Director Mike Nichols Dies at 83

Director Mike Nichols died suddenly on Wednesday evening, he was 83.

Nichols was among a select group of entertainers to receive Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards in his lifetime.

The director is survived by his wife of 26 years, former ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer, as well as three children and four grandchildren.

“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 GraduateWorking Girl, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf to CloserCharlie Wilson’s WarAnnieSpamalot,The Birdcage and Angels in America,” ABC News president James Goldston wrote in an internal memo Thursday. “Mike had a sparkling wit and a brilliant mind.”

Before his rise as a director in the “New Hollywood” era of the 1960s and early 1970s, with a run that included Carnal Knowledge and Catch-22, Nichols attained fame as half of the comedy duo Nichols & May alongside Elaine May. The pair formed in Chicago in the 1950s and by the start of the ’60s had produced several top-selling albums of groundbreaking improvisational sketches, touring and appearing often on TV and radio.

At the time of his death, Nichols was working on an adaptation of Master Class, Terrence McNally’s play about opera singer Maria Callas, for HBO. Oscar-winner Meryl Streep, a frequent collaborator, is set to play Callas