59 Facts About Mike Nichols


Mike Nichols was noted for his ability to work across a range of genres and for his aptitude for getting the best out of actors regardless of their experience.


Mike Nichols is one of 18 people to have won all four of the major American entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.


Mike Nichols's films received a total of 42 Academy Award nominations, and 7 wins.


Mike Nichols then teamed up with his improv partner, Elaine May, to form the comedy duo Nichols and May Their live improv act was a hit on Broadway, and each of their three albums was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album; their second album, An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May, won the award in 1962.


Mike Nichols's Broadway directing debut was Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park in 1963, with Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley.


Mike Nichols continued to direct plays on Broadway, including Luv, and The Odd Couple for each of which he received Tony Awards.


Mike Nichols was known for work on television, directing HBO's Wit with Emma Thompson and Angels in America starring Meryl Streep.


Mike Nichols was born Michael Igor Peschkowsky on November 6,1931, in Berlin, Germany.


Mike Nichols was a son of Brigitte and Pavel Peschkowsky, a physician.


Mike Nichols's father was born in Vienna, Austria, to a Russian-Jewish immigrant family.


Mike Nichols's mother joined the family by escaping through Italy in 1940.


Mike Nichols later had a successful medical practice in Manhattan, enabling the family to live near Central Park.


Mike Nichols's youth was difficult because by age four, following an inoculation for whooping cough, he lost his hair, and consequently wore wigs and false eyebrows for the rest of his life.


Mike Nichols became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1944 and attended public elementary school in Manhattan.


Co-owner Rita Jacobs asked Mike Nichols to create a folk music program on Saturday nights, which he named The Midnight Special.


Mike Nichols hosted the program for two years before leaving for New York City.


Mike Nichols frequently invited musicians to perform live in the studio and eventually created a unique blend of "folk music and farce, showtunes and satire, odds and ends", along with his successor Norm Pellegrini.


In 1953, Mike Nichols left Chicago for New York City to study method acting under Lee Strasberg, but was unable to find stage work there.


Mike Nichols was invited back to join Chicago's Compass Players in 1955, the predecessor to Chicago's Second City, whose members included May, Shelley Berman, Del Close, and Nancy Ponder, directed by Paul Sills.


Personal idiosyncrasies and tensions, such as on the unsuccessful A Matter of Position, a play written by May and starring Mike Nichols, eventually drove the duo apart to pursue other projects in 1961.


In 1963, Mike Nichols was chosen to direct Neil Simon's play Barefoot in the Park.


Again the show was a hit and Mike Nichols won a Tony Award.


Mike Nichols then contacted Levine, who said he would finance the film because he had associated with Nichols on The Knack, and because he heard that Elizabeth Taylor specifically wanted Nichols to direct her and Richard Burton in Virginia Woolf.


Mike Nichols took a chance on using Dustin Hoffman, who had no film experience, for the lead, when others had suggested using known star Robert Redford.


The quality of the cinematography was influenced by Mike Nichols, who chose Oscar winner Robert Surtees to do the photography.


At one point, when Mike Nichols heard Paul Simon's song, "Mrs Roosevelt", he suggested to Simon that he change it to "Mrs Robinson".


Mike Nichols selected all the numerous songs for the film and chose which scenes they would be used in.


Mike Nichols had previously returned to Broadway to direct The Apple Tree, starring Second City alumna, Barbara Harris.


Mike Nichols then directed Neil Simon's Plaza Suite in 1968, earning him another Tony Award for Best Director.


Mike Nichols returned to Broadway to direct Neil Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue in 1971.


In 1973, Nichols directed a revival of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya on Broadway starring George C Scott and with a new translation by himself and Albert Todd.


In 1975, Mike Nichols began filming Bogart Slept Here, an original screenplay by Neil Simon.


Mike Nichols returned to the stage with two moderately successful productions in 1976; David Rabe's Streamers opened in April and ran for 478 performances.


In 1976 Mike Nichols worked as Executive Producer to create the television drama Family for ABC.


In 1977, Mike Nichols produced the original Broadway production of the hugely successful musical Annie, which ran for 2,377 performances until 1983.


In 1980, Mike Nichols directed the documentary Gilda Live, a filmed performance of comedian Gilda Radner's one-woman show Gilda Radner Live on Broadway.


Mike Nichols was then involved with two unsuccessful shows: he produced Billy Bishop Goes to War, which opened in 1980 and closed after only twelve performances, and directed Neil Simon's Fools, in 1981, which closed after forty performances.


In 1984, Mike Nichols directed the Broadway premiere of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing.


Mike Nichols followed the success with the Broadway premiere of David Rabe's Hurlyburly, in 1984.


In 1983, Mike Nichols had seen comedian Whoopi Goldberg's one woman show, The Spook Show, at Dance Theater Workshop and wanted to help her expand it.


Mike Nichols directed one of his most successful films, Working Girl, which starred Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver.


Mike Nichols directed widely acclaimed adaptations of Wit and Angels in America for television, winning Emmy Awards for both of them.


In 2012, Mike Nichols won the Best Direction of a Play Tony Award for a revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.


The film was to be produced by JJ Abrams, who previously wrote the Mike Nichols-directed film Regarding Henry.


Mike Nichols was a co-founder of The New Actors Workshop in New York City, where he occasionally taught.


Mike Nichols was able to get the best out of actors regardless of their acting experience, whether an unknown such as Dustin Hoffman or a major star like Richard Burton.


Hoffman credits Mike Nichols for permitting the realistic acting needed for the satirical roles in that film:.


Mike Nichols was married four times; the first three ended in divorce, the last upon his death.


Mike Nichols's second was to Margot Callas, a former "muse" of the poet Robert Graves, from 1963 to 1974.


Mike Nichols's fourth was to former Good Morning America and ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer, whom he married on April 29,1988.


Mike Nichols imported quality Arabian horses from Poland, some of which sold for record-setting prices.


Mike Nichols died of a heart attack on November 19,2014, at his apartment in Manhattan, thirteen days after his 83rd birthday.


When Mike Nichols died, many celebrities paid tribute to him, including Whoopi Goldberg, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey and Tom Stoppard.


In 2017, during an Oscars Actress Roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, and Annette Bening spoke about the impact Mike Nichols had on their lives.


Mike Nichols is one of the few entertainers to have won the EGOT, the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.


Mike Nichols received five Academy Award nominations, winning Best Director for The Graduate.


Mike Nichols received Primetime Emmy Awards for directing and producing the HBO television film Wit and miniseries Angels in America.


In 1989 Mike Nichols was presented the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement by Awards Council member Diane Sawyer.


Mike Nichols received a Gala tribute from Film Society of Lincoln Center in 1999.