Sydney Pollack

Lowest Rated: 15% Made of Honor (2008)
Birthday: Jul 1, 1934
Birthplace: Lafayette, Indiana, USA
Sydney Pollack was born to first generation Russian-Jewish Americans on July 1, 1934. After graduating from his Indiana high school, he went to New York and became a student at the Neighborhood Playhouse, a celebrated Greenwich Village school, where he studied under Sanford Meisner. He served two years in the army before returning to the Neighborhood Playhouse in 1958 as a teacher, and began appearing as an actor in live television dramas. His appearance in a John Frankenheimer-directed television production led him to a job as dialogue coach in the filmmaker's 1961 crime drama The Young Savages. He quickly moved into television, directing on programs such as "The Defenders," "The Naked City," "The Fugitive," "Dr. Kildare," and "Ben Casey" during the early and mid 1960s, and in 1965 made his feature film debut in the director's chair with The Slender Thread.Pollack established himself as a competent, if unexceptional, director in such works as This Property Is Condemned, and one sequence of the Frank Perry-directed drama The Swimmer (based on a work of John Cheever). However, his real breakthrough came in 1969 with the downbeat period drama They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, a brutal Depression-era piece set against the backdrop of a dance marathon contest, starring Jane Fonda and Gig Young. Young won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor while Pollack and Fonda were nominated for Best Director and Best Actress, respectively. (Fonda was said to have lost only because of the controversy surrounding her anti-Vietnam War activities.) Pollack again proved his skill at handling period drama four years later with The Way We Were, a romantic drama starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford that became one of the most popular serious movies of the decade. During the mid 1970s, Pollack also delved into the action genre with The Yakuza, about a kidnapping committed by Japanese gangsters. He achieved much greater success in 1975 with Three Days of the Condor, a post-Watergate suspense thriller starring Redford, Cliff Robertson and Faye Dunaway that proved an enduring favorite among genre fans as well as a hit with general audiences. Four years later, The Electric Horseman united his two top leads, Fonda and Redford, in a predictable but very successful update of the '30s screwball comedy, while Absence of Malice (1981), starring Paul Newman and Sally Field, took a much more serious tone in dealing with a story of an innocent man whose career is ruined by an ambitious reporter. In 1982, Pollack returned to comedy in top form with Tootsie, the story of an out-of-work actor (Dustin Hoffman) who achieves success by masquerading as a woman. The film scored a Best Director Oscar nomination for Pollack, as well as a win in the same category from the New York Critics Film Circle, and became the second highest grossing film of its year after E.T.. More success followed for the director with Out Of Africa (1985); starring Redford, it was one of a dwindling number of serious romantic dramas aimed at middle-class, middle-brow, middle-aged audiences that scored big at the box office. Unfortunately, another such outing with Redford, the 1990 Havana, was a notorious failure. Pollack was back on top in 1993 with The Firm, a wildly successful adaptation of John Grisham's thriller that starred Tom Cruise. However, mirroring the unpredictable fluctuations of fortune in Hollywood, his next directorial effort, a 1995 remake of Sabrina starring Harrison Ford, proved to be a colossal critical and financial flop. In 1999, Pollack and Ford reunited to make Random Hearts, a drama about a man and a woman Kristin Scott Thomas who discover that their respective spouses--who died in a plane crash--were lovers.In addition to directing, Pollack has also served as a producer on a number of films (including The Fabulous Baker Boys, Presumed Innocent, Dead Again and Sense and Sensibility) and frequently appears as an actor, both in his own films and those of other directors

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
99% Amazing Grace Actor 2019
73% Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles Actor $9.3K 2014
No Score Yet Char-ac-ter Actor 2012
73% Margaret Producer $47K 2011
No Score Yet Character Actor 2009
63% The Reader Producer $34.2M 2008
77% Recount Executive Producer 2008
15% Made of Honor Thomas Bailey Sr. $46.1M 2008
52% Leatherheads Executive Producer $31.2M 2008
90% Michael Clayton Producer Marty Bach $49M 2007
34% Breaking and Entering Producer $0.9M 2007
No Score Yet James Taylor: One Man Band Executive Producer 2007
74% Avenue Montaigne Brian Sobinski $2M 2006
75% Catch a Fire Executive Producer $4.3M 2006
No Score Yet Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters Actor 2006
82% Sketches of Frank Gehry Actor Executive Producer Producer Director $0.3M 2006
No Score Yet One Six Right: The Romance of Flying Actor 2006
57% The Interpreter Executive Producer Director $72.6M 2005
95% Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin Narrator 2004
No Score Yet Dream Jets Actor 2004
71% Cold Mountain Producer 2003
86% The Quiet American Executive Producer 2003
77% A Decade Under the Influence Actor 2003
74% Heaven Executive Producer $0.7M 2002
77% Changing Lanes Stephen Delano $66.7M 2002
58% Birthday Girl Executive Producer $5M 2002
42% The Majestic Studio Executive 2001
79% Iris Executive Producer $5.4M 2001
19% Blow Dry Executive Producer 2001
No Score Yet Fidel Himself 2001
86% Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures Actor 2001
46% Up at the Villa Executive Producer 2000
83% The Talented Mr. Ripley Executive Producer 1999
15% Random Hearts Director Carl Broman Producer 1999
75% Eyes Wide Shut Victor Ziegler 1999
61% A Civil Action Al Eustis 1998
No Score Yet Poodle Springs Producer 1998
62% Sliding Doors Producer 1998
No Score Yet Independent's Day Actor 1998
No Score Yet Never Again, Forever Executive Producer 1996
65% Sabrina Producer Director 1995
98% Sense and Sensibility Executive Producer 1995
68% Flesh And Bone Executive Producer 1993
100% Searching for Bobby Fischer Executive Producer 1993
75% The Firm Producer Director 1993
93% Husbands and Wives Jack 1992
52% Death Becomes Her Doctor 1992
98% The Player Dick Mellon 1992
40% Leaving Normal Executive Producer Producer 1992
83% Dead Again Executive Producer 1991
20% King Ralph Producer 1991
59% White Palace Executive Producer Producer 1990
87% Presumed Innocent Producer 1990
28% Havana Producer Director 1990
96% The Fabulous Baker Boys Executive Producer 1989
82% Major League Executive Producer 1989
63% Bright Lights, Big City Producer 1988
60% Out of Africa Producer Director 1985
100% Songwriter Producer 1984
89% Tootsie Director George Fields Producer 1982
83% Absence Of Malice Director Producer 1981
60% Honeysuckle Rose Executive Producer 1980
65% The Electric Horseman Man Who Makes a Pass at Alice Director 1979
27% Bobby Deerfield Director Producer 1977
86% Three Days of the Condor Director 1975
57% The Yakuza Producer Director 1975
64% The Way We Were Director 1973
95% Jeremiah Johnson Director 1972
82% They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Screenwriter Producer Director 1969
38% Castle Keep Director 1969
100% The Swimmer Director 1968
70% The Scalphunters Director 1968
64% This Property Is Condemned Director 1966
80% The Slender Thread Director 1965
No Score Yet War Hunt Sgt. Van Horn 1962

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
Executive Producer Producer
  • 2008
66% Entourage
2004-2011
Himself
  • 2007
92% The Sopranos
1999-2007
Warren Feldman
  • 2007
No Score Yet American Masters
2001
Producer Voice Director Appearing Narrator
  • 2006
No Score Yet Will & Grace
1998
George Truman
  • 2006
  • 2002
  • 2001
  • 2000
  • 1999
No Score Yet Just Shoot Me
1997-2003
Himself
  • 2000
No Score Yet King of the Hill
1997-2010
Voice
  • 2000
No Score Yet Mad About You
1992-1999
  • 1998
  • 1994
94% Frasier
1993-2004
Voice of Holden Thorpe
  • 1994
No Score Yet The Fugitive
1963-1967
Director
  • 1964
No Score Yet Ben Casey
1961-1966
Director
  • 1963
  • 1962
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
1955-1962
Samuelson
  • 1960
80% The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
Willis
  • 1960
  • 1959

QUOTES FROM Sydney Pollack CHARACTERS