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Biography #2 (for Closer)

Mike Nichols is a legend in the entertainment industry, honored for his contributions to both stage and screen, in front of and behind the camera. He was recently honored by the Directors Guild of America with its annual Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contributions to the film medium over the past four decades. In September he received a Best Director Emmy for the HBO production Angels in America, which won a record 11 Emmys.

Nichols was born in Berlin, Germany in 1931 to a Russian father and German mother. His family immigrated to the United States when he was seven and he was brought up in New York City. He attended the University of Chicago where, together with Elaine May and Paul Sills, he founded the comedy group The Compass, later renamed Second City.

In 1957, the now legendary team of Nichols and May was formed. Starting at the Blue Angel in New York, they performed in nightclubs all over the country. Nichols and May created numerous television specials and appeared as guests on Omnibus, The Dinah Shore Show and The Jack Paar Show. In 1960, they brought An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May to Broadway, where it ran for a year. The show was still selling out when the team decided to end the run and pursue separate careers.

Nichols turned to directing, winning the first of seven Tony Awards for Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park. He went on to helm an unprecedented string of Broadway hits including The Knack, Luv (Best Director Tony), The Odd Couple (Best Director Tony), The Apple Tree, Plaza Suite (Best Director Tony), Prisoner of Second Avenue (Best Director Tony), The Gin Game (1978 Pulitzer Prize) and Streamers (New York Drama Critics Award). He directed successful revivals of The Little Foxes and Uncle Vanya and the U.S. productions of Comedians, as well as The Real Thing (Best Director Tony), Hurlyburly, Social Security, Waiting for Godot and Death and the Maiden.

As a theatrical producer, he presented Whoopi Goldberg on Broadway and won the Tony for his blockbuster show Annie. In 1987, Nichols received the George Abbott Award and in 1990 was honored by the American Museum of the Moving Image for his contribution to the film industry.

Nichols directed his first film, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, in 1966, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director, and for which Elizabeth Taylor won a Best Actress Academy Award. In 1967, he directed The Graduate, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director, the Directors Guild Award and the New York Film Critics Award. His subsequent films include Catch-22, Carnal Knowledge, Silkwood (Best Director Academy Award nomination), Working Girl (Best Director Academy Award nomination), Biloxi Blues, Postcards from the Edge, Regarding Henry and Wolf. He shared a nomination for Best Picture for James Ivory's Remains of the Day, on which he served as producer.

In recent years, he has reunited with former performance collaborator Elaine May who wrote the screenplays for Nichols' The Birdcage and Primary Colors.

Nichols directed Emma Thompson in the HBO Films production of Wit, which won him the 2001 Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special, as well as the Emmy for Outstanding Made for Television Movie. Nichols and Thompson also received the 2001 Humanitas Award for Best Screenplay for Wit.

His most recent triumph was the HBO two-part presentation of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic Angels in America, with Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson leading an ensemble cast, which won him a DGA Award for his directing and received 21 Emmy nominations (winning 11 including one for Nichols as Best Director). The production also received five Golden Globe awards.

Nichols will next direct a musical stage version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail entitled Spamalot.

Bio courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment for "Closer" (12-Dec-2004)


Biography #3

Mike Nichols is a multi-faceted leader in the entertainment industry who has been honored for his contributions to both stage and screen. His accolades include an Oscar(R) , an Emmy, seven Tony Awards and a Directors Guild Award.

Nichols directed his first film, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, in 1966, for which Elizabeth Taylor won an Academy Award(R) for Best Actress. The following year, he received the Oscar(R) for Best Director as well as the Directors Guild Award and the New York Film Critics Award for The Graduate, which propelled Dustin Hoffman to instant stardom and an Academy Award(R) nomination. The Graduate also garnered an Academy Award(R) nomination for Best Picture and, nearly three decades later, remains one of the seminal films of a generation. Known as an actor's director, Nichols has directed 15 performances cited for Oscar(R) nominations.

Nichols has gone on to direct numerous critically and commercially successful motion pictures including Silkwood and Working Girl, both nominated for Academy Awards(R) for Best Director, Catch 22, Carnal Knowledge, Heartburn, Biloxi Blues, Postcards from the Edge, Regarding Henry, Wolf and The Birdcage and Primary Colors, both of which were adapted by Elaine May.

Nichols was born in Berlin, Germany to a Russian father and German mother. His family immigrated to the United States when he was seven, and he was brought up in New York City. He attended the University of Chicago where, together with Elaine May and Paul Sills, he founded the comedy group The Compass, later renamed Second City.

In 1957, the now legendary team of Nichols and May was formed. Starting at the Blue Angel in New York, they performed in nightclubs all over the country. The team created numerous television specials and appeared as guests on 'Omnibus,' 'The Dinah Shore Show' and 'The Jack Paar Show.' In 1960, they brought 'An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May' to Broadway, where it ran for a year. Although Nichols and May continued to perform to sell-out crowds, they decided to end the run and pursue separate careers. Consequently, Nichols turned to directing.

He began directing for the stage, making his Broadway debut in 1963 with the Neil Simon comedy 'Barefoot in the Park.' Starring Robert Redford, the play earned Nichols the first of seven Tony Awards. Nichols went on to win Tony Awards as Best Director for 'Luv,' 'The Odd Couple,' 'Plaza Suite,' 'Prisoner of Second Avenue' and 'The Real Thing.'

Additionally, Nichols directed an unprecedented staging of hits that includes 'The Knack,' 'The Apple Tree,' the 1978 Pulitzer Prize-winning 'The Gin Game' and the winner of the New York Drama Critics Award, 'Streamers.' He also directed the highly successful revivals of 'The Little Foxes' and 'Uncle Vanya,' the U.S. production of 'Comedians' and 'Hurlyburly,' 'Social Security,' 'Waiting for Godot' and 'Death and the Maiden.' As a theatrical producer, Nichols presented 'Whoopi Goldberg on Broadway' and the smash Broadway musical 'Annie,' which received seven Tony Awards.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center honored Nichols for its 26th annual gala tribute in May 1999. In 1987, he received the George Abbott Award and in 1990 was honored by the American Museum of the Moving Image for his contribution to the film industry.

Nichols also teaches acting at the New Actors Workshop, a Manhattan-based school he founded in 1988 with George Morrison and Paul Sills.

updated 01-Jan-2000


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