Here are some facts about Mr. Nichols about which you might not know:
He was born Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky in Berlin. His father was of a wealthy family chased out of Russia by the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. On his mother's side young Mikhail could claim as a third cousin twice removed Albert Einstein.
The family left Germany and the Nazi purge of Jews in 1939 and finally settled in Manhattan where Mikhail's father, now named Paul Nichols, rose to be a successful doctor located along Central Park West.
The newly named Mike Nichols became a naturalized citizen in 1944.
While a medical student in Chicago in the early Fifties, Nichols was for two years the original host of "TheSpecial" on radio station WFMT. A mixture of recorded and live in studio performances of folk music and satire, this series is still heard today.
Also during his stay in the Windy City Nichols met the writer and Sixties activist Susan Sontag who would refer to Nichols as her "best friend."
Four of the nine Tony Awards Mike Nichols won in his lifetime were for directing the original productions of four Neil Simon plays: Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Plaza Suite and The Prisoner of Second Avenue. His last Tony was for directing the musical Spamalot.
Merrick Library has five films on DVD that contain the
directorial genius of Mike Nichols:
Angels in America (Emmy for Best Director, 2004)
Charlie Wilson's War (Nichols' last movie)
The Graduate (Oscar for Best Director, 1968)
Remains of the Day