Mike Nichols Dead, Legendary Director And Husband Of Diane Sawyer Dies At 83
Mike Nichols, the award-winning director of films, television and stage, died on Wednesday. The famed director, who was married to Diane Sawyer, was 83. His death was announced by ABC News president James Goldston, who said in a statement, “He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic, and was one of a tiny few to win the EGOT – an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony in his lifetime.”
Nichols began his career as part of a standup comedy duo with Elaine May before going off to direct. The first film he directed was the 1966 movie Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The following year he directed The Graduate starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft for which he won an Academy Award. Other films he directed included Silkwood with Meryl Streep, Working Girl, starring Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, and Sigourney Weaver, The Birdcage with Robin Williams and Gene Hackman, and Charlie Wilson’s War, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.
His nine Tony awards came from directing plays including, “The Odd Couple,” “Death of a Salesman,” “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” “The Real Thing,” and “Barefoot in the Park.” He also directed the Emmy-winning TV miniseries “Angels in America,” with Al Pacino, Emma Thompson, and Streep. His Grammy win came from a recording of a Broadway show he did called, “An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May.”
Nichols, who was born Michael Igor Peschkowsky in 1931 in Berlin, fled Nazi Germany when he was seven, and came to the U.S. not knowing a word of English. As a youngster he fell in love with movies and the theater. He was married four times, and is survived by Sawyer and three adult children from former marriages. A private funeral service is set for this week. On a personal note, Gossip Cop met Nichols on several occasions, and he was always kind and forthcoming during interviews.