'Graduate' Director Mike Nichols Dies at 83

by Kadeen Griffiths

It's a tragic day in entertainment as we are forced to say goodbye to yet another legend and icon. On Thursday, it was announced that Mike Nichols has passed away at age 83. The event happened suddenly as a result of cardiac arrest on Wednesday and was revealed in a statement from ABC News President James Goldston. Over the course of his decades-long career, Nichols has worked as a director, a writer, producer, comedian, and is particularly noteworthy as the husband of former ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer.

"I am writing with the very sad news that Diane's husband, the incomparable Mike Nichols, passed away suddenly on Wednesday evening," Goldston wrote in the statement. "In a triumphant career that spanned over six decades, Mike created some of the most iconic works of American film, television and theater—an astonishing canon ranging from The Graduate, Working Girl, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to Closer, Charlie Wilson’s War, Annie, Spamalot, The Birdcage, and Angels in America. He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic and was one of a tiny few to win the EGOT—an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. No one was more passionate about his craft than Mike.”

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After escaping to America from Nazi Germany at the age of 7, Nichols began his career in directing with the theater in the 1960s. He directed a production of The Importance of Being Earnest and won a Tony Award for directing Barefoot in the Park by 1963. He established his career with a series of successful productions before making the transition into film directing with the Warner Bros. project, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Over the course of half a century, Nichols has been nominated for many awards and won many awards — just as one would expect from the director of films as prestigious as The Graduate.

Nichols is survived by his fourth wife, Diane; his children, Daisy, Max, and Jenny; and his grandchildren. His legacy and contributions to the world of entertainment — both stage and screen — will never be forgotten.