Mike Nichols (born Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky; November 6, 1931 – November 19, 2014) was an American film and theatre director, producer, actor and comedian. In 1966, Warner Brothers invited Nichols to direct his first film, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The film garnered 13 Academy Award nominations, winning five. His next film was The Graduate in 1967, starring then unknown actor Dustin Hoffman, alongside Anne Bancroft and Katharine Ross. The film was another critical and financial success, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1967 and receiving seven Academy Award nominations, winning Nichols the Academy Award for Best Directing. Among the other films he directed were Catch-22 (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971), Silkwood (1983), Working Girl (1988), Wolf (1994), The Birdcage (1996), Closer (2004), and Charlie Wilson’s War (2007).