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Esteemed ‘Graduate’ Director Mike Nichols Has Died
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Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols, famed director, writer, actor, and comedian (paired as a comedy team with Elaine May), who conquered Hollywood and the entertainment world in many facets and culminated a career which won him scores of accolades and unbridled success, has died. He was 83.

There really wasn’t much of the show business landscape that wasn’t treaded by the sharp mind and extremely creative talents of Mike Nichols, husband to ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer since 1988. His crowning achievement is The Graduate — in which he won a Best Director Academy Award in 1968 and which remains a film that is one of Hollywood’s most memorable productions — was one of the first films for the youth culture of the 1960s with themes of anti-establishment towards authority of every stripe. Nichols employed keen, perceptive direction throughout the comedy/drama, using memorable set pieces to tell a flawless story. (The opening sequence, in which the film’s protagonist Dustin Hoffman is on a long airport conveyor belt, is indicative of Nichols’ style throughout The Graduate).

A flurry of successes and adventurous projects followed in the cinema in the wake of the success of The Graduate: Catch-22, Carnal Knowledge, Day of the Dolphin, the overblown and critically panned The Fortune, the late comedian Gilda Radner’s Live on Broadway documentary, and others. He had also been prolific as a Broadway director, helming such classics as Neil Simon plays like The Odd Couple and The Prisoner of Second Avenue among many others. Nichols had a comeback of sorts in 1983 with the film Silkwood, starring Meryl Streep as the ill-fated titular character, based on a true story. That led to films like Working Girl, which became a massive success for Nichols, followed by Postcards From the Edge, Primary Colors, and the hilarious The Birdcage, starring the late Robin Williams and which was an American adaptation of the 1978 French film La Cage aux Folles.

He also tackled television as well, winning Emmy Awards for his direction of programs like Wit and Angels in America. In fact, he is one of a few scant entertainment figures to ever win the coveted quartet of top awards in show business, EOTG (the Emmy, Oscar, Tony, and Grammy). Mike Nichols’ story is one that remains and will remain in a higher league, a class act who showed in every facet the true meaning of versatility, spontaneity, and spooling creativity that knew no boundaries and blazed with an energy that we surely will not see the likes of for a long time in Tinseltown, if ever again.

RIP Mike Nichols
November 6, 1931 – November 19, 2014

[Source: ABCNews}

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