Sydney Pollack (born July 1, 1934 in Lafayette, Indiana) is an American actor, producer, and director. His career started in the 1960s, directing episodes of TV series such as The Fugitive and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
He won the Academy Award for Directing for Out of Africa (1985).
Pollack studied with Sanford Meisner at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City before embarking on his acting career. He then moved behind the camera to direct and produce.
While directing Tootsie, his rows with Dustin Hoffman became well known. Eventually Hoffman began pushing the idea that Pollack play the role of his agent and Pollack reluctantly agreed. Their off-screen relationship added authenticity to their scenes in the movie, most of which feature them arguing. Pollack has since taken on more acting roles in addition to producing and directing.
A first-rate character actor, Pollack has appeared in films such as A Civil Action and Eyes Wide Shut, as well as his own including The Interpreter. He gave a brilliant performance in Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives as a New York intellectual undergoing a mid-life crisis.
He had a recurring guest star role on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, playing Will Truman (Eric McCormack)'s unfaithful but loving father, George Truman.