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Mike Nichols, Genius, Comic, Courageous Greathearted Man

by Witness Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 at 9:33 AM

A PBS documentary on the life of Mike Nichols reveals more of this amazing man

Mike Nichols, Genius...
mn.jpg, image/jpeg, 500x252

I Mike Nichols 41 Years Of Movie Directing

2007 Charlie Wilson's War Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tom Hanks (the CIA used the cocaine habit of Charlie Wilson to force him into supporting the Mujahideen and Taliban with billions in weapons to use against Russia in Afghanistan.) Now those same weapons have shot down American soldiers and planes.

2004/I Closer

2003 Angels in America (TV Mini-Series) (2 episodes)

- Part 2 Perestroika (2003)

- Part 1 Millennium Approaches (2003)

2001 Wit (TV Movie)

2000 What Planet Are You From?

1998 Primary Colors (magnificent) John Travolta plays Bill Clinton

1996 The Birdcage

1994 Wolf

1991 Regarding Henry

1990 Postcards from the Edge

1988 Working Girl

1988 Biloxi Blues

1986 Heartburn based on Nora Ephron's book about her marriage to Carl Bernstein of

Woodward and Bernstein and Bernstein's affair while she was pregnant. Woodward formerly of Naval Intelligence and Bernstein, both of the Washington Post, were the duo who with the direction of the Post owners helped in the Kissinger plot to remove Nixon

from power. Mark Felt, number two man at the FBI, was the actual Deep Throat.)

1983 Silkwood the story of the energy company Kerr McGee's murder of nuclear power whistleblower and union activist Karen Silkwood, played by Meryl Streep

1980 Gilda Live (Documentary)

1975 The Fortune

1973 The Day of the Dolphin (based on Dr John C Lilly's research for the Navy which was training dolphins to be bomb and other explosives carriers Because of the navy's treatment of animals and after 2 dolphins killed themselves by smashing their heads against tanks, Lilly resigned.

1971 Carnal Knowledge with Jack Nicholson

1970 Catch-22 an antiwar film

1968 Teach Me! (Short)

1967 The Graduate with Dustin Hoffman and Ann Bancroft

(Mike Nichols said this film was about breaking free of death by materialism)

1966 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor

II Director AND Producer OF Plays


Oct 27, 2013 - Jan 05, 2014

Death of a Salesman

Mar 15, 2012 - Jun 02, 2012

The Country Girl

Apr 27, 2008 - Jul 20, 2008

The Apple Tree

Dec 14, 2006 - Mar 11, 2007


Mar 17, 2005 - Jan 11, 2009


[Play, Solo, Original]

Produced by Mike Nichols

Nov 17, 2004 - Jan 30, 2005

The Play What I Wrote

[Play, Comedy, Original]

Produced by Mike Nichols

Mar 30, 2003 - Jun 15, 2003

Sunday in the Park with George

[Special, Concert, Revival]

Presented by Friends In Deed (Mike Nichols: Chairman; Cynthia O'Neal: President; Robert MacNamara: Managing Director)

May 15, 1994 - May 15, 1994

Death and the Maiden

[Play, Drama, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Mar 17, 1992 - Aug 02, 1992

Social Security

[Play, Comedy, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Apr 17, 1986 - Mar 22, 1987

Whoopi Goldberg

[Play, Solo, Original]

Produced by Mike Nichols

Production Supervised by Mike Nichols

Oct 24, 1984 - Mar 10, 1985


[Play, Original]

Produced by Icarus Productions

Directed by Mike Nichols

Aug 07, 1984 - Jun 02, 1985

The Real Thing

[Play, Drama, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Produced by Icarus Productions

Jan 05, 1984 - May 12, 1985

Grown Ups

[Play, Original]

Produced by Mike Nichols

Dec 10, 1981 - Feb 20, 1982


[Play, Comedy, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Apr 06, 1981 - May 09, 1981

Lunch Hour

[Play, Comedy, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Nov 12, 1980 - Jun 28, 1981

Billy Bishop Goes to War

[Musical, Original]

Produced by Mike Nichols

May 29, 1980 - Jun 07, 1980

The Gin Game

[Play, Original]

Produced by Mike Nichols

Directed by Mike Nichols

Co - Produced by Icarus Productions

Oct 06, 1977 - Dec 31, 1978


[Musical, Comedy, Original]

Produced by Icarus Productions

Produced by Mike Nichols

Apr 21, 1977 - Jan 02, 1983


[Play, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Nov 28, 1976 - Apr 03, 1977


[Play, Drama, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Apr 21, 1976 - Jun 05, 1977

Uncle Vanya

[Play, Drama, Revival]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Translated by Mike Nichols

Jun 04, 1973 - Jul 28, 1973

The Prisoner of Second Avenue

[Play, Comedy, Drama, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Nov 11, 1971 - Sep 29, 1973

Plaza Suite

[Play, Comedy, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Feb 14, 1968 - Oct 03, 1970

The Little Foxes

[Play, Drama, Revival]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Oct 26, 1967 - Jan 20, 1968

The Apple Tree

[Musical, Comedy, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Oct 18, 1966 - Nov 25, 1967

The Odd Couple

[Play, Comedy, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Mar 10, 1965 - Jul 02, 1967


[Play, Comedy, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols

Nov 11, 1964 - Jan 07, 1967

Barefoot in the Park

[Play, Comedy, Original]

Directed by Mike Nichols, screenplay by Neil Simon, stars: Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley

Oct 23, 1963 - Jun 25, 1967

An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May

[Special, Comedy, Original]

Starring: Mike Nichols [Performer]

Written by Mike Nichols

III Comedy

Compass Players

Second City

Many performances of Nichols and May with Elaine May

IV Television AS Actor , Producer, Presenter, Interviewee ETC.

The Wil Wheaton Project (2014)

Executive Producer

Wicked Tuna (2014)

Executive Producer

Wicked Tuna: North vs. South (2014)

Executive Producer

Inventing David Geffen (2013) Actor

34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors (2012) Presenter

TV Land Presents: The AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Morgan Freeman (2011)


Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2010) Actor

AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Mike Nichols (2010) Actor

AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Warren Beatty (2008) Actor

My Dad is Better Than Your Dad (2008) Executive Producer

Julia Roberts: American Cinematheque Tribute (2008) Actor

Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize Celebrating Steve Martin (2006) Actor

Whoopi: Back To Broadway - The 20th Anniversary (2005)

Producer, Acknowledgment

62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards (2005) Actor

Angels in America (2004) Director

AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Meryl Streep (2004)


26th Annual Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (2004) Actor

Kennedy Center: Mark Twain Prize -- Celebrating Whoopi Goldberg (2002) Actor

Wit (2001)

Screenplay, Director, Executive Producer

American Film Institute Salute to Harrison Ford (2000) Actor

Intimate Portrait: Diane Von Furstenberg (2000) Actor

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Atas) 13th Annual Hall of Fame (1998) Actor

Catch-22 (1997) Actor

Inside the Actors Studio (1997)

: Interviewee

Nichols and May -- Take Two (1996) Actor

Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light (1996) Actor

American Film Institute Salute to Jack Nicholson (1994) Actor

8th Annual American Comedy Awards (1994) Actor

Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time (1993) Actor

Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1992) Actor

Working Girl (1990)

Story By Richard Burton: In From the Cold (1990) Actor

Neil Simon: Not Just For Laughs (1989) Actor

Thorns (1988) Executive Producer

Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary (1986)


39th Annual Tony Awards (1985) Actor

Family (1980) Executive Producer

Last Laugh at the 60's (1970) Actor

Jack Paar Special (1960) Actor

Jack Paar Presents (1960) Actor

Friends With Kids (2011) Executive Producer

wonderful documentary of his life is at

V Movie Actor

Numerous appearances including Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf

VI Discography

Nichols and May – Improvisations to Music (1959) Mercury

Nichols and May – An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May (1960) Mercury

Nichols and May – Mike Nichols & Elaine May Examine Doctors (1962) Mercury MG 20680/SR 60680

Nichols and May – In Retrospect (1982) Polygram, re-released as compact disc in 1996

VII Quotes: (a tiny fraction of tens of thousands)

1 Being with an insanely jealous person is like being in the room with a dead mammoth.

2 I don't understand how the mystical transformations into a role is created by Meryl Streep (paraphrased)

3 A great actor can make the heavy words of Eugene O'Neill soar (paraphrased)

4 No one person can make a movie, but there must be one person who makes the final decisions, the director (paraphrased)

5. "According to Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s book Faces of America, Nichols only knew two sentences in English before arriving in America: "I don't speak English" and "Please, don't kiss me." "

6. The whole point about laughter is it's like mercury: you can't catch it, you can't catch what motivates it

- that's why it's funny.

7.The thing is, as a film director, you're essentially alone: You have to tell a story primarily through pictures,

and only you know the film you see in your head.

VIII Personal Life

Mike Nichols was born Michael Igor Peschkowsky in Berlin, Germany, on November 6, 1931. His parents came to the US to escape the Nazis when he was 7.

Mike Nichols married ABC news anchor Diane Sawyer in April 1988. He was previously married to Patricia Scott (1957-60), Margo Calla

s (1963-74) and Annabel Davis-Goff (1975-86), He had 3 children. He died in November of 2014 of cardiac arrest"

IX Directing Style

Someone in a wonderful PBS documentary of Nichols which includes Nichols himself states that Nichols in his direction was right at least 90% of the time. He would explain his decisions to the company, most often with humor. He was a loved director.

X Awards

Only 12 people have been classified as egot... having won 1 or more emmy's, grammy's, oscars, and tony awards. Mike Nichols is one of this blessed dozen.

"Nichols won a record six Tony Awards for direction of a play. Those included "Barefoot in the Park" in 1964 and "The Odd Couple" in 1965, and Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" "

From his comic genius with Elaine May and his blazing talent as a Broadway director with 6 Tony awards to his searing political commentary in Charlie Wilson's War, Silkwood, Primary Colors, Catch 22, The Day Of The Dolphin, Heartburn etc., Nichols was a blazing star.

wonderful documentary of his life is at

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