Born Mikhail Peschkowsky in Berlin, Mike Nichols went on to become one of the greatest forces in American comedy and film. An early member of Chicago’s Compass Players, which went on to become Second City, one half of Nichols and May, director of “The Graduate,” “Catch 22,” and most recently “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Nichols has passed away at the age of 83. Here, we take a look back at 11 of the greatest moments in Nichols’s history.
From “The Graduate,” directed by Nichols, written by Buck Henry, starring Dustin Hoffman.
2) “Telephone,” written and performed by Nichols and Elaine May
3) “What a Dump”
From “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” written by Edward Albee, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
4) Bach to Bach:
From a rare short film written and performed by Nichols and Elaine May
5) “How About Those Dolphins?”
From “The Birdcage,” written by Elaine May, directed by Nichols.
6) “You Broke My Heart—Explain That.”
From “Angels in America,” written by Tony Kushner, starring Al Pacino, directed by Nichols.
From “Carnal Knowledge,” written by Jules Feiffer, directed by Nichols.
8) “Opening sequence” From “The Fortune,” written by Carol Eastman, directed by Nichols.
9) “Death of a Salesman.”
Mike Nichols accepts the Tony Award for best director for “Death of a Salesman,” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.
10) The Designated Mourner
Mike Nichols stars in the screen adaptation of Wallace Shawn’s play.
11 “Total Mediocrity Award” From the 1959 Emmy Awards featuring Elaine May and Richard Nixon.
Adam Langer is the Forward’s culture editor. Born and raised in Chicago, he now lives in New York. He has written plays, films, criticism and a memoir, but most of the time, he writes novels.
He is the author of the novels “Crossing California,” “The Washington Story,” “Ellington Boulevard,” “The Thieves of Manhattan” and “The Salinger Contract” as well as the memoir “My Father’s Bonus March.”