Actor, producer and Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack has died at the age of 73.

Agent Leslee Dart said Pollack died Monday of cancer while surrounded by family at his home in the city of Pacific Palisades, California. He was diagnosed with cancer about nine months ago.

Pollack won Academy Awards for best director and best picture for the 1985 film Out of Africa starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. The film won five other Academy Awards.

He was born in 1934 in Lafayette, in the midwestern U.S. state of Indiana. After high school, he moved to New York and studied acting.

During the 1960s he directed network television dramas and then moved to California to direct motion pictures. His breakthrough film was They Shoot Horses, Don't They? in 1969.

Pollack received a best-director Oscar nomination for the 1982 hit Tootsie which starred Dustin Hoffman as an out-of-work actor who achieved success masquerading as a woman.

He had roles in numerous films and television shows.

His movie acting credits include Michael Clayton, Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives, and Robert Altman's The Player. His last film acting role was in the romantic comedy Made of Honor, currently still in theaters.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.