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article imageAmerican legend, director Mike Nichols, dies of heart attack

By Marcus Hondro     Nov 20, 2014 in Entertainment
Mike Nichols, whose career spanned six decades and multiple mediums, died in his home in Manhattan yesterday at the age of 83. The American stage and film icon, and Tony and Oscar winner, is being mourned and praised today on social media.
A spokesman said that Nichols died Wednesday night, suddenly, of a heart attack and few other details are known; it is not known if his wife, broadcaster Diane Sawyer, was with him at the time of his passing. He was not known to be in poor health so his death was unexpected, making it all the more difficult for those who knew and worked with him. The praise coming out for Mr. Nichols and his career accomplishments has been effusive.
"An inspiration and joy to know, a director who cried when he laughed, a friend without whom, well, we can't imagine our world, an indelible irreplaceable man," actress Meryl Streep said in her statement.
"He has an eye and an ear and a heart for the truth," Natalie Portman told an interviewer. "He'll tell you something that suddenly seems obvious but that you'd never have come up with yourself, which is probably the definition of genius."
Actors and Mike Nichols: A who's who
Mr. Nichols was born into a Jewish family in Germany and came to the U.S. at seven to avoid the Nazis. He began his work life as part of a comedy duo with Elaine May and he is one of the few directors to move smoothly from the stage to film. His many theatre credits include 'Barefoot in the Park', 'Prisoner of Second Avenue', 'Uncle Vanya', 'Death of a Salesman' and 'Hurlyburly'. He won nine Tony awards.
Film credits include 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf', 'The Graduate', 'Catch 22', 'Silkwood', 'Heartburn' and 'Charlie Wilson's War'. He won the director's Oscar for 'The Graduate' (1968) and numerous Golden Globe awards.
The list of actors Mike Nichols directed is a who's who of the profession and spans decades; it is also too lengthy to produce here but worth the try.
Along with Streep, May and Portman it includes Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Orson Welles, Sandy Dennis, Buck Henry, Art Garfunkel, George Segal, Jon Voight, Richard Benjamin, Alan Arkin, Bob Newhart, Stockard Channing, George C. Scott, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Walken, Harrison Ford and Kevin Spacey.
He also worked with Melanie Griffith, Gilda Radner, Matthew Broderick, Olympia Dukakis, Alec Baldwin, Cher, Gene Hackman, Shirley MacLaine, Richard Dreyfuss, Rob Reiner, Annette Benning, Michelle Pfeiffer, Emma Thomson, Dennis Quaid, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Billy Bob Thornton, Jude Law, Al Pacino, Calista Flockhart and Robin Williams.
"Mike had a brilliant cinematic eye and uncanny hearing for keeping scenes ironic and real," fellow director Steven Spielberg said in a statement. "And in a room full of people, Mike was always the center of gravity."
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