REUTERS – Mike Nichols, a nine-time Tony Award winner on Broadway and the Oscar-winning director of films such as "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," "The Graduate" and "Carnal Knowledge," died on Wednesday at age 83, ABC News said.
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Nichols was married to Diane Sawyer, former anchorwoman of ABC's "World News Tonight" broadcast.
No director ever moved between Broadway and Hollywood as easily as Nichols. He also was one of the few people to win Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy awards in a career that first blossomed with a comedy partnership with Elaine May in the late 1950s.
"In a triumphant career that spanned over six decades, Mike created some of the most iconic works of American film, television and theater," ABC News President James Goldston said Thursday in a memo to news staff. "He was a true visionary."
Nichols was born Michael Igor Peschkowsky in Berlin, where his parents had settled after leaving Russia. He came to the United States at age 7 when his family fled the Nazis in 1939.
He grew up in New York feeling like an outsider because of his limited English and odd appearance - a reaction to a whooping-cough vaccine had caused permanent hair loss. As a University of Chicago student, he fought depression but found like-minded friends such as May.