Kate Winslet dedicated her first Oscar win to Sydney Pollack and his partner in Mirage Enterprises, Anthony Minghella, following their deaths.
Among the 100 best American love movies ranked by American Film Institute in June, 2002, Pollack is the only director credited with two films near the top of list. His The Way We Were (1973) is ranked #6 and Out of Africa (1985) is ranked #13.
Battled cancer for almost nine months at the time of his death.
Brother of Bernie Pollack
Filmed Aretha Franklin's acclaimed gospel album "Amazing Grace" live in 1972.
He brought a lawsuit against Danish TV after screening Three Days of the Condor (1975) in pan-and-scan in 1991. (April 1997) The court ruled that the pan scanning conducted by Danish television was a 'mutilation' of the film Three Days of the Condor (1975) and a violation of Pollacks 'Droit Moral', his legal right as an artist to maintain his reputation by protecting the integrity of his work. Nonetheless, the court ruled in favor of the defendant on a technicality. [20 January 1997]
He directed 12 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Jane Fonda, Gig Young, Susannah York, Barbra Streisand, Paul Newman, Melinda Dillon, Jessica Lange, Dustin Hoffman, Teri Garr , Meryl Streep, Klaus Maria Brandauer and Holly Hunter. Young and Lange won Oscars for their performances in one of Pollacks movies.
In 2000, co-founder, with Anthony Minghella, of "Mirage Enterprises" to produce films.
Lifelong friends with Robert Redford, both men having made their feature film acting debuts in War Hunt (1962).
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973
Owns and flies a Cessna Citation 750 jet, N138SP.
Pollack directed (and won an Oscar for) Out of Africa (1985), which is based on a book by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) which starts, "I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills". He also executive produced "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" (2008), which is based on a series of books by Alexander McCall Smith, the first of which starts, "Mma Ramotswe had a detective agency in Africa, at the foot of the Kgale Hill". Smith's opening line is a deliberate literary reference to the opening line of Isak Dinesen's classic memoir about Kenya.
Pollack's daughter, Rebecca Pollack, served as vice president of film production at United Artists during the late 1990s.
Pollack's son Steven was one of three occupants of a light plane killed when the aircraft crashed into the carport of an apartment building in Santa Monica, California, on November 26, 1993.
President of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986
Three children: a son, Steven Pollack, born in 1959 (died 1993); daughter, Rebecca Pollack, born in 1963; daughter, Rachel Pollack, born in 1969.
Was first choice to direct The Saint (1997).
Was the original choice to direct Dirty Harry (1971).
Winner of year 2000 John Huston Award, presented by Tom Cruise on behalf of Directors Guild of America, as a "defender of artists' rights...a warrior."