According to Jack Nicholson's April 1972 Playboy Magazine interview, Nichols asked Nicholson and other cast members not to smoke marijuana while filming Carnal Knowledge (1971) on location in Vancouver, British Columbia, where cannabis was easily available. Nichols thought that it dulled an actor's performance.
Attended the University of Chicago.
Back in Berlin, Mike's father was part of a young intellectual circle that included Russian immigrants such as Vladimir Nabokov's sister and Boris Pasternak's parents.
Became a naturalized US citizen in 1944.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 704-710. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
Directed Postcards from the Edge (1990), which was written by Carrie Fisher and based on her relationship with her real-life mother, Debbie Reynolds. He later directed Closer (2004/I), with featured Fisher's on-screen Star Wars mother, Natalie Portman.
Directed 17 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances:Elizabeth Taylor, Sandy Dennis,Richard Burton, George Segal,Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft,Katharine Ross, Ann-Margret, Meryl Streep,Cher, Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver,Joan Cusack, Kathy Bates, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Taylor and Dennis won Oscars for their performances in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).
Father of Daisy Nichols (born in 1964), Max Nichols (born in 1974) and Jenny Nichols (born in 1977).
Fled from Berlin with his family in 1939.
Formed a comedy team with Elaine May, appearing in nightclubs, on radio and television and most notably at President Jimmy Carter's inauguration gala.
He is one of 7 directors to win the Golden Globe, Director's Guild, BAFTA, and Oscar for the same movie. He won for The Graduate (1967). The other directors to have achieved this are Milos Forman for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Richard Attenborough for Gandhi (1982), Oliver Stone for Platoon (1986), Steven Spielberg for Schindler's List (1993), Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain (2005), and Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008).
He was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 2001 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington D.C.
In April 2009, Nichols told The New York Times that when he came to the U.S. from Russia (in 1939, at age 7), he could speak only two English sentences, which were, "I do not speak English" and "Please, do not kiss me.".
Is a member of the Democratic Party.
Is one of the only 12 people who are an EGOT, which means that he won at least one of all of the four major entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. The other ones in chronological order are Richard Rodgers, Barbra Streisand, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, Liza Minnelli, John Gielgud, Audrey Hepburn, Marvin Hamlisch, Jonathan Tunick, Mel Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg. Barbra Streisand, however, won a Special Tony Award, not a competitive one, and Liza Minnelli won a Special Grammy.
Is the only person who won a best director Oscar prior to 1972 still living (January, 2009).
Lost much of his body hair in early childhood due to a bad batch of whooping cough vaccine.
Mike Nichols was the original choice to direct the 1976 film The Last Tycoon. He left the project because of creative differences with actor Robert De Niro.
One of 5 recipients of the 2003 Kennedy Center Honors; other recipients were James Brown, Carol Burnett, Loretta Lynn and Itzhak Perlman.
One of Directors Guild of America annual Honorees, 2000.