AMERICA'S FILM LUMINARIES GATHER TO PAY TRIBUTE TO ACCLAIMED DIRECTOR MIKE NICHOLS AT THE 38TH ANNUAL AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Gala To Air On TV Land On June 26th At 9:00 P.M. ET/PT
New York, NY, June 1st, 2010 - The American Film Institute and TV Land announced today that many of Hollywood's finest will be on hand to salute acclaimed and beloved film, television and stage director Mike Nichols when he receives the 38th AFI Life Achievement Award on June 10, 2010 on the historic Stage 15 at the Sony Pictures Studios. Warren Beatty ("The Fortune") and Annette Bening ("Postcards from the Edge"), Candice Bergen ("Carnal Knowledge"), Nora Ephron ("Heartburn"), Calista Flockhart ("The Birdcage"), Harrison Ford ("Working Girl"), Dustin Hoffman ("The Graduate"), Eric Idle ("Spamalot"), Shirley MacLaine ("Postcards from the Edge"), Elaine May ("An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May"), Mary Louise Parker ("Angels in America"), Natalie Portman ("Closer"), Kevin Spacey ("Heartburn"), Emma Thompson ("Angels in America"), and Robin Williams ("The Birdcage") join previously announced Cher, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep to celebrate Nichols' storied career. "TV Land Presents The AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Mike Nichols" premieres on TV Land on Saturday, June 26th at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Many of these luminaries participating in this gala event to honor their friend and colleague are also part of the AFI Benefit Committee for the tribute. Other members of the committee include Amy Adams, Whoopi Goldberg, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Steve Martin, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Robert Redford, Elizabeth Taylor and Sigourney Weaver.
HP and AT&T are the gala evening's sponsors and American Airlines returns as the official airline of the American Film Institute.
About Mike Nichols
Born in Berlin in 1931, Mike Nichols fled Nazi Germany at age eight. He was certified a genius at 12, became half of the hit comedy act "Nichols and May" in his twenties, was an acclaimed director of stage and screen in his thirties, conquered television and now, in his late seventies, remains a force equally at ease in all mediums. He is one of the few artists to have received the Oscar, the Emmy, the Tony and the Grammy.
After spending his adolescence in New York, Nichols attended the University of Chicago where he met Elaine May. The two writers developed the premier comedy act of the late 50s, performing in clubs, on TV and eventually on Broadway, where their show, "An Evening with Nichols and May" (1960) led to a Grammy-winning recording.
After they split, Nichols found a new collaborator in playwright Neil Simon, directing four hit Broadway shows "Barefoot in the Park," "The Odd Couple," "Plaza Suite" and "The Prisoner of Second Avenue" all Tony Award winners.
Having honed his craft on stage, Nichols moved to the big screen in 1966, when Elizabeth Taylor handpicked him to direct "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Despite studio objections, Nichols shot the film in stark black and white, occasionally using handheld shots to intensify the dramatic tension. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" was both a box-office and critical success, earning 13 Academy Award nominations, including one for each of the four actors as well as for Best Director.
Nichols' second film, "The Graduate" (1967), won him the Best Directing Oscar. He went on to direct an adaptation of Joseph Heller's "Catch-22" (1970), "Carnal Knowledge" (1971), "The Day of the Dolphins" (1973) and the period comedy "The Fortune" (1975). He returned to Broadway in 1977, staging two very different hits: the musical "Annie" and the drama "The Gin Game" with Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy.
In 1983, Nichols returned to features films with the biopic "Silkwood". Reuniting with both Streep and Nicholson in 1986, he helmed "Heartburn," an adaptation of Nora Ephron's best-selling novel, followed by "Working Girl" (1988), an adaptation of Carrie Fisher's semi-autobiographical "Postcards from the Edge" (1990), "The Birdcage" (1996) and "Primary Colors" (1998).
In 2001, Nichols returned to television directing Emma Thompson in an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "Wit" for HBO, earning Emmy Awards� for directing and producing. He followed up in 2003, producing and directing the six-part miniseries adaptation of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America" for HBO, which received 11 Emmy Awards. Then, in his triumphant return to Broadway in 2005, he won his sixth Tony as Best Director for the musical "Spamalot," based on the movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975). And in 2007, well into his seventies, Nichols returned to features to direct "Charlie Wilson's War".
About the American Film Institute
AFI is America's promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work, and to educate the next generation of storytellers. As a national, public-supported educational and cultural organization, AFI provides leadership in film, television and digital media and is dedicated to initiatives that engage the past, the present and the future of the moving image arts.
AFI preserves the legacy of America's film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, an authoritative and scholarly record of American films made from 1896 to the present, and the AFI Archives, which contains rare and previously unseen footage from AFI's 40-plus year history.
AFI honors the artists and their work through a variety of programs and special events during the year, including the annual AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI Awards. For 38 years, the AFI Life Achievement Award has remained the highest honor for a career in film while AFI Awards, the institute's almanac for the 21st century, honors the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year. AFI's 100 Years/100 Movies� series and definitive movie reference lists, as well as AFI Night at the Movies, have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers.
And as the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the United States, AFI offers film enthusiasts a variety of events throughout the year, including AFI Fest presented by Audi, the longest running international film festival in Los Angeles; AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs, the largest documentary festival in the US; and year-round programming at the AFI Silver Theatre in the Washington, D.C. area.
AFI educates the next generation of storytellers at its world-renowned AFI Conservatory, offering a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines - Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. AFI also explores new digital technologies through AFI Conservatory curriculum and workshops and at AFI DigiFest, and showcases the work of young storytellers through AFI ScreenNation and emerging filmmakers through AFI Project: 20/20.
Additional information about AFI is available at AFI.com.
About the AFI Life Achievement Award
The highest honor given for a career in film, the AFI Life Achievement Award was established by the AFI Board of Trustees on February 26, 1973. It is presented to a single honoree each year based on the following criteria as mandated through a resolution passed by the AFI Board of Trustees: "The recipient should be one whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art; whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time."
2010 AFI Life Achievement Award honoree Mike Nichols joins an esteemed group of individuals who have been chosen for this distinguished honor since its inception in 1973: John Ford (1973), James Cagney (1974), Orson Welles (1975), William Wyler (1976), Bette Davis (1977), Henry Fonda (1978), Alfred Hitchcock (1979), James Stewart (1980), Fred Astaire (1981), Frank Capra (1982), John Huston (1983), Lillian Gish (1984), Gene Kelly (1985), Billy Wilder (1986), Barbara Stanwyck (1987), Jack Lemmon (1988), Gregory Peck (1989), Sir David Lean (1990), Kirk Douglas (1991), Sidney Poitier (1992), Elizabeth Taylor (1993), Jack Nicholson (1994), Steven Spielberg (1995), Clint Eastwood (1996), Martin Scorsese (1997), Robert Wise (1998), Dustin Hoffman (1999), Harrison Ford (2000), Barbra Streisand (2001), Tom Hanks (2002), Robert De Niro (2003), Meryl Streep (2004), George Lucas (2005), Sean Connery (2006), Al Pacino (2007), Warren Beatty (2008) and Michael Douglas (2009)
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