November 6, 1931—November 19, 2014
Mike Nichols, the acclaimed director of such film classics as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and The Graduate (1967), as well as one half of the legendary comedy duo of Nicolas & May with Elaine May (b. April 21, 1932) in the '50s and '60s, has died at 83. He'd been married since 1988 to journalist Diane Sawyer (b. December 22, 1945).
Nichols won the Oscar for The Graduate, only his second film, and delivered many other memorable movies as diverse as Catch-22 (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971), Gilda Live (1980), Silkwood (1983), Postcards from the Edge (1990), The Birdcage (1996) and his last film, Charlie Wilson's War (2007).
In 2001, he brought the highly regarded play Wit to TV, and three years later directed an ambitious Angels in America adaptation for HBO.
Nichols & May were known for their improvisational comedy, which led them to the successful Broadway show An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May. They split, both creatively and personally, but later buried the hatchet and teamed up on plays and films. (May wrote both The Birdcage and the Clinton parody Primary Colors.)
Elizabeth Taylor (1932—2011) & Richard Burton (1925—1984) in the indelible Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Nicholas was extremely active and frequently rewarded for his efforts in the theater, including directing enduring classics Barefoot in the Park (1963—his debut), The Odd Couple (1965), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1971), Annie (1977), Hurlyburly (1984), Whoopi Goldberg's blank-titled one-woman show (1984) and the relatively recent runaway hit Spamalot (2005). His final work on Broadway was as the director of Betrayal in 2013, starring Daniel Craig and his wife Rachel Weisz.
Peter Falk (1927—2011) & Lee Grant (b. October 31, 1925) in The Prisoner of Second Avenue on Broadway in the early '70s
Apparently, Nicholas had not been in ill health, but died suddenly of a heart attack. A major loss for the entertainment world.
My high school graduation was celebrated with a The Graduate-themed party thrown by my mom.