Mike Nichols, a man known for his crackling wit as well as an Oscar-winning director who showed enormous versatility on stage and screen, died on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at age 83.
Nichols was born Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky in Berlin, Germany. His family fled to the United States piecemeal—his father first, followed by Nichols and his brother, then finally their mother. He spent his adolescence in New York and fell into theater while attending the University of Chicago, where he first met Elaine May after she criticized his acting in a play.
Together they formed the comedy duo Nichols and May, appearing on Broadway in 1960 in the indelible An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May. That would be the start of a storied career on the Great White Way, one that would result in eight Tony Awards. The latest came just two years ago, in 2012—more than five decades after his debut—for Nichols’ gut-punch mounting of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. READ FULL STORY