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Mike Nichols

February 17, 1997

Nichols was born Michael Peschkowsky in Berlin, on November 6, 1931. He gained his fame in the late 1950's, when he teamed with Elaine May to become one of the most popular comedy teams of all time. Many of their classic bits would influence much of his later screen work. His first directing jobs were on Broadway, were he directed the Neil Simon plays Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple. After gaining acclaim in the theater, he gained attention in the film world for his film adaptation of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966). It drew a huge audience and virtually ended the outdated production code with it's frank treatment of adult themes.

In 1967, Nichols gained a huge box-office success with the comic tale of the differances between generations, The Graduate. The film made a star out of Dustin Hoffman and solidified Nichols reputation as a director. The next 16 years would contain a string of commercial and critical failures. Catch-22(1970) and The Fortune(1975) were his most noticable failures. Carnal Knowledge (1971) would be more succesful, in it's depiction of young lust and sexual awakenings. He returned in style in 1983, with the feminist drama Silkwood, about the life of the famed anti-nuclear activist.

His recent work has continued to show his amazing combination of deadpan humor and sensitive drama. Among the more noticable films, they include comedies such as Working Girl (1988), dramas like Regarding Henry (1991) and Heartburn (1986), the intelligent horror film Wolf (1994) and the brash comic remake of La Cage Aux Folles, called The Birdcage (1996).

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