Steven Spielberg is among those mourning his friend and fellow filmmaker Mike Nichols—the Oscar-winning director of The Graduate, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Catch-22, Primary Colors, and Charlie Wilson’s War, who has died at the age of 83.
Spielberg, who has known Nichols for decades, released a statement calling Nichols “a friend, a muse, a mentor, one of America’s all time greatest film and stage directors, and one of the most generous people I have ever known.”
Actors usually end up sharing the screen with countless colleagues over a lifetime, but being a director is a solitary profession. One film typically has one filmmaker. But that community is just as tight-knit off set, especially since it is such a relatively small profession. Directors may not work together, but they all know each other.
The director of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Schindler’s List said seeing Nichols’ early work helped shape his own ideas about what filmmaking could be.