Film director Sydney Pollack passed away on Monday. He was a great man, directing Tootsie, of course as well as They Shoot Horses, Don't They?.
Mr. Pollack directed me in one of my films [yes, there were at least two], in Absence of Malice, starring Paul Newman.
That handsome man behind Sally Field's head is me. Although you can't exactly see my face, if you squint, it's almost visible if you watch the scene in the movie. Me, I think my arm looks danged good there, especially since I was wearing my favorite shirt, the white one with blue checks.
As I diligently did my "work" as reporter Tom X [I don't appear in the credits, as I didn't have a line], Mr. Pollack kindly stopped by my desk between takes and said encouragingly, "That's good. Keep on doing what you're doing." So I did.
I'm being playful here, but all of the above is true. With the ten thousand things that are buzzing in every movie director's head, he took the time to make me feel a part of his film. Sydney Pollack was by all accounts a great guy, always with a good word for his people, a genuine artist, and was loved by all who knew him. A true gentleman, and he will be missed. R.I.P.