Friday, November 21, 2014
mike nichols

After I read the news of Mike Nichols death, early yesterday morning....All I could think about was what a great and special man he was----so talented in every way----writer, director, actor.....an exceptional human being in every way----the loss to his dear dear wife and family----the loss to all of us-----especially those of my generation.


I remember Nichols and May.....what a team they were----How truly side-splitingly funny they were---how we all bought their recordings, wanting to savor forever their on-the-nose-humor where human foibles were concerned---that GREAT sketch where they were mother and son-----it was truthful and painful and hysterically funny, all at the same time.
And his incredible gifts as a Director-----winning 9 Tony's.  NINE!
A Grammy, a couple of Oscars and a couple of Emmy's, too......He was in that rarefied small group known as 'EGOTS'----people who had won the big four Awards given to those few people who have proven their talents in all the 'Arts'---Theatre, Movies, Music or Spoken Word and Television.....
I did not know Mike Nichols, though I spoke to him once, on the telephone---a funny story too long to go into here.....
But.....I felt like I knew him and more than that, that he knew me. 
His work---his choices of plays and films touched me deeply.


"Angels In America"; and epic life-changing work,  brought to the small screen by HBO....His love and attention and understanding of Tony Kushner's play spoke volumes to the heart and the head.
"Birdcage", a funny treasure of a film based on the French film, 'La Cage Aux Folles'....The casting was superb----Robin Williams and Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman and Diane Wiest among many other wonderful actors----
"Who'd Afraid Of Virginia Woolf", starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor----getting performances from them that were unforgettably memorable.....
He discovered Whoopi Goldberg doing stand-up in a small theatre in New York in 1984 and brought her to Broadway---making her "career".
The list goes on and on......films like "The Graduate", "Silkwood", "Catch-22" and on and on....He directed Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley on Broadway in "Barefoot In The Park", by Neil Simon.....and, again, Simon's "The Odd Couple" for Broadway, with Walter Mathau and Art Carney.....And another Neil Simon play, "The Prisoner Of 2nd Avenue", with my dear long-time friend, Lee Grant----I was at the Opening of that one, and on and on and on, gathering those 9 Tony's.....
It was Mike Nichols who brought "Death Of A Salesman" back to Broadway a few years ago, in a revival with Philip Seymour Hoffman......



When The American Film Institute honored Nichols with it's Life Achievement Award a few years ago, it was one of the most joyous evenings I have ever witnessed.  The love in that room for this true genius, and 'mensch' of a man, was palpable.....

I've watched all of those evenings since they began televising them-----this one was unique. The true feelings of love and respect and yes, awe, were undeniably real.
Authentic.
Brilliant.
Sublime.
He was all those things

Why do I feel such a loss?
He was such an enormous presence in my world of 'show business' for over 55 years.
We were all so lucky to have had him in this world in our lifetime.
Someone you thought would go on, forever.
His death is another reminder of the fragility of life, especially as I grow older.
Another person who touched my life in such a deep way.



And of course, for those who really did know him and loved him---his beloved wife and children and grandchildren----and those incredibly lucky people who worked with him....

Well.....I cannot even imagine their loss.

RIP, dear dear Mike Nichols. 
I thank you for touching my heart and my soul and for giving me so many wonderful and exciting experiences with your exceptional razor-like understanding and your unique talent, and for giving me unforgettable spectacular memories that have and will stay with me, forever.



More To Come..........


  







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20 Comments:
had this to say:

That is a truly beautiful tribute, Naomi. So sad that someone with such enormous talent is gone now.

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 10:17:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

A strong tribute, Naomi, and what a list of films! Many would be proud to have made one of the ones in your list.

Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 7:35:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Just a wonderful tribute Naomi. Earlier today I listened to that sketch about Mother and Son--it was perfectly funny. He and Elaine May were my favorite comedians when I was growing up and I was so sad when they split up. I use to incorrectly think they were married.
Everything I have read or heard was that he was not only enormously talented, but just a marvelous human being. He was a much loved person which is in my opinion, the greatest thing to be remembered by.

Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 10:39:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

this came as a total shock to me when it appeared on the news.. especially when it was David Muir who replaced Diane Sawyer on the "world news" who first aired it. They said it was sudden, it is always good to hear when someone doesn't suffer, but boy will Diane and his family ... hard to believe how fast we are loosing such creative and talented people.

Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 2:02:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You've had encounters with just about everyone! He had genius, that is for sure.

Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 9:39:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I have to admit I had never heard of him but I have heard of his work! I loved Birdcage, what a under rated film that was and Silkwood.

I'm sorry for yet another sad loss.

Monday, November 24, 2014 at 3:26:00 AM PST 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

Thank you for that lovely tribute Naomi. His is the sort of name that if one were asked for the ideal dinner companion he would have been near the top of the list although I don't really know what he himself was like - just admired his work.
I had actually forgotten that he directed 'Whose Afraid' and a play so close to my heart having twice directed it. Must be getting old:)

Monday, November 24, 2014 at 7:44:00 AM PST 

Blogger Lee
had this to say:

Mike Nichols certainly was a legend in the industry...stage and screen.

He gave us so many wonderful, memorable movies for which we will forever be grateful.

A talent that stood tall above others.

Thank you, Mike Nichols...and thank you, Naomi for a moving tribute.

Monday, November 24, 2014 at 1:42:00 PM PST 

Blogger Lee
had this to say:

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Naomi. I hope you enjoy your special day your way. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 11:52:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I am so sorry, Naomi!
Love Mike Nichols's films!
Just a beautiful tribute to a very talented person! Thanks for that post.

A Very Happy Thanksgiving to you, my dear Naomi! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 4:38:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I knew him in name and knew he was a heavyweight. I did notice that he always seemed to emit such joy and when I saw him and Diane together on tv I could see they loved each other. I feel bad for his family. What a shock and adjustment for them all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 7:38:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

A lot of fantastic movies. I think Birdcage was my favorite. I watch it again every so often.

Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 7:16:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

The news that I saw about him didn't begin to explain who he was or what he accomplished. I just learned so much more about him from reading your post, thank you for explaining his impact so much better than the news did.

Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 9:35:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Such a terrific talented man. Your tribute is so well written and I can feel your emotions – I could not add anything to your perfectly written post. When people have such great talent and are so loved, we forget that they will leave us someday, and it is a shock when they do.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 6:32:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I enjoyed reading this, Naomi. I have admired Mike for many years, and I remember him with Elaine May and how very funny they were.

Friday, December 12, 2014 at 9:56:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

A very heartwarming tribute, Naomi.
First I want to wish you a Happy Hanukkah.... and also wish you health and happiness for 2015.
An afterthought..... Have a quick look at my blog post about the Farm Equipment parade, there's a video there that you might like, just plug your ears!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 8:30:00 AM PST 

Blogger Lee
had this to say:

Naomi...I thought I'd pop in again...to wish you a very Merry Christmas....I hope you have a wonderful one...relax and enjoy it. And may 2015 treat you kindly. Take good care, my dear. :)

Monday, December 22, 2014 at 12:39:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Merry Christmas Naomi! I hope you're doing alright. Post when you can. I miss your posts.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 6:21:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Hi dear Naomi, I hope you are well. I know life is tough at the moment and I think of you often. I really enjoyed this post. What an incredible man he was and what a huge career he had. I had no idea he was married to Dianne Sawyer. Take Care and I sincerely hope 2015 is an easier one for you. Lots of love Lilly xxx

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 6:25:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I, too, first recall Nicols and May comedy routines -- so very very funny! He was a remarkable talented artist who well-deserved all the awards he received.

Your touching celebration of his life hit just the right note for me -- reminding me of all his creations -- what an impressive body of work! He will definitely be missed.

My erratic blogging is resuming a bit but, coincidentally, has encountered technical blips -- such is digital life it seems.

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 6:30:00 AM PST 

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