Legendary Director of The Graduate, Mike Nichols, Dies at 83

mike-nicholsIt is a sad day for film lovers everywhere as Mike Nichols, director of films such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, Catch 22, Carnal Knowledge, Working Girl, and most notably The Graduate, has passed away at the age of 83. Modern audiences may know the German-born, American director (his family moved to the United States just before the outbreak of the Second World War) more for his films Closer and Charlie Wilson’s War, but certainly there is no denying his greatest work was the 1967 Dustin Hoffman drama. The Graduate, for which Nichols won his only Oscar, was filled with so many iconic scenes that it sits within the pantheon of film’s best. It has been lampooned with love by the likes of The Simpsons and Waynes World among many others. It is a film with universal staying power and Nichols’ directing ensured his legacy as one of Hollywood’s best.

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Interesting enough, his debut to show business was not his work behind the camera but as a member of a two person comedy act with Elaine May. The duo had three best-selling records and earned a Grammy for best comedy album in 1962. Nichols also won a Tony Award for his Broadway directorial debut with Neil Simon’s Barefoot In The Park, starring Robert Redford in 1964. In 2001, Nichols became part of an elite group of people to have won the full EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) when he won an Emmy for Best Directing in a TV Movie with starring Emma Thompson. Currently only 11 others have managed to do this in competitive categories.

ABC News has stated that Nichols died of a cardiac arrest yesterday evening. He leaves behind his wife, former reporter/news personality Diane Sawyer. He was truly a legend and he will be sorely missed.

Follow Tom on Twitter @thomaskagar

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