(Sam Kashner’s and Charles Maslow-Freen’s article appeared in Vanity Fair, 10/15; via the Drudge Report)
A glittering cast of Nichols’s friends share with Sam Kashner and Charles Maslow-Freen their stories of a refugee from Hitler’s Germany who lived his own inimitable version of the American Dream. Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, and more remember the comic genius, a groundbreaking director and true bon vivant.
Mike Nichols, who died at home in New York last November 19, 13 days past his 83rd birthday, left a crater-size hole in the cultural landscape and in the life of the city he loved. He was that rare thing—a success in entertainment for six decades, beginning in the late 1950s with the classic comedy albums he made with the brilliant Elaine May (which had first been developed into a Broadway stage show, An Evening with Nichols and May, directed by Arthur Penn), then becoming one of the leading theater and motion-picture directors of the second half of the last century. He directed such landmark films as The Graduate, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Carnal Knowledge, andSilkwood, as well as 22 Broadway plays, including the 2012 revival of Death of a Salesman,starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Nichols is one of only 12 people to have won an Emmy (for best director of a television play and mini-series, for Wit and Angels in America), a Grammy (for best comedy album, with Elaine May, in 1962), an Oscar (for best director, forThe Graduate), and a Tony (nine in all). Colloquially, this achievement is called an E.G.O.T.
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