Photo of Alan J. Pakula Alan J. Pakula

Hollywood producer-director of many hard-hitting dramas from the 1960s through the '90s (often with a New York backdrop), Alan J. Pakula was born April 7, 1928, in The Bronx and died Nov. 19, 1998, in Melville, Long Island.

The son of Polish immigrants, Pakula attended Yale University and was expected to enter the family printing business. Instead, he convinced his father to finance his first movie -- which led to a career as a producer and, later, a director.

Notable films include To Kill a Mockingbird (for which Gregory Peck won a Best Actor Oscar), Klute (starring Best Actress Oscar winner Jane Fonda), Sophie's Choice (which earned Meryl Streep a Best Actress Oscar) and The Pelican Brief starring Julia Roberts.

Alan J. Pakula in Sophie's Choice

Sophie's Choice

1982 R

Aspiring author Stingo shares a Brooklyn boarding house with winsome Polish émigré Sophie and her mercurial lover, Nathan, a union unsettled by Nathan's violent behavior and Sophie's disturbing recollections of her wartime experience.

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