Mike Nichols Remembered by Hollywood Colleagues, Media Members

Steven Spielberg, Kevin Spacey, Ron Howard and more pay tribute to iconic director who left his mark in movies, television, theater and comedy

Last Updated: November 20, 2014 @ 3:08 PM

Hollywood and the media woke up Thursday morning to the sad news that legendary film director Mike Nichols died at the age of 83. The Emmy, Oscar, Tony and Grammy winner went into cardiac arrest Wednesday evening. News of his passing prompted many who knew him to share their fond memories of Nichols.

Fellow legendary director Steven Spielberg remembered his friend, issuing a statement:

“Mike was a friend, a muse, a mentor, one of America’s all-time greatest film and stage directors, and one of the most generous people I have ever known. For me, ‘The Graduate’ was life-altering — both as an experience at the movies as well as a master class about how to stage a scene. Mike had a brilliant cinematic eye and uncanny hearing for keeping scenes ironic and real. Actors never gave him less than their personal best — and then Mike would get from them even more. And in a room full of people, Mike was always the center of gravity. This is a seismic loss.”

“Good Morning America” paid special tribute to Nichols, who was married to long-time “GMA” anchor Diane Sawyer. Robin Roberts said of the couple: “They were an incredible and beautiful love story. Diane and Mike enjoyed entertaining and, when you were in their home, you often ended up on the floor and you’re looking up at Mike, his humor, his intellect, the stories. And I would watch Diane watching Mike and she would always say to me, ‘That’s my guy.'”

The anchors of “CBS This Morning” also paused to remember Nichols on Thursday. Gayle King said: “Our first thoughts of course are with Diane. You know when we first got the news and everybody knows Mike Nichols, how talented he was, how smart he was. We were saying on the air this morning that anyone who worked with him said their life was forever changed. So brilliant and so damn funny, that’s what I’ll remember about him.

“My first thoughts are with Diane,” Norah O’Donnell said. “Obviously a very tough, hard time for her and his family and you know, you look back at his career and I mean, what an entertainment icon. He won all of these awards, he won an Emmy, an Oscar, a Tony and a Grammy.”

HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler said in a statement to TheWrap: “Everyone overuses the word legend, particularly in our business.  But Mike was in a class by himself.  Brilliant, wise and a remarkable artist whose body of work for theater, film and television is simply unrivaled.  But more importantly, he was also a consummate gentleman.  The combination of all that talent and menschness won’t be found again anytime soon.”

Nichols directed the HBO miniseries “Angels in America” in 2003 and won an Emmy, a PGA and DGA Award for his work.

President and CEO of The Recording Academy, Neil Portnow also released a statement following Nichols’ death.

“Nichols’ knack for impeccable comedic timing paired with unmatched passion for his craft earned him a stellar reputation as countless high-profile stars longed to work with him,” Portnow wrote. “We have lost a brilliant member of our creative community, and our sympathies go out to his family, his friends, and all who have benefited from and have been moved by his extraordinary talent.”

Hollywood also shared their Nichols memories on Twitter after his death. Here are the reactions from those in the industry who were inspired by his work.