Even though he was funny as shit he decided he wanted to get into serious filmmaking and theatre, and directed a string of critically lauded films and plays over the course of decades. The Graduate is probably his best-known film, but he also helmed Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Primary Colors, The Birdcage, the HBO miniseries Angels in America, Working Girl, and Charlie Wilson's War.
Nichols' personal life was as eventful as his career. He escaped Nazi Germany at age 9 to come to the U.S., and is a distant relative of Albert Einstein. Married four times, he wooed Diane Sawyer, fathered children, and thought horses were majestic.
The Graduate is a knockout study in ambivalence, the depressed edges of suburbia, and the folly of romanticism. It has the most perfect ending to any movie. Watch it some time soon to celebrate the great man who directed it.
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