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DGA lifetime nod to Nichols

Helmer to receive guild's highest tribute

Mike Nichols has been tapped to receive the Directors Guild of America lifetime achievement award, making him the 31st filmmaker to receive the kudos.

The award, the guild’s highest tribute, will be presented to Nichols at the 56th annual DGA Awards Feb. 7 at the Century Plaza Hotel. Previous winners include Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Capra and John Ford.

“There is hardly an entertainment medium that Mike Nichols hasn’t pioneered and mastered,” said DGA prexy Michael Apted. “You can put any of these in front of his name with the word winner: Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Grammy. But it’s the absolute brilliance that he brought to feature film directing from day one — with his debut ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ followed a year later by his DGA- and Oscar-winning direction of ‘The Graduate’ — that propels us to honor his legacy to motion pictures.”

‘Class, intelligence’

Apted noted Nichols has directed films for 37 years “with class, intelligence and always good humor.”

The DGA honored Nichols with its Filmmaker Award at the 2000 DGA Honors. He also won the DGA Award for directorial achievement for his 1967 film “The Graduate,” for which he also won the director Oscar. He was nominated for both DGA and Academy Awards in 1966 for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and for his direction of “Working Girl” in 1988; he also received a director Oscar nom for “Silkwood” in 1983.

Nichols has won seven Tonys and two Emmys, plus a Grammy for his comedy performance with Elaine May. Other features include “Catch-22,” “Carnal Knowledge,” “Heartburn,” “Biloxi Blues,” “Postcards From the Edge,” “Regarding Henry,” “Wolf,” “The Birdcage” and “Primary Colors.” TV credits include “Wit” and “Angels in America.”

Nichols is a recipient of the 2003 Kennedy Center Honors and is chairman of the board of Friends in Deed, a nonprofit org providing support to those affected by life-threatening illness.

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