July 1, 1934 to May 26, 2008
by Katharine Blossom Lowrie
He seemed taller in person
I met Sydney Pollack back when I covered Hollywood as a freelancer for the LA Times Calendar section in the early 1980s. He seemed taller in person, distinguished, with a wide, welcoming grin. The event was a Columbia Pictures screening of Tootsie, the 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman, whose character transforms from down-and-out actor Michael Dorsey into actress Dorothy Michaels to boost his sagging career. Pollack, who directed the movie, plays a featured role as Dorsey’s agent (shown above with Hoffman in a still from the film). With Tootsie heavy with pre-release Oscar buzz, my intention was to snag a future interview with Hoffman. Since I knew him from our days as drama students, I wasn’t too worried about approaching him at the screening. But Hoffman was in absentia, off filming in New York.
After the screening, although I was among those who congratulated Pollack for his directorial efforts and splendid comic turn at acting, I didn’t feel right about mentioning my long-ago relationship with Hoffman or requesting an interview with Pollack.
Not a single unnecessary word is spoken