The loss of Sydney Pollack is incredibly sad. The world has chimed in with their loving thoughts: Roger Ebert, Ray Pride, David Poland, Jeff Wells, Anne Thompson, the LA Times, the New York Times, and so on. The world is worse off without him. Even if I just thought of his recent roles in The Sopranos, Entourage, and Michael Clayton, I'd feel that the entertainment world would have lost someone special. Fortunately for us, Sydney Pollack gave us so much more, directing Tootsie, The Way We Were, Three Days of the Condor, Out of Africa... and even producing The Fabulous Baker Boys, Sense and Sensibility, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Iris, Cold Mountain, and on and on. He was a powerhouse.
I had the opportunity to meet him a few years ago at the annual Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley. I was a measly peon, there to support a non-entertainment executive, but I felt that I just had to go speak to Mr. Pollack during a down moment. As you would expect, he was warm, generous, friendly, funny, engaging, and a good listener, even to a person who was clearly the least important person in the room.
I liked these quotes from his friends and colleagues:
George Clooney: "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. He’ll be missed terribly."
Robert Redford: "Sydney’s and my relationship, both professionally and personally, covers 40 years. It’s too personal to express in a sound bite."
I'm selfishly using this opportunity with the loss of Sydney, to also express why I stopped writing for a few weeks. My heart truly wasn't in it, due to my family's own recent loss, making the entertainment world seem appropriately insignificant. A few weeks ago, we received some tragic news. In a horribly shocking, violent, awful moment, we lost our friend and family member, Kevin - a husband and father of two beautiful little girls, and my brother-in-law. My heart hurts every day with the thought of Kevin, his wife, his girls growing up without him, and my kids not being able to play with "Dodo" anymore.
We are incredibly lucky though, in that Kevin's family is surrounded by hundreds of family and friends who love them and will support them through whatever it takes, whatever they need.
This is beginning to sound cliche and tacky. I think I now understand Mr. Redford's hesitancy to put his true thoughts about Mr. Pollack in a sound bite. At times like this, I wish I was a more elegant author.
We miss you, Kevin.
We miss you, Sydney.
And for me, it's in ways that are so different, I just don't have the words...