Tributes: The Stars We've Lost

From Mike Nichols to Robin Williams to Philip Seymour Hoffman, we remember the personalities who've left us

MIKE NICHOLS

He was a movie director who amassed hit after hit with films like Working Girl, The Birdcage and The Graduate. But the Berlin-born Nichols – who in 1939 as an 8-year-old escaped Nazi Germany for New York with his Jewish family – was equally prolific on Broadway, where he scored nine Tonys for such shows as Angels in America and Death of a Salesman. Besides theater honors, the director, who was married to ABC newswoman Diane Sawyer, had the rare distinction of winning Oscar, Emmy and Grammy awards, too. His six-decade show-biz career began with a successful sketch-comedy collaboration with Elaine May but he eventually gave up performing for directing. Meryl Streep, who starred in Nichols's 1983 movie Silkwood and his 2001 Central Park production of the Chekhov play, The Seagull, said in a statement after his Nov. 20 death: "An inspiration and joy to know, a director who cried when he laughed, a friend without whom, well, we can't imagine our world, an indelible irreplaceable man."