Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols

Highest Rated: 100% Everything Is Copy (2016)

Lowest Rated: 17% The Fortune (1975)

Birthday: Nov 6, 1931

Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

A deft humorist and social critic, director Mike Nichols managed to skewer mainstream sensibilities in crowd-pleasing work throughout most of his career. Collaborating with such renowned writers as Buck Henry and original stage partner Elaine May, the theatrically trained Nichols excelled at adapting plays and novels for the screen, and eliciting superb performances from his actors.Born Michael Peschkowsky in Berlin, Nichols and his family emigrated to the U.S. in 1938, to escape the Nazis. Though his father's death several years later left his family poor, Nichols worked his way through college at the University of Chicago, where he decided to become an actor. After studying with Lee Strasberg in New York, Nichols headed back to Chicago, where he formed an improv group with several actors, including May and Alan Arkin. Their comic and critical sensibilities well matched, Nichols and May performed as a pair in the latter half of the 1950s, earning raves for their sharp, satirical routines. After their 1960 hit Broadway show, An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May, closed in 1961, however, they parted ways. Nichols began to direct plays in 1963, earning a sterling reputation for his work on a string of hits, including the Neil Simon comedies Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple. Not surprisingly, Nichols moved to films with an adaptation of a play, Edward Albee's scathing study of marital discord, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). Making the most of a screenplay by Ernest Lehman that left Albee's taboo-breaking profanity intact, crisp cinematography by Haskell Wexler, and the casting of glamorous marrieds Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor as the warring couple, Nichols scored a critical and box-office success. The film earned 13 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and acting nominations for the lead quartet, and won five. Nichols further staked his claim as one of the premiere avatars of Hollywood's new generation the following year with The Graduate (1967). Wittily adapted by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham, starring an unknown Dustin Hoffman, and directed with New Wave flair by Nichols, The Graduate's mordant portrait of youthful anomie and suburban sexual frustration spoke to late '60s disaffection with the Establishment, and the film became a landmark hit. Though The Graduate lost the Best Picture Oscar to In the Heat of the Night (1967), Nichols won for Best Director. Turning his attention from sex to war, Nichols seemed to be on target for another timely success when he and Henry decided to tackle Joseph Heller's sardonic anti-war bestseller Catch-22 (1970). Though Nichols and Henry managed to translate the book's surreal tone to the screen, and Alan Arkin proved an adept Yossarian, Catch-22 suffered in comparison to Robert Altman's pacifist farce M*A*S*H (1970) and became an expensive failure. Nichols quickly recovered with Jules Feiffer's acrid examination of male sexual gamesmanship, Carnal Knowledge (1971). Remarkable for its frankness (at least for Hollywood) and featuring career performances from Jack Nicholson, Art Garfunkel, Ann-Margret, and Candice Bergen, Carnal Knowledge became Nichols' third groundbreaking hit. Nichols' film career, however, was comatose by the late '70s. The bizarre yet touching dolphin conspiracy drama The Day of the Dolphin (1973) flopped; not even 1970s supernovas Nicholson and Warren Beatty attracted audiences to the maligned period comedy The Fortune (1975). Except for lensing comedienne Gilda Radner's Broadway show Gilda Live (1980), Nichols stayed away from movies for almost eight years. He made an auspicious return to film, however, with the social drama Silkwood (1983). A biopic about the life and mysterious death of nuclear whistle-blower Karen Silkwood, Silkwood garnered raves for stars Meryl Streep and a de-glamorized Cher, and earned five Oscar nods, including Best Director. Though he didn't win the Oscar, Nichols did earn his sixth Tony Awa


Highest Rated Movies



100% Everything Is Copy Actor 2016
70% Becoming Mike Nichols Actor 2016
67% Friends With Kids Executive Producer $5.7M 2012
No Score Yet Great Performances Actor 2010
No Score Yet Faces Of America Actor 2010
No Score Yet BreadCrumbs Director Screenwriter Actor 2009
82% Charlie Wilson's War Director $66.7M 2007
70% POV Actor 2006
68% Closer Producer Director $34M 2004
No Score Yet The Rutles 2---Can't Buy Me Lunch Actor 2004
91% The Kid Stays in the Picture Actor $1.4M 2002
83% Wit Executive Producer Director Screenwriter 2001
42% What Planet Are You From? Director Producer 2000
81% Primary Colors Producer Director 1998
65% The Designated Mourner Jack 1997
No Score Yet Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light Actor 1996
79% The Birdcage Producer Director 1996
60% Wolf Director 1994
95% The Remains of the Day Producer 1993
41% Regarding Henry Director Producer 1991
84% Postcards from the Edge Director Producer 1990
83% Working Girl Director 1988
81% Biloxi Blues Director 1988
47% Heartburn Director Producer 1986
No Score Yet The Longshot Producer Executive Producer 1986
No Score Yet The Gin Game Director 1984
74% Silkwood Producer Director 1983
No Score Yet Gilda Live Director 1980
17% The Fortune Director 1975
48% The Day of the Dolphin Director 1973
87% Carnal Knowledge Director Producer 1971
79% Catch-22 Director 1970
86% The Graduate Director 1967
95% Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Director 1966


No Score Yet Ghost Hunters
Executive Producer Director 2015
No Score Yet Killer Contact
Producer Executive Producer 2013
No Score Yet The View
Guest 2012
No Score Yet POV
Appearing 2007
90% Angels in America
Producer Executive Producer Director 2003


No quotes approved yet.