8 hours ago · Of all the ways in which the pandemic has affected Americans' wellbeing, perhaps the one we've noticed least is how much we're sitting. And it's not just bad for our waistlines — it's hurting our mental health. More than a year and a half of social distancing and work-from-home policies have led ...
- Early Life
- Comedy Career
- Career as A Director
- Directing Style
- Personal Life
- Death and Legacy
- Awards and Honors
- Further Reading
- External Links
Nichols was born Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky on November 6, 1931, in Berlin, Germany, the son of Brigitte (née Landauer) and Pavel Peschkowsky, a physician. His father was born in Vienna, Austria, to a Russian-Jewish immigrant family. Nichols's father's family had been wealthy and lived in Siberia, leaving after the Russian Revolution, and settling in Germany around 1920. Nichols's mother's family were German Jews. His maternal grandparents were Gustav Landauer, a leading theorist on anarchism, and author Hedwig Lachmann. Nichols was a third cousin twice removed of scientist Albert Einstein, through Nichols's mother. In April 1939, when the Nazis were arresting Jews in Berlin, seven-year-old Mikhail and his three-year-old brother Robert were sent alone to the United States to join their father, who had fled months earlier. His mother joined the family by escaping through Italy in 1940. The family moved to New York City on April 28, 1939. His father, whose original name was Pavel Nikola...
Nichols and May
Nichols first saw Elaine May when she was sitting in the front row while he was playing the lead in a Chicago production of Miss Julie, and they made eye contact. :39 Weeks later he ran into her in a train station where he started a conversation in an assumed accent, pretending to be a spy, and she played along, using another accent. :325 They hit it off immediately, which led to a brief romance. Later in his career, he said "Elaine was very important to me from the moment I saw her.":325 In...
Pre-film stage career After the professional split with May, Nichols went to Vancouver, British Columbia, to work in the theater directing a production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest and acted in a revival of George Bernard Shaw's St. Joan. In 1963, Nichols was chosen to direct Neil Simon's play Barefoot In The Park. He realized at once that he was meant to be a director, saying in a 2003 interview: "On the first day of rehearsal, I thought, 'Well, look at this. Here is what...
Nichols's next film was a big-budget adaptation of Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 (1970), followed by Carnal Knowledge (1971) starring Jack Nicholson, Ann-Margret, Art Garfunkel and Candice Bergen. The latter film was highly controversial upon release because of the casual and blunt depiction of sexual intercourse. In Georgia, a theatre manager was convicted in 1972 of violating the state's obscenity statutes by showing the film, a conviction later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in Jenk...
In 1980, Nichols directed the documentary Gilda Live, a filmed performance of comedian Gilda Radner's one-woman show Gilda Radner Live on Broadway. It was released at the same time as the album of the show, both of which were successful. Nichols then directed two unsuccessful shows: Billy Bishop Goes to War, which opened in 1980 and closed after only twelve performances, and Neil Simon's Fools, in 1981, which closed after forty performances. Returning to Hollywood, Nichols's career rebounded...
After his early successes as a stage and film director, Nichols had developed a reputation as an auteur who likes to work intimately with his actors and writers, often using them repeatedly in different films. Writer Peter Applebome noted that "few directors have such a gift for getting performances out of actors." During a half-year period in 1967 he had four hit plays running simultaneously on Broadway, during which time his first Hollywood feature, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, had also become a popular and critical success. Combined with his second film, The Graduate, in 1967, the two films had already earned a total of 20 Oscar nominations, including two for Best Director, and winning it for The Graduate. 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. For his first film, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, each of the four actors was nominated for an Oscar, with...
Nichols was married four times; the first three ended in divorce, the last upon his death. He also had a discreet decade-long affair with photographer Richard Avedon, according to Avedon's studio director and business manager. Nichols's first marriage was to Patricia Scot; they were married from 1957 to 1960. His second was to Margot Callas, a former "muse" of the poet Robert Graves, from 1963 to 1974. The couple had a daughter together, Daisy Nichols. His third marriage, to Annabel Davis-Goff, produced two children, Max Nichols and Jenny Nichols; they married in 1975 and divorced in 1986. His fourth was to former ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer, whom he married on April 29, 1988. None of his wives was Jewish and his children were not brought up according to a religion, but they identify as Jewish. His son Max married ESPN journalist Rachel Nichols. Nichols had a lifelong interest in Arabian horses. From 1968 to 2004 he owned a farm in Connecticut and was a noted horse breeder. H...
Nichols died of a heart attack on November 19, 2014, at his apartment in Manhattan, nearly two weeks after his 83rd birthday. During the 87th annual Academy Awards on 22 February 2015, Nichols was featured in the In Memoriam segment, in anchor position. Nichols left John Frederick Herring Sr.'s painting "Horse with Groom" to his son Max. When Nichols died, many artists in film spoke and paid tribute to him, including Whoopi Goldberg, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey and Tom Stoppard. On November 8, 2015, stars and artists gathered at New York's IAC Building to pay tribute to Nichols. Hosts for the private event included Elaine May and Lorne Michaels. Eric Idle and John Cleese performed. Guests included Streep, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Natalie Portman, Carly Simon, Nathan Lane and Christine Baranski. In 2017, during an Oscars Actress Roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, and Annette Bening spoke about the impact Nichols had on th...Improvisations to Music (1958) Mercury ASIN B000W0V9BWAn Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May (1960) Mercury ASIN B000W06CCSMike Nichols & Elaine May Examine Doctors (1961) Mercury MG 20680/SR 60680 ASIN B000W0AGDYIn Retrospect (1962) Polygram, compilation, re-released as compact disc in 1996 ASIN B000001EKT
Nichols is one of the few entertainers to have won the EGOT, the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Nichols received five Academy Award nominations, winning Best Director for The Graduate (1967). He was also nominated for his work on Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), Silkwood (1983), Working Girl (1988) and for producing The Remains of the Day (1993). For his collaborations with Elaine May, Nichols was nominated for three Grammy Awards winning for Best Comedy Album in 1962. Nichols also known for his extensive work on Broadway and received 16 Tony Award nominations, winning eight times for Barefoot in the Park (1964), Luv/The Odd Couple (1965), Plaza Suite (1968), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1972), Annie (1977), The Real Thing (1984), Monty Python's Spamalot (2005), and Death of a Salesman (2012). Nichols also received Primetime Emmy Awards for directing and producing the HBO television film Wit (2001) and miniseries Angels in America(2003). In 1989 Nichols was presented the Go...Schuth, H. Wayne (1978). Mike Nichols. Boston: Twayne Publishers. ISBN 978-0-8057-9255-3.Whitehead, J. W. (2014). Mike Nichols and the Cinema of Transformation. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 9780786471454.Stevens, Kyle (2015). Mike Nichols: Sex, Language and the Reinvention of Psychological Realism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-937581-3.Carter, Ash; Kashner, Sam (2019). Life isn't everything: Mike Nichols, as remembered by 150 of his closest friends. New York: Henry Holt & Company. p. 368. ISBN 978-1250-112-873.Mike Nichols Accepts the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2010 on YouTube - American Film Institute2010 Life Achievement Award - American Film InstituteThe Evolution of Mike Nichols, New YorkarticleMike Nichols at the Internet Broadway Database
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