Just read that Sydney Pollack died, at age 73. I wasn’t a big fan of Pollack’s fairly doctrinaire punitive liberal worldview that was often on display in the films he directed. But as an actor, frequently cast in rather dark, amoral supporting roles, he managed to project a surprising amount of likability, even as the adulterous friend of Woody Allen in Husbands and Wives, and as Victor Ziegler, the sinister business tycoon in Eyes Wide Shut. (Or as Dustin Hoffman’s agent in Tootsie, in a memorable scene where the above headline derives.)
Film directors rarely make good actors, and in both professions, few have careers that thrived as long as Pollack’s. In an industry that increasingly allows few grown-ups behind the cameras, and even fewer in front of them, his gravitas will be missed.