Oscar Directors: Nichols, Mike–Oscar-Winner (The Graduate) Dies at 83

Mike Nichols, the acclaimed, Oscar-winning director of Broadway and movies, has passed away suddenly at the age of 83, according to ABC News.

Nichols was the husband of ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer. No cause of death was given.

Nichols created some of American film’s most popular works, including  “The Graduate” and “Working Girl.” He won awards for directing writing, producing and is among the few to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.

He had recently been involved in a new project for HBO to adapt “Master Class,” Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning play about opera legend Maria Callas. The project reunited him with Meryl Streep, one of his most frequent collaborators. She once said of Mike, “no explanation of our world could be complete and no account or image of it so rich, if we didn’t have you,” in hailing him as one of the essential artists of our time, according to a statement from James Goldston, president of ABC News.

Nichols was born in Germany in 1931. He arrived in the United States at the age of 7, after his parents fled the Nazis in Germany. He  graduated from the Walden School in New York City, and immersed himself in theater while attending University of Chicago in the early 1950s. He initially studied medicine, but joined a comedy group in Chicago and struck an alliance with Elaine May. The pair released three comedy albums between 1959 and 1962. The 1960 album “An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May,” won a Grammy for Best Comedy Performance.

Even so, Nichols may best be remembered for his direction of both Broadway plays and movies. He was the guiding force behind the Broadway production of Neil Simon’s“Barefoot in the Park” as well as “The Odd Couple. Among his films are “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “The Graduate.” He earned the Oscar for best director for “The Graduate.” Over a period of five decades, he also directed “Carnal Knowledge,”  “Silkwood,” “Working Girl,” “The Birdcage” and “Closer.” He earned his eighth Tony two years ago for a revival of “Death of a Salesman.”

He leaves behind three children—Daisy, Max and Jenny—and four grandchildren, in addition to his wife, Sawyer, to whom he was married for 26 years.