Sydney Pollack was still young. His mother later became an alcoholic due to emotional problems. His mother’s condition led to his parents’ divorce. His mother died when he was sixteen years old. Sydney Pollack attended South Bend High School where he developed an interest in drama. In 1952, Sydney Pollack joined Neighbourhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, New York. At the school, he studied with Sanford Meisner known for his Meisner Technique. Sydney Pollack started acting as Meisner’s assistant.



In 1955, Sydney Pollack made his acting debut in the Broadway comedy ‘The Dark is Light Enough.’ In 1956, he starred in an episode of the television series ‘The Kaiser Aluminium Hour.’ In 195, Sydney Pollack was called to perform his military service for two years. After Sydney Pollack was released from military service, he returned to New York where Sydney Pollack starred in series such as ‘Star time,’ ‘The United States Steel Hour’ and ‘Playhouse 90’ among others. Sydney Pollack became an assistant to Meisner but later started teaching in order to earn a living. In 1960, he was invited to Los Angeles by his friend John Frankenheimer. John invited him to work as a dialogue coach for the child actors of his film that would be released later.

In Los Angeles, Sydney Pollack met Burt Lancaster who inspired and encouraged him to venture into directing. In Los Angeles, Sydney Pollack appeared in television series such as ‘Have Gun Will Travel’ and ‘The Twilight Zone.’ In 1962, he made his film debut in ‘War Hunt.’ In 1965, Sydney Pollack directed the film ‘The Slender Thread’ as his directorial debut. The film received two Academy Award nominations. In 1966, Sydney Pollack released his movie ‘This Property is Condemned,’ but the movie was not a success in box office. In 1968, Sydney Pollack released two films ‘The Scalphunters’ and ‘Castle Keep.’ In 1969, he released ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’ which was a financial and critical success. In 1972, he released the movie ‘Jeremiah Johnson’ which was a hit. In 1973, Sydney Pollack directed the romantic film ‘The Way We Are.’ The following year he released the film ‘The Yakuza’ in Japan. In 1975, the movie was released in the United States of America. In the same year, he released ‘Three Days in the Condor’ which did very well at the box office.

In 1977, he produced and directed ‘Bobby Deerfield’ which did not impress the audience. In 1979, Sydney Pollack released the movie ‘The Electric Horseman’ which was a commercial success. The movie grossed $68.8 million at the box office. In 1981, his film ‘Absence of Malice’ grossed $ 40.7 million. In 1982, Sydney Pollack released ‘Tootsie’ which was nominated for ten Academy Awards and was a success at the box office. In 1985, Sydney Pollack released the movie ‘Out of Africa.’ The movie grossed $ 128.5 million at the box office and won seven Academy Awards.

Sydney Pollack later produced ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ and ‘The Fabulous Baker Boys’ and directed ‘Havana’ which was not a success. Sydney Pollack directed and produced films such as ‘The Interpreter,’ ‘The Firm’ and ‘Random Heart’ among others. In 2006, Sydney Pollack made the documentary film ‘Sketches of Frank Gehry’ which was the last film he directed. In 2007, Sydney Pollack starred in the film ‘Michael Clayton.’ The following year he appeared in the film ‘Made of Honor.’


Awards And Achievements

In 1986, Sydney Pollack received two Academy Awards for his work in ‘Out of Africa.’ In the same year received the Golden Globe Award for the film ‘Out Of Africa.’ Sydney Pollack also received the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture, Bodil Award for Best American Film and New York Film Critic Circle Award for Best Director in the film ‘Tootsie.’


Personal Life

In 1958, Sydney Pollack got married to Claire Bradley Griswold with whom he had three children, Steven, Rachel, and Rebecca. In 1993, his son Steven died in a plane crash. Sydney Pollack died on May 26, 2008, at his home. His remains were cremated and his ashes scattered. His wife and his daughters survived him. Sydney Pollack died at the age of seventy three.

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