Published On: Fri, Nov 21st, 2014

Legendary director Mike Nichols Has Died at the Age of 83

Diane-Sawywer-Mike-Nichols / Getty

 

Legendary director Mike Nichols died Wednesday of a heart attack at the age of 83.

Born November 6, 1931 as Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky in Berlin to the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant family and a German Jewish mother he was one of the only people to hit a grand slam of entertainment winning an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony.

Nichols directed 22 movies over a span of 40 years including Catch 22, Working Girl, Silkwood and his first film Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton from 1966. His final movie was 2007’s Charlie Wilson’s War which starred Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, but his most memorable was probably The Graduate from 1968 with Dustin Hoffman.

Ncohols and his family were fortunate as they were able to escape Germany for America just before the outbreak of World War II and the start of the Holocaust.

ABC News President James Goldston was the one who first broke the news of Nichols‘ passing stating, “He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic.”

_Diane-Sawyer-Mike-Nichols - GETTY

 

Celebraties loved Nichols and were shocked at the news. Whoopi Goldberg was brought to tears and was speechless on today’s installment of her talk show the view.

Julia Roberts issued a statement to people saying, “There are so few heroes in our world. So few impeccable craftsmen, so few people who personify unconditional love and friendship. Mike Nichols was like no other. In every way he was remarkable and amazing, His musings were like pearls, his jokes were timeless and perfectly placed, his stories – detailed and wholly entertaining, his warm embrace was where you wanted to live forever.”

Ben Stiller tweeted: “Mike Nichols leaves behind a staggering body of work. He’s one of the best filmmakers and stage directors ever. Influenced everyone.”

Kevin Spacey wrote, “’Mike Nichols gave me my start. A mentor, friend, colleague. One of the best observers of life. My thoughts are with Diane & his children.”

Nichols was married to newswoman Diane Sawyer for 26 years.

He leaves behind three children, Daisy, Max and Jenny and four grandchildren. His family will hold a small, private funeral this week, and a memorial will be held at a later date.

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