Best Performance as an Actor: "Tootsie" (1982)
Best Film as a Director: "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" (1969)
Why: Originally trained as an actor, Pollack had an undistinguished run as a thespian, transitioned to directing and producing and then suddenly had a second career as an actor with memorable roles in films like "Husbands and Wives," "Eyes Wide Shut" and "Changing Lanes," where he was able to be both avuncular and slightly menacing. As a director, Pollack carved out a reputation as one of the most versatile filmmakers around, doing harrowing period pieces ("They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"), romantic period pieces ("The Way We Were"), minimalist Westerns ("Jeremiah Johnson"), paranoid thrillers ("Three Days of the Condor") and perceptive comedies ("Tootsie") with equal confidence. One could easily list a half-dozen of Pollack's best films as a director without getting to the sumptuous epic "Out of Africa," for which he won an Oscar.
- Daniel Fienberg