'Sophie's Choice' director Alan J. Pakula is dead

By Liane Bonin
November 19, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

Alan J. Pakula, the producer, director, and writer best known for the films “All the President’s Men” and “Sophie’s Choice,” was killed in a freak accident on Thursday. The 70-year-old was driving his 1995 Volvo along the Long Island Expressway when a metal pipe came through his windshield, striking him in the head. According to police, Pakula lost control of his car and drove into a fence. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

While he had brought some uneven fare to the big screen in recent years, most notably last year’s “The Devil’s Own,” Pakula made a name for himself with such stellar early works as “Klute” and “The Parallax View.” Pakula also had a distinguished run as a producer, including his first project, 1962’s Oscar-nominated “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Pakula was said to be working on an adaptation of the book “No Ordinary Time” to direct next year.

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