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Sydney Pollack was an actor’s friend

Streisand recalls working with filmmaker

“HE KNEW how to tell a love story. He was a great actor’s director because he was a great actor. And he was a very good friend, someone I even shared secrets with,” says Barbra Streisand speaking of Sydney Pollack who died over the Memorial Day weekend. Since then, almost everyone I encounter tells me how much they loved him, what a fine actor-director he was, and how special he was in their lives. And I felt the same way about this talented man who made two of my all-time favorite films, “The Way We Were” and “Tootsie.” … Not long ago Sydney and I were seated together in a Waldorf extravaganza that featured Oprah and Elie Wiesel and was one of the most tedious, boring events I’ve ever experienced. But I went away after a long evening, completely joyful. Sydney and I had whispered sotto voce through much of it. I always thought of Sydney as a New Yorker. He was a wonderful human being whose like won’t be seen again probably, not in the kick-and-scratch of Hollywood. He was all around a superior person.

PATSY’S, the all-American Italian restaurant to the stars and Frank Sinatra’s favorite eatery in all of North America, is opening its first branch out of New York. On June 5, the entire Scognamillo restaurant family and other notables will launch Patsy’s in the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort. Frank Sinatra Jr. is the honored guest. … When Tony Bennett and his Susan celebrate their first year of marriage, they’ll be joined in Italy by two other new newlyweds, Jeanne and Herbert Siegel, plus those veteran old marrieds, Sherry Lansing and Billy Friedkin.

STEW STOPPED the Drama Critics Circle Awards party dead in its tracks last week when he stepped up to accept the prize for his “best musical” — “Passing Strange.” He realized the three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee was sitting at a front table. “Before I say anything else,” Stew began, “I have to say that I never thought I would be on Broadway, and I never dreamed that I would be this close to you, Mr. Albee. It is an honor to be in the same room with you.” At this, the two creators shook hands and hugged one another. The Drama Desk had also given Stew and his “Passing Strange” musical their “best” prize only the night before and the show also received the Obie.

RAQUEL WELCH, who looks better than ever at 67, is writing a book about aging gracefully. “The Art of Being a Woman,” coming from Weinstein Books in the fall of next year. Raquel promises an honest look at the “hard time” she had in accepting aging. Raquel has long been a healthy eater, a yoga devotee and has wisely allowed the famous hourglass body a few extra pounds in recent years. She insists it will not be a “how-to” book.

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