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R.I.P Sydney Pollack
Spokeswoman Leslee Dart told Reuters that Pollack died at his home in the coastal Los Angeles suburb of Pacific Palisades at 5:00pm (local time).
He was surrounded by his family.
Ms Dart said Pollack was diagnosed with cancer about 10 months ago.
Doctors were never able to determine the primary source of the disease, she added.
Pollack had devoted more time to producing and acting of late, and is currently in theatres playing Patrick Dempsey's father in the romantic comedy Made Of Honour.
The tall, curly-haired Indiana native once described his acting stints as "an excuse to spy on other directors."
"Directors are very territorial," he told CNN.com in a 2005 interview.
"They're like lions, urinating on every corner of the stage."
In 2007, Pollack played a prominent supporting role as George Clooney's boss in the legal thriller Michael Clayton. He also served as a producer on the Oscar-nominated film.
But his biggest triumph came with 1985's Out Of Africa. Based on Isak Dinesen's 1937 memoir, the film starred Meryl Streep as the Danish owner of a coffee plantation in Kenya and Robert Redford as the American-born adventurer she falls in love with.
The movie earned 11 Academy Award nominations in all and seven wins, including Pollack's Oscars for best picture and director.
Pollack also secured Oscar nominations for directing the cross-dressing comedy Tootsie - in which he had a memorable role as Dustin Hoffman's agent - and the Depression-era drama They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
More recently, Pollack made a guest appearance on The Sopranos as a former physician imprisoned for killing his family.
He also had a recurring role on Will And Grace and movie roles in Robert Altman's The Player, Robert Zemeckis's Death Becomes Her and Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.
Pollack and Redford made their feature acting debuts together in the 1962 film War Hunt.
The two went on to collaborate on seven films with Pollack as director, including Three Days Of The Condor, The Way We Were with Barbra Streisand and The Electric Horseman with Jane Fonda.
In the 1980s and 90s, Pollack served as producer on a string of projects directed by other filmmakers, including Presumed Innocent, Searching For Bobby Fischer, Sense And Sensibility and The Talented Mr Ripley.
After a lengthy hiatus from the director's chair, Pollack returned to helm 2005's The Interpreter starring Australian actress Nicole Kidman.
The same year, he directed his first and only documentary - Sketches Of Frank Gehry, about the famed architect.
Pollack is survived by his wife Claire, two daughters - Rebecca and Rachel - and six grandchildren.
All memorial services will be private, Ms Dart said.
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