Chris Holden

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Academy Award Winning Director Mike Nichols Dies at 83

by Chris Holden - November 20th, 2014.
Filed under: Favorites.

Mike Nichols, iconic film and Broadway director, died Wednesday of a heart attack, at age 83. He was a member of a small, elite group of individuals who have won Oscar, Tony, Emmy, and Grammy awards. Apparently, this is known as an “EGOT”, which Lee Lovett has wrote about extensively on Scribd.

He is known for pulling impeccable performances out of Hollywood actors. The master director would not take credit, and said, “You can’t direct actors very much in a movie, because if you tell them what to do, they’ll be doing what you told them.” He said the interesting parts of a movie are the ones no one planned.

Born Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky on Nov. 6, 1931, in Berlin, Germany. He was the son of Jewish immigrants who emigrated to the United States in 1938 to escape Nazi Germany.

Shortly after settling in New York City, his father changed the family’s last name to Nichols. Not long after the family patriarch established a medical practice, he passed away, and the Nichols family endured financial hardship.

Later, Nichols studied acting under Lee Strasberg, attended the University of Chicago, and made his Hollywood directorial debut with “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” in 1966. The following year, he won a best director Academy Award for “The Graduate,” starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft.

In 2007, Nichols directed his last film, “Charlie Wilson’s War,” starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

Nichols is survived by his wife of 26 years, ABC news anchor, Diane Sawyer, three children, and four grandchildren.

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