Mike Nichols

Director and Actor
Born Nov 6, 1931

Mike Nichols is a German-born American television, stage and film director, writer, producer and comedian. He began his career in the 1950s as one half of the comedy duo Nichols and May, along with Elaine May. In 1968 he won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Graduate. His other noteworthy films include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Carnal Knowledge, Working Girl, Closer and the TV mini-series Angels in America.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Mike Nichols.


1931 Birth Born on November 6, 1931.
1939 7 Years Old In April 1939, when the Nazis were arresting Jews in Berlin, seven-year-old Mikhail and his three-year-old brother Robert were sent alone to the United States to join their father, who had fled months earlier.
1940 8 Years Old His mother eventually joined the family, escaping through Italy in 1940. … Read More


1944 12 Years Old He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1944 and attended public elementary school in Manhattan (PS 87). … Read More
1950 18 Years Old In 1950, he enrolled in the pre-med program at the University of Chicago. … Read More


1953 21 Years Old 1 More Event
While in Chicago in 1953, Nichols joined the staff of struggling classical music station WFMT, 98.7 FM, as an announcer. … Read More
1955 - 1957 2 More Events
1958 26 Years Old In Chicago, he started doing improvisational routines with May, which eventually led to the formation of the comedy duo Nichols and May in 1958, first performing in New York City. … Read More
1960 28 Years Old In 1960, Nichols and May opened the Broadway show An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May, directed by Arthur Penn. The LP album of the show won the 1962 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. … Read More


1963 31 Years Old 1 More Event
…  His debut Broadway play was Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park in 1963, with Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley. … Read More
1964 32 Years Old This began a series of highly successful plays on Broadway (often from works by Simon) that would establish his reputation. After an off-Broadway production of Ann Jellicoe's The Knack, Nichols directed Murray Schisgal's play Luv in 1964. … Read More
1965 33 Years Old In 1965 he directed another play by Neil Simon, The Odd Couple. … Read More
It was also a box office hit and became the number 1 film of 1966. … Read More
1967 35 Years Old 1 More Event
Nichols had previously returned to Broadway to direct The Apple Tree, starring Second City alumna, Barbara Harris. After doing The Graduate, he again returned to the Broadway stage with a revival of Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes in 1967, which ran for 100 performances.
1968 36 Years Old He then directed Neil Simon's Plaza Suite in 1968, earning him another Tony Award for Best Director. … Read More
1971 39 Years Old Nichols then returned to Broadway to direct Neil Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue in 1971. … Read More


1973 41 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1973 Nichols directed a revival of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya on Broadway starring George C. Scott and with a new translation by himself and Albert Todd.
1976 44 Years Old 1 More Event
Nichols then returned to the stage with two moderately successful productions in 1976; David Rabe's Streamers opened in April and ran for 478 performances. … Read More
They later reconciled and worked together many times, such as on the unsuccessful A Matter of Position, a play written by May and starring Nichols. They appeared together at President Jimmy Carter's inaugural gala, in 1977, and in a 1980 New Haven stage revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with Swoosie Kurtz and James Naughton. … Read More
1980 48 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1980 Nichols directed the documentary Gilda Live, a filmed performance of comedian Gilda Radner's one-woman show Gilda Radner Live on Broadway. … Read More


1983 51 Years Old Returning to Hollywood, Nichols' career rebounded in 1983 with the film Silkwood, starring Meryl Streep, Cher and Kurt Russell, based on the life of whistleblower Karen Silkwood. … Read More
1984 52 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1984 Nichols directed the Broadway premiere of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. … Read More
1986 54 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1986 Nichols directed the Broadway premiere of Andrew Bergman's Social Security and in 1988 directed Waiting for Godot, starring Robin Williams and Steve Martin. … Read More
Also in 1988, Nichols made the film Heartburn starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson, which received mixed reviews.


1999 - 2010 2 More Events
2012 80 Years Old In 2012, Nichols won the Best Direction of a Play Tony Award for Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.
2013 81 Years Old In April 2013, it was announced that he would direct Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz in a Broadway revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal. … Read More
2014 83 Years Old Nichols died of a heart attack on November 19, 2014, at his apartment in Manhattan. … Read More
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