Mike Nichols, Americas Most Honored Dramatic Director, Passes at 83
Mike Nichols, first a fine actor, became an improvisational sketch comic when paired with Elaine May in the early '60's. He would go on to fame as perhaps America's finest director of serious drama, both on TV, film, and the Broadway stage. From such film classics as "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?" his '66 tour de force directing stars Burton and Taylor, he began collecting professional accolades early in his film career, with "The Graduate", "Catch 22", "Carnal Knowledge", "Silkwood", "Working Girl", "The Birdcage", the TV mini-series, "Angels in America" and most recently, "Charlie Wilson's War" - all demonstrated his deft directorial hand that could range from serious drama to light farce.
Mike Nichols passed away this week, of a sudden heart attack, and as the lights dim on Broadway in tribute, we will remember him as one of the few great directors this nation has produced. Sweeping America's highest entertainment honors in his career, an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony, Nichols was also presented a rare Kennedy Center Honor in 2003 for his life achievements. What is most remarkable about his career is that he directed seventeen actors to Oscar-winning performances. That has to be some kind of record - and speaks to a man who gave far more than he got.
The pantheon of American directors is playing a man short tonight as we remember Mike for his quick wit and his considerable talent. He was not only an accomplished entertainer, but a well rounded individual who was also a Arabian horse breeder, who bred over 400 animals, including many US National Champion horses. He is survived by his wife, Diane Sawyer, whom he considered the love of his life, and three children by previous marriages. Our prayers for their peace and comfort in their time of loss.
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_____________________- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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