Mike Nichols, whose many accolades include the Academy Award for Best Director for The Graduate, died on Wednesday at 83.
The German-born comedian, writer and director made a name for himself across film, television and theater during his career spanning more than five decades. Nichols, who was married to ABC’s Diane Sawyer, directed a range of titles including the 1966 film Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the 1971 comedy-drama Carnal Knowledge and the 2007 biopic Charlie Wilson’s War.
He said in a 1996 interview with the Associated Press that, on advice from Orson Welles, he didn’t try to interpret common themes in his work. “Leave it to the other guys, the people whose whole job it is to do that, to make patterns and say what the thread is through your work and where you stand,” Nichols recalled being told by Welles. “Let somebody else worry about what it means.”