Mike Nichols

Renowned for making movies that satirize conventional American mores, Mike Nichols was born Nov. 6, 1931, in Berlin and came to the United States in 1938. Though he set out to be an actor, fate took him in another direction: In 1957, he teamed with Elaine May, and the duo toured the country with their clever nightclub routine.

When the duo split in 1961, Nichols turned to directing, bagging the first of seven Tony Awards in 1964 for "Barefoot in the Park." He transitioned to films in 1966 and garnered an Oscar nod for his groundbreaking directorial debut, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? His next effort, The Graduate (1967), not only became a runaway hit, it earned Nichols an Oscar for Best Director.

Nichols continued to blaze cinematic trails with Carnal Knowledge (1971) and later scored big with Silkwood (1983), Working Girl (1988), The Bird Cage (1996) and Primary Colors (1998).