Friday, November 21, 2014 Mike Nichols, one of the most celebrated and successful film and stage directors in American history, died Wednesday night at age 83. Nichols directed some of American cinema’s classic films, including 1967’s The Graduate, for which he won the Academy Award for best director. Many of the acclaimed director’s celebrity friends and colleagues have written messages paying tribute to Nichols, including Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, whose music, including the hit “Mrs. Robinson,” made up the majority of The Graduate’s soundtrack. Simon issued a brief statement that reads, “My dear friend of 47 years. I love and admire Mike Nichols.” Garfunkel, meanwhile, had a more extensive professional relationship with Nichols, having acted in two films directed by Mike – 1970’s Catch-22 and 1971’s Carnal Knowledge. In his heartfelt homage, the singer wrote, “Aahhhh how I loved Mike. Truly. Deeply. He was the most sparkling man among us. Life will be different for us now. Earth will be a little duller. Mike Nichols is not alive.” Garfunkel’s tribute continues, “The self is a creation. Mike created an extraordinary star – so bright, so extremely clever – himself. When you were with him, he brought you up to your best smart self, and kept it light with humor. To act for him on camera was to glide on a liquid film of intelligence.” “Before each scene, Mike gave his actors a brilliant and subversive insight,” Garfunkel continued. “As you were stirred, he then got you with something really funny. In this state of transcendence, he walked away and said ‘roll camera.’ Now that he has truly ‘walked away’ the act of life is, for me, forever charmed.” Nichols is one of a select group of entertainers who have won the Academy Award, Emmy Award, Grammy Award and Tony Award, and received numerous other significant honors. His other directing credits include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Silkwood, Working Girl, Postcards from the Edge, The Birdcage and Charlie Wilson’s War. Nichols was married to ABC News journalist Diane Sawyer, whom he wed in 1988. Hit play to watch “The Graduate” video trailer.