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Los Angeles — A week ago the film world lost one of the masters, legendary director Mike Nichols. Naturally the news sent a shockwave through the tight-knit community as Nichols' reach was pretty deep, the lives he had touched, and certainly, the careers he had affected. One of them was Al Pacino. Pacino starred in Nichols' adaptation of Tony Kushner's Broadway landmark "Angels in America" alongside great actors putting out great work, from Emma Thompson to Meryl Streep to Jeffrey Wright and more. Many of them, including Pacino, showed up on our assessment of the great performances Nichols managed to draw out in his 40-plus years in the business. "That happens in life, where we lose someone and it's palpable," Pacino told me recently. "Everybody feels it. There's a void there. They're gone. I loved him. I just loved him. He was probably the greatest director I ever worked with. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Stephen Goldblatt, who was the cinematographer on Mike Nichols’ last three screen productions — including HBO’s “Angels in America,” which Nichols considered to be the crowning achievement of his career — spoke to Variety at the Camerimage Film Festival on Friday about his friend, who died Wednesday.
Like Goldblatt, the majority of Nichols’ cinematographers were not American-born. German director of photography Michael Ballhaus, who worked on three of Nichols’ movies, said that Nichols — who was born in Germany — valued the outsider’s eye when directing films about American society.
“He liked how I brought a fresher view to these very American stories we were doing, and encouraged that,” Ballhaus told Variety in 2010.
Goldblatt, who was born in South Africa and moved to the U. »
- Leo Barraclough
Amir here. Mike Nichols was a true giant of show business, with a career that lasted more than six decades and sprawled across many different media and genres. Nathaniel's heartfelt eulogy already highlighted the dreamy number of classics he directed and the collaborations with Meryl Streep that resulted in some of her most memorable roles; but Meryl wasn't the only performer whom Nichols guided to career-best work.
Team Experience decided to make a list of ten great performances from Mike Nichols' films; we were truly spoilt for choice. If you want a testament to the man's sheer brilliance and chemistry with his actors, look no further than the missing names from our list. An equally long, equally illustrious alternative list can be made of the likes of Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War, Jude Law and Natalie Portman in Closer, »
- Amir S.
When Mike Nichols died yesterday at the age of 83, he left behind an immense legacy of work that will live forever, from his comedy routines with Elaine May to films like The Graduate and plays like The Odd Couple. But if the last 24 hours have proven anything, it's that his true genius lay in his relationships with other people and his ability to make those around him feel special and alive. During his long career, Nichols worked with and mentored the most talented writers and actors of multiple generations, and the outpouring of genuine sadness and fond recollections has been truly stirring. »
- Jeff Labrecque
A movie by Mike Nichols is typically an elegant, unruffled ride across a smooth, even chilly surface - the movie's value glints upward from beneath that ice. The director, who died Wednesday at 83, over the years pared down any attempt at visual flourish - The Graduate, his groundbreaking early film that remains his most famous, is probably also one of his flashiest. What fired him up, what he bored down into, was the intellectual germ (or gem) of the story. This meant that he was willing to consider anything for his camera: erotic werewolves (Wolf), World War II (Catch-22), philandering »
- Tom Gliatto, @gliattoT
Two years ago, on the eve of his eagerly awaited Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, I sat down with Mike Nichols to look back on his remarkable career. During those two-plus hours together at the Mark Hotel in Manhattan, the legendary director, then 80, reminisced about a life of highs and lows that began as a bright-eyed young boy who fled Nazi Germany for America. "I remember everything about getting on the boat in Germany in 1939," Nichols said. "I was 7, my brother was 3, and my father was already in New York setting up his practice as a doctor. German Jews couldn't leave the country, »
- Chris Nashawaty
Mike Nichols, who left us unexpectedly on Thursday at age 83, was that rare great director who excelled at every medium: the stage (he won nine Tonys, including Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing," the recent revival of "Death of a Salesman" and Monty Python's "Spamalot"), television ("Wit," "Angels in America") and Hollywood movies ("The Graduate" and "Silkwood" to name a few). That's the thing. He is a reminder of how far we have come from the days when the studios churned out --routinely--multiple dramas and comedies and many other genres aimed at adults. He started out with some of his best work: "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" and "The Graduate," but kept his quality high within the system, and stars yearned to work him him because he brought out their best with wit and verve. He never lost touch with zeitgeist. That was his gift. (The »
If I had to make a list of the ten film directors who I think most influenced my own standards of what filmmaking can be and should be, Mike Nichols would be on that list, if only for the first two films he made. And it may seem strange to say that I admire how he survived making those masterworks, but early success can destroy even the greatest talent because of the expectations it creates, and Nichols somehow managed it in a way that many other talented people have not. That is not to say that the rest of his work is not worth that kind of consideration and discussion. It's just that Nichols came out of the gate with two genuine, no-debate masterpieces, two films that crackle with life, two films that are so visually adept that they are humbling, two films packed with performances that go beyond good »
- Drew McWeeny
Al Pacino made an appearance at a Peggy Siegal event on Thursday afternoon to promote his new film, “The Humbling,” directed by Barry Levinson. The lunch was held just hours after news broke that director Mike Nichols had died, and Pacino — who won the Emmy for starring as Roy Cohn in HBO’s “Angels in America” — was devastated. The actor shared some of his favorite memories of Nichols with Variety.
“I loved him so much. I don’t know what I can say. I’m shocked. I knew he had a problem with his heart. I’m kind of shaken by it. At this point, it’s hard for me to mention it, except that if you want to measure civility, that’s the highest I’ve seen anybody go. He was truly a human with such a high-level of sophistication. Certainly, the other day, I was thinking about wanting to work with him again. »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Renowned director Mike Nichols died suddenly on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the age of 83.
The director is part of the Egot club, having won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. He has created some of the most iconic work in film, television and theater, including The Graduate, Working Girl, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Closer, Charlie Wilson's War, Annie, Spamalot, The Birdcage and Angels in America.
Photos: Stars We Lost
Nichols received an Oscar for directing The Graduate and earned his eighth Tony two years ago for his revival of Death of a Salesman. His last film was Charlie Wilson's War in 2007, starring Tom Hanks.
The acclaimed director was born in Berlin, Germany as Michael Igor Peschkowsky in 1931. He got his start in entertainment performing on stage, and co-founded the Chicago-based comedy troupe Second City in the 1950s. This troupe »
When people pass away, we often praise them with, "What couldn’t they do?" Exaggeration. With Mike Nichols, there’s really no answer to the theoretical. A seasoned comedian, a pillar of New York City theater, a successful film director — earning a Best Picture nomination, four Best Director nominations, and one win in the latter category — and one of only 12 people to successfully collect the coveted Egot, when it came to the entertainment industry, there really wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. He went out on a high. Thursday morning, we learned that Nichols passed away at the age of 83. Fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany in 1938, Nichols wound up in New York City and called the city home for nearly his entire life. Attending college in Chicago, he became part of the theater and comedy scenes, joining Second City and forming the comedy duo Nichols and May, along with actress Elaine May. »
- Matt Patches
Born in Berlin in 1931, Nichols began his career as a comedian in the 1950s and first gained fame as part of the comedy duo Nichols and May with Elaine May, winning a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album in 1962. Beginning his directing career in theatre in the 1960s, Nichols made his feature film debut with 1962’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, following this up with 1967’s The Graduate, which saw him receiving the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Director.
Nichols would spend the rest of career alternating between stage and screen, winning a host of Tony Awards for his Broadway work, and directing films such as Catch-22, Working Girl, Postcards from the Edge, Wolf, The Birdcage, Primary Colors, Closer and Charlie Wilson’s War. He would also win Emmy Awards for Wit and Angels in America, »
- Gary Collinson
The sudden death of renowned director Mike Nichols is being felt immensely in Hollywood.
The award-winning director/producer is credited with launching Whoopi Goldberg's career when he brought her one-woman show to Broadway. On Thursday's The View, Goldberg broke down in sobs as she attempted to pay tribute to Nichols. Unable to speak, her co-host Nicolle Wallace chimed in, "This man meant the world to her."
Photos: Gone Too Soon -- Stars We've Lost
The show then flashed back to when the director appeared on the program in 2012 and Goldberg was able to thank her mentor for all he'd done for her. "Whenever I'm with you, I know I'm okay," she said to Nichols at the time, getting teary-eyed during the interview.
Goldberg is just »
In one of his final interviews, Mike Nichols said he considered “Angels in America”–the sprawling 2003 HBO mini-series adapted from the Tony Kushner play about the AIDs crisis—-as the crowning achievement of his career.
Nichols, the director of classic films “The Graduate,” “Working Girl” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” died at 83. He spoke to me in November 2013 by phone for a profile I was working on Emma Thompson, who appeared in three of his films.
Remembrances of Nichols pored in from across the entertainment industry on Thursday, with many hailing him as a beloved visionary. But Nichols admitted that he did manage to make an enemy out of Bill Clinton after 1998’s “Primary Colors,” a political comedy starring »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Mike Nichols, the Oscar-winning director of “The Graduate” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” was remembered by friends and colleagues as an artist, a mentor and a constant source of laughter and inspiration.
Condolences and remembrances from across the entertainment industry poured in after news broke that Nichols had died suddenly at the age of 83.
“An inspiration and joy to know, a director who cried when he laughed, a friend without whom, well, we can’t imagine our world, an indelible irreplaceable man,” said Meryl Streep, who worked with Nichols on “Silkwood,” “Heartburn” and the HBO adaptation of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America.”
Over more than five decades, Nichols moved seamlessly between Broadway, television and movies, becoming one of the only people to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony — achieving “Egot” status. His notable films include “Working Girl,” “Primary Colors” and “The Birdcage,” and »
- Brent Lang
Academy Award-winning director Mike Nichols died Wednesday at the age of 83. Nichols's career was truly varied and wide ranging, spanning all media, so it's little surprise that tributes and recollections are pouring in from all over. Below, but a selection of messages from well-wishers and admirers, which we will continue to update as they come in. Rip the Great Mike Nichols - elite member of the pantheon of directors whether stage screen or tv. Any conversation was rich w/wit & wisdom— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) November 20, 2014 Ron Howard told CBS that he re-watched The Graduate repeatedly in the 1960s to see »
Few directors can be said to have changed the way films are made, but Mike Nichols, who died Wednesday at 83, was one of them. His first film, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966), ended decades of Hollywood censorship of adult content and freed the movies for mature language and subject matter ever after. His second film, "The Graduate," was the first serious mainstream movie to feature a rock soundtrack (spawning Simon and Garfunkel's hit "Mrs. Robinson") and, through its casting of Dustin Hoffman, expanded Hollywood's notion of what a leading man ought to look and sound like.
Nichols wasn't born in America (he and his family escaped from Nazi Germany when he was a child), but he was one of the best chroniclers of contemporary America -- its politics, its aspirations, its dreams, its aristocracy, and its successes and failures -- in movies. His youth in Manhattan as the son »
- Gary Susman
It’s with a heavy heart that we bring you the news that Oscar-winning director Mike Nichols — the creative mind behind The Graduate, Closer, Who Killed Virginia Woolf and more — has passed away. He was 86.
According to a statement released by his family, the Germany-born filmmaker died of cardiac arrest on Wednesday evening. He is survived by his wife, Diane Sawyer along with three children, Daisy, Max and Jenny.
“I am writing with the very sad news that Diane’s husband, the incomparable Mike Nichols, passed away suddenly on Wednesday evening. In a triumphant career that spanned over six decades, Mike created some of the most iconic works of American film, television and theater—an astonishing canon ranging from The Graduate, »
- Michael Briers
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, »
Film and theater icon Mike Nichols passed away on Wednesday night at age 83 and reactions are starting to come in from Hollywood. We’ll update this throughout the day:
Meryl Streep was working with Nichols on an adaptation of Master Class, Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning play about Maria Callas, for HBO for premiere in early 2015. She sent the statement below to Deadline:
“An inspiration and joy to know, a director who cried when he laughed, a friend without whom, well, we can’t imagine our world, an indelible irreplaceable man.”
“Forward. We must always move forward. Otherwise what will become of us?” Said Mike Nichols, who changed the lives of those who knew him, who loved him, who will miss him so…”
“Mike was a friend, a muse, a mentor, one of America’s all time greatest film and stage directors, and one of the »
- The Deadline Team
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