Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

On this day: Sydney Pollack dies

May 26 2008: A Hollywood legend

    Born in Indiana in 1934, Sydney Pollack's career saw him embrace life as an actor, director, producer and a Torah student, not to mention a stint in the US army in the 1950s.

    When he died at the age of 73, he was still critically lauded – the last film he produced was The Reader, for which he won a posthumous Best Picture Oscar,

    His Hollywood trajectory began with TV directing in the 1960s and continued to a slew of Academy Award nominated films in the next few decades. Some 48 of his films were shortlisted for Oscars, with more than ten winning, including Out of Africa and Tootsie.

    He directed the best and brightest of Hollywood, from Robert Redford to Barbra Streisand, and Paul Newman to Jessica Lange. He also moved into acting, playing roles in Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives and Eyes Wide Shut, as well as guest appearances on television shows including Will and Grace and The Sopranos.

    In the 1980s, he returned to his Jewish roots – his parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants – and began studying Torah with other Streisand and other showbiz names. One of the rabbis who taught the course, Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, said of Pollack: "Sydney had some basic Jewish knowledge, but his strength lay in his penetrating, incisive mind."

    What the JC said about Out of Africa: Although marvellously atmospheric in its recreation of the sights and sounds of that continent [it] is, at nearly three hours and seven academy awards, far too long and slow. Meryl Streep, as the real-life Karen Blixen suffers womanfully as she contends with crop failures, fire, bankruptcy, racialism, syphilis and general male chauvinism as well as with her emotional relationships with two individual chauvinists.

    See more from the JC archives here.

Uk News

Daisy hits a low as she bows out of Strictly

Charlotte Oliver

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Daisy hits a low as she bows out of Strictly
World

Bob Dylan wins Nobel literature prize

Rosa Doherty

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bob Dylan wins Nobel literature prize
Uk News

Preview: Antiques Roadshow HMD special

Rosa Doherty

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Preview: Antiques Roadshow HMD special
Comment

Leonard Cohen: the mensch who always remembered...

Jenni Frazer

Friday, November 11, 2016

Leonard Cohen: the mensch who always remembered...
Uk News

Meet Dylan, the kid behind the Palme d'Or

Sandy Rashty

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Meet Dylan, the kid behind the Palme d'Or
Uk News

Strictly recap: Robert Rinder, Daisy Lowe and L...

Strictly Watch

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Strictly recap: Robert Rinder, Daisy Lowe and L...
TV

Strictly Recap: Lesley Joseph Charlestons her w...

Strictly Watch

Monday, October 17, 2016

Strictly Recap: Lesley Joseph Charlestons her w...
World

Kim Kardashian calls in Mossad

Simon Griver

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Kim Kardashian calls in Mossad
Uk News

Bubba's daredevil senior moments

Rosa Doherty

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bubba's daredevil senior moments