Mike Nichols, the lauded director of “The Graduate,” died from cardiac arrest Wednesday evening. He was 83.
Known for his wit and comedic timing, his work succeeded on the big screens of Hollywood and on the stages of Broadway, and he is one of few that can boast winning an Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy. His career spanned five decades, and got its start in 1966 with “Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” But it was 1967’s “The Graduate,” which co-starred Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, that won Nichols his best-director Oscar.
At the time, Nichols hadn’t realized the impact the movie would have.
“It wasn’t until when I saw it all put together that I realized this was something remarkable,” Nichols said at a 2005 retrospective screening of the film.
Nichols was born in Berlin and fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938, and after a bad reaction to a whooping cough vaccination left him bald, Nichols wore wigs the rest of his life. He attended the University of Chicago, but later left to pursue acting in New York. He returned to Chicago in 1955, when he joined the performance troupe, the Compass Players, and began directing “Barefoot in the Park” a few years later. It won him his first Tony.
ABC News President James Goldston confirmed his death. The family will hold a private service this week, and will announce a memorial at a later time.