Mike Nichols, the Oscar and Tony winning director behind such classics as the 1966 drama Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the 1967 masterpiece The Graduate, has passed away at the age of 83. He succumbed to cardiac arrest on Wednesday night.
Mike Nichols holds the distinction of being one of the few creative artists who has won at least one Emmy, one Grammy, one Oscar and one Tony award. Married to ABC News veteran Diane Sawyer, ABC News president James Goldston broke the news last night.
Mike Nichols began his career doing comedy in collaboration with Elaine May before transitioning to film and stage work in the 1960s, which brought forth some of that decade's most memorable film classics, Broadway productions and stage-to-screen adaptations. After taking on a number of hit plays including Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" in 1965, Mike Nichols directed Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which received 13 Oscar nominations, winning in 5 categories. He followed that up in 1968 with The Graduate starring a very young Dustin Hoffman.
The Graduate went onto garner 7 Oscar nominations, giving Mike Nichols his only Oscar win for best director. He would continue on into the 70s, creating the highly influential, yet controversial films Catch-22 and Carnal Knowledge. He made his mark in the 80s with Silkwood and Working Girl, both of which also went onto rack up more Oscar nominations and wins.
For over six decades, Mike Nichols has continued to work regularly in film, television, and on stage. The director won two Emmys for the 2003 HBO mini-series Angels in America, and he won a Tony for his popular musical Spamalot. He would also win for his 2012 Broadway revival of Death of a Salesmen, which starred the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield.
Mike Nichols's family will hold a small, private service this week, with a memorial set to be held at a later date. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, three children, Daisy, Max and Jenny, and four grandchildren.