Hollywood is paying its respects to acclaimed director Mike Nichols. ABC reported that the 83-year-old award winner, and husband of former ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, died Wednesday from cardiac arrest.
Born in Germany in 1931, Nichols began his career on the stage before turning to film. After gaining fame as half of the comedy duo Nichols and May (with Elaine May), he directed on Broadway, including the premieres of such Neil Simon classics as "Barefoot in the Park" and "The Odd Couple." Nichols made his move to film directing in 1966 with “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” which was nominated for a whopping 13 Academy Awards and seven Golden Globes. The film ended up taking home five Oscars, but no Golden Globes. The following year he was back on the award circuit for “The Graduate,” which won one out of seven Oscar nominations, and four out of seven Golden Globe nominations.
In his more than 20 films as director, Nichols worked alongside Hollywood A-listers like Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Richard Burton and many more. Those who were involved in the director’s projects spoke out today about his loss:
Meryl Streep, 65, worked with Nichols on three projects – 1983’s “Silkwood,” 1986’s “Heartburn” and the 2003 miniseries “Angels in America.” The actress told People magazine in a statement that the director was “an inspiration and a joy to know,” and an “indelible, irreplaceable man.”
“House of Cards” actor Kevin Spacey first worked with Nichols in “Heartburn” as a “subway thief.” The 55-year-old then went on to star as Bob Speck in the 1988 comedy “Working Girl.” Spacey tweeted the following about working with the late director:
Mike Nichols gave me my start. A mentor, friend, colleague. One of the best observers of life. My thoughts are with Diane & his children.
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) Nov. 20, 2014
“The Newsroom” and “Dumb and Dumber To” star Jeff Daniels worked with Nichols on “Heartburn.” The actor, who played the role of Richard in the film, simply tweeted that the director was “one of the greats.”
One of the greats. #MikeNichols
— Jeff Daniels (@Jeff_Daniels) Nov. 20, 2014
Alec Baldwin, 56, played Mick Dugan in “Working Girl.” While the “30 Rock” alum didn’t release a statement on Twitter, he retweeted a post from the Alec Baldwin Foundation: “There’s one less truly brilliant director in the world today.” The tweet accompanied a link to a piece The New Yorker did remembering Nichols.
Melanie Griffith starred in Nichols' “Working Girl.” The 57-year-old posted a message on Twitter expressing how “grateful” she was for the chance to work with him.
Mike Nichols was an incredible man, an amazing artist, director. I am forever grateful that I had the great experience of working with him.
— Melanie Griffith (@MelanieGriffith) Nov. 20, 2014
Tom Hanks starred as Charlie Wilson in Nichols' final complete movie, 2007’s “Charlie Wilson’s War.” The 58-year-old actor posted the following message on WhoSay: “’Forward. We must always move forward. Otherwise what will become of us?’ So said Mike Nichols, who changed the lives of those who knew him, who loved him, who will miss him so … Hanx.”
John Goodman starred in Nichols' 2000 sci-fi comedy "What Planet Are You From?" and Nichols' 2001 stage production of Chekhov's "The Seagull." Per Deadline, Goodman, 62, released the following statement: "He made me feel as though I were a full partner or co-conspirator in finding clues to solve the puzzle; like a really slow Dr. Watson. It's hard to imagine a world without him."