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Mike Nichols

Film director

Died when: 83 years 13 days (996 months)
Star Sign: Scorpio


Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols (born Michael Igor Peschkowsky;November 6, 1931 – November 19, 2014) was an American film and theater director, producer, actor, and comedian.

He was noted for his ability to work across a range of genres and for his aptitude for getting the best out of actors regardless of their experience.

He is one of 17 people to have won all four of the major American entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT).

His other honors included three BAFTA Awards, the Lincoln Center Gala Tribute in 1999, the National Medal of Arts in 2001, the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2010.

His films received a total of 42 Academy Award nominations, and 7 wins.Nichols began his career in the 1950s with the comedy improvisational troupe The Compass Players, predecessor of The Second City, in Chicago.

He then teamed up with his improv partner, Elaine May, to form the comedy duo Nichols and May.Their live improv act was a hit on Broadway, and each of their three albums was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album; their second album, An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May, won the award in 1962.

After Nichols and May disbanded in 1961, he began directing plays, and quickly became known for his innovative productions and ability to elicit polished performances.

His Broadway directing debut was Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park in 1963, with Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley.He continued to direct plays on Broadway, including Luv (1964), and The Odd Couple (1965) for each of which he received Tony Awards.

In 2012, he won his sixth Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play with a revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Nichols directed and/or produced more than 25 Broadway plays throughout his prolific career.In 1966, Warner Brothers invited Nichols to direct his first film, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

It won five Academy Awards and was the top-grossing film of 1966.His next film, The Graduate (1967), starred then unknown actor Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft.

It was another critical and financial success and received seven Academy Award nominations, winning Nichols the Academy Award for Best Director.

Among the other films Nichols directed were Catch-22 (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971), Silkwood (1983), Working Girl (1988), Postcards from the Edge (1990), The Birdcage (1996), Primary Colors (1998), Closer (2004), and Charlie Wilson's War (2007).

Nichols also was known for work on television, directing HBO's Wit (2001) with Emma Thompson and Angels in America (2003) starring Meryl Streep.

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