May 27, 2008 10:27 AM EST

Academy Award Winning Director, Sydney Pollack, Passes Away

Sydney Pollack, the Academy Award winning director, died on Monday of cancer. He was 73 years old.

Pollack died at home surrounded by his wife of nearly 50 years, Claire Griswold, their two daughters, Rebecca and Rachel, and his brother, Bernie, agent Leslee Dart said. He was predeceased by his only son, Steven, who died in a plane crash in 1993.

Pollack was best known for his film, "Out of Africa", released in 1985.  The film won seven Oscars, including best picture and best director. His other critically acclaimed films were classics "Tootsie" and "The Way We Were".  He also starred in such film as Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut," Woody Allen's "Husbands and Wives," as well as "Michael Clayton" and his most recent film appearance, "Made of Honor".

"Sydney made the world a little better, movies a little better and even dinner a little better. A tip of the hat to a class act," actor George Clooney said in a statement.

Services for Pollack will be held in private.
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