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Mike Nichols
Born Michael Igorevitch Peschkowsky
6 November 1931 (1931-11-06) (age 78)
Berlin, Germany
Spouse(s) Patricia Scott (1957-1960)
Margo Callas (1963-1974)
Annabel Davis-Goff (1975-1986)
Diane Sawyer (1988-present)

Mike Nichols (born 6 November 1931) is an American television, stage and film director, writer, and producer. Nichols is one of only twelve people to have won an EGOT, all the major American entertainment awards: an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award. In 2001, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.[1]

Contents

Early years

Nichols was born Michael Igorevitch Peschkowsky in Berlin, Germany, the son of Brigitte Landauer and Igor Nicholaievitch Peschkowsky, a physician.[2] His maternal grandparents were anarchist Gustav Landauer and author Hedwig Lachmann. He and his German/Russian Jewish family moved to the United States to flee the Nazis in 1939.[3] He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1944 and attended PS 87 in Manhattan.[4] While attending the University of Chicago in the 1950s, he began work in improvisational comedy with the Compass Players, a precursor to The Second City, and later started the long-running Midnight Special folk music program on radio station WFMT.

Career

Nichols formed a comedy team with Elaine May, with whom he appeared in nightclubs, on radio, released best-selling records, made guest appearances on several television programs and had their own show on Broadway, directed by Arthur Penn. They were accompanied by Chicago pianist Marty Rubenstein, host of the television show Marty's Place. Personal idiosyncrasies and tensions (the latter culminating in the out-of-town closing of A Matter of Position, a play written by May and starring Nichols) eventually drove the duo apart to pursue other projects in 1961. They later reconciled and worked together many times, with May scripting his films The Birdcage and Primary Colors. They appeared together at President Jimmy Carter's inaugural gala and in a 1980 New Haven stage revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with Swoosie Kurtz and James Naughton.[5]

Nichols was chosen to direct Neil Simon's Barefoot In The Park in 1963. He realized almost at once that directing was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Nichols's production of Simon's play was a blockbuster hit, running for 1530 performances. He went on to direct (and occasionally produce) many other Broadway hits, including several more by Simon. He has won numerous theatre awards, including the Tony Award for Best Direction for seven different productions.

Nichols' career as a film director began with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 1966 for which he received an Oscar nomination, and The Graduate--the biggest hit film released in 1967—for which he won the Best Director Oscar. He's also won Emmy Awards for his direction of Wit (2001) and Angels in America (2003).[6]

Nichols is a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post. He's also a co-founder of The New Actors Workshop in New York City, where he occasionally teaches.[7]

Nichols went on with making movies, many of them would deal with people and the faulty, confused world they live in. In the films The Graduate and Working Girl, he talked about those individuals who want to turn their lives around for the better. Another theme in Nichols' films is the faults in people that lead them to live imperfect lives: he would make this the subject of his dramatic films and his comedies.

Nichols' other films include The Fortune, Wolf, Silkwood, Regarding Henry, Catch 22, Working Girl, Closer, and the true story film, Charlie Wilson's War. Of the movie stars he worked with, Nichols would do three films with Meryl Streep, two films with Julia Roberts, and four films with three time Academy Award Winner Jack Nicholson. Two films that Nichols and Nicholson did were Wolf and Carnal Knowledge.

Personal life

Nichols has been married four times. His first wife was Patricia Scott; they were married from 1957 to 1960. He then married Margo Callas in 1963, and they had a daughter, Daisy Nichols. His marriage to Callas ended in 1974. Annabel Davis-Goff, with whom he has two children, Max Nichols and Jenny Nichols, was his third wife. They were divorced in 1986. He has been married to ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer, since April 29, 1988.

According to research done by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of Harvard University, in 2010 for the PBS series Faces of America, Nichols' grandfather was a leading theorist on anarchism in the early 20th century and Nichols is related to Albert Einstein who was a cousin on his mother’s side.[8]

Work

Stage productions

Filmography

Year Film Oscar
nominations
Oscar
wins
1966 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 13 5
1967 The Graduate 7 1
1968 Teach Me!
1970 Catch-22
1971 Carnal Knowledge 1
1973 The Day of the Dolphin 2
1975 The Fortune
1980 Gilda Live
1983 Silkwood 5
1986 Heartburn
1988 Biloxi Blues
Working Girl 6 1
1990 Postcards from the Edge 2
1991 Regarding Henry
1994 Wolf
1996 The Birdcage 1
1998 Primary Colors 2
2000 What Planet Are You From?
2001 Wit
2003 Angels in America
2004 Closer 2
2007 Charlie Wilson's War 1

Awards and nominations

Awards
  • 1961 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album
  • 1964 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play – Barefoot in the Park
  • 1965 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play – Luv and The Odd Couple
  • 1968 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play – Plaza Suite
  • 1968 BAFTA Award for Best Director – The Graduate
  • 1968 Academy Award for Best Director – The Graduate
  • 1968 Golden Globe Award for Best Director – The Graduate
  • 1972 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play – The Prisoner of Second Avenue
  • 1977 Tony Award for Best Musical – Annie
  • 1977 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play – Comedians
  • 1977 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical – Annie
  • 1984 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play – The Real Thing
  • 1984 Tony Award for Best Play – The Real Thing
  • 1984 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play – The Real Thing
  • 2001 Emmy Award for Direction for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special – Wit
  • 2001 Emmy Award for Outstanding Made for Television Movie – Wit
  • 2003 Kennedy Center Honors
  • 2004 Emmy Award for Direction - Miniseries/Movie – Angels in America
  • 2004 Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries – Angels in America
  • 2005 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical – Spamalot
  • 2010 American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award
Nominations
  • 1967 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical – The Apple Tree
  • 1967 Academy Award for Best Director – Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • 1967 Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • 1974 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play – Uncle Vanya
  • 1976 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play – Streamers
  • 1977 Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series – Family
  • 1977 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play – Comedians
  • 1978 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play – The Gin Game
  • 1978 Tony Award for Best Play – The Gin Game
  • 1978 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play – The Gin Game
  • 1978 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play – The Gin Game
  • 1982 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play – Grown Ups
  • 1984 Academy Award for Best Director – Silkwood
  • 1984 Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Silkwood"
  • 1984 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play – The Real Thing
  • 1985 Tony Award for Best Play – Hurlyburly
  • 1989 Academy Award for Best Director – Working Girl"
  • 1989 Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Working Girl
  • 1994 Academy Award for Best Picture – The Remains of the Day
  • 2001 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing - Miniseries/Movie – Wit
  • 2003 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event – The Play What I Wrote
  • 2003 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience – The Play What I Wrote
  • 2005 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event – Whoopi
  • 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Closer"
  • 2005 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical – Spamalot

References

  1. ^ Lifetime Honors - National Medal of Arts
  2. ^ "Mike Nichols - Films as Director". filmreference. 2008. http://www.filmreference.com/Directors-Mi-Pe/Nichols-Mike.html. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  3. ^ Mike Nichols’ life in the trenches By Glenn Kenny, LA Times, December 16, 2007, in print edition E-31.
  4. ^ Stated on Faces of America, 2010
  5. ^ Lee Hill (June 2003). "Great Directors Critical Database: Mike Nichols". Senses of Cinema:. http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/directors/03/nichols.html. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  6. ^ "Mike Nichols Biography". filmreference. 2008. http://www.filmreference.com/film/11/Mike-Nichols.html. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  7. ^ "The Founders". The New Actors Workshop. 2009. http://www.newactorsworkshop.com. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  8. ^ "Faces of America: Mike Nichols", PBS, Faces of America series, with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 2010.

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