Well known director Mike Nichols passed away on Wednesday, November 19. The death was confirmed by ABC News President James Goldston. According Goldston, the Nichols family will be holding a small private service this week. Nichols, who directed The Graduate and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?, is known for his wit and his penchant for brilliant dialogue as evidenced by his films and the plays that he worked on in the past. In 1988, Nichols married Diane Sawyer and they were together until his death.
Nichols and Sawyer met back in 1986 in the Concord lounge at the Paris airport. Nichols introduced himself to Sawyer, who was traveling with her mother. “I knew before he spoke, I knew before he was walking across the room,” Sawyer said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar last year. “I knew something was happening, and maybe it’s that beautiful hallmark. Cue the violins? But I knew my life was changing.” Nichols, who has been divorced three times prior to meeting Sawyer, was smitten right from the start.
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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nichols talked about the same encounter. “She was hiding in the lounge because she hadn’t done her hair or something. I found her and said, ‘You’re my hero.’ And she said: ‘No, you’re my hero. Do you ever have lunch?’ She wanted to interview me for 60 Minutes. I pretended that I was up for it, and we had about 14 lunches,” he said.
The couple never had any children together, but Sawyer helped raise Nichols’ children from a previous marriage. Throughout their 26 years of being married, the couple remained as romantic as ever. Sawyer told People, “He’s generous and adventurous and a little wild and utterly kind. It’s that combination of something you’re completely sure of and something dangerous and interesting. And he’s also the funniest man on the face of the earth.”