Award-winning director Mike Nichols has died.
Nichols, the husband of ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer and father-in-law of CNN’s Rachel Nichols, passed away suddenly last night of a heart attack. He was 83. Sawyer and Nichols celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary earlier this year. Sawyer’s mother, Jean Sawyer Hayes, passed away just four weeks ago.
Nichols is one of a handful of people to win the EGOT — an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. And he did it long before the acronym became popularized. He won his Oscar in 1968 for “The Graduate.” In 2012, he won his 9th Tony for “Death of a Salesman,” with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in the lead.
ABC News president James Goldston announced the news in a note to staff this morning. “The family will hold a small, private service this week, and a memorial will be held at a later date,” Goldston writes. “Until then, please join me in keeping Diane, Mike’s children, grandchildren and their families in your thoughts.” Here’s the remembrance on “Good Morning America.”
The note from Goldston after the jump…
I am writing with the very sad news that Diane’s husband, the incomparable Mike Nichols, passed away suddenly on Wednesday evening. He was 83.
In a triumphant career that spanned over six decades, Mike created some of the most iconic works of American film, television and theater—an astonishing canon ranging from The Graduate, Working Girl, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff to Closer, Charlie Wilson’s War, Annie, Spamalot, The Birdcage, and Angels in America. He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic and was one of a tiny few to win the EGOT—an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.
No one was more passionate about his craft than Mike. He had recently been immersed in a new project for HBO to adapt “Master Class,” Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning play about opera legend Maria Callas. The project reunited him with Meryl Streep, one of his most frequent collaborators. She once said of Mike, “no explanation of our world could be complete and no account or image of it so rich, if we didn’t have you,” in hailing him as one of the essential artists of our time.
One of the world’s greatest playwrights, Tom Stoppard, said, “He is a giver. He’s good at comfort and joy. He’s good at improving the shining hour and brightening the dark one, and, of course, he’s superlative fun…To me he is the best of America.”
Mike had a sparkling wit and a brilliant mind. Beloved by so many in film, television and Broadway, there was no greater joy in his life than his family, and of course our own Diane Sawyer. A true and beautiful love story, Mike and Diane were married for 26 years. He leaves behind three children—Daisy, Max and Jenny—and four wonderful grandchildren.
I know many of you will want to share your condolences with Diane. The family will hold a small, private service this week, and a memorial will be held at a later date. Until then, please join me in keeping Diane, Mike’s children, grandchildren and their families in your thoughts.