R.I.P. Sydney Pollack

73-year-old Oscar-winning director Sydney Pollack died of cancer Monday afternoon at his home in Pacific Palisades.

The man, someone many considered one of Hollywood’s few genuine class acts, made a name for himself both behind the camera and on the screen in a career spanning five decades.

As a director he won acclaim for helming such films as “Out of Africa,” “Tootsie,” “Three Days of the Condor,” “Absence of Malice,” “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?,” “The Firm,” “Jeremiah Johnson,” “The Yakuza,” “The Way We Were” and “The Interpreter.”

He also served as producer on such films as “Leatherheads,” “Cold Mountain,” “The Quiet American,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Sliding Doors,” “Iris,” “Dead Again,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Breaking and Entering,” “Presumed Innocent” and “The Fabulous Baker Boys”. He co-headed Mirage Enterprises with the also recently deceased Anthony Minghella.

His on-screen career was just as prolific with key supporting roles in many of the films he directed, along with appearances in “Michael Clayton,” “Changing Lanes,” “Eyes Wide Shut,” “Husbands and Wives,””Death Becomes Her,” “The Player,” “Made of Honor” and a recurring role as Will’s father on TV’s “Will and Grace.”

The man was a genuine talent – someone who, for me personally, made any movie he was a part of instantly better. It’s a devastating loss, and our sincerest condolences go out to his family and many friends.