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David Nichols, Visual Consultant on ‘Rocky,’ ‘Taxi Driver,’ Dies at 78

David Nichols
Courtesy of Ramsey Scott

David Nichols, a production designer and visual consultant on more than 20 films, such as “Rocky,” “Taxi Driver” and “Groundhog Day,” died on Wednesday in Taos, N.M., Variety has learned. He was 78.

Nichols had a 30-year career in the film industry, serving as a production designer, art director, visual consultant, writer and actor at various times. His work stretched across Hollywood films and on Broadway shows.

As a production designer, he worked on the 1993 hit comedy “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray. His other credits include “Gossip,” “Buddy,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “A Midnight Clear,” “Great Balls of Fire!” “The Serpent and the Rainbow,” “Hoosiers,” “Heartbreakers,” “Found Money,” “Testament,” “Swamp Thing” and “Longshot.”

As a visual consultant in the different art departments, he helped with Sylvester Stallone’s Oscar-winning movie “Rocky” and Robert De Niro’s “Taxi Driver,” which picked up four Oscar nominations. Nichols also appeared as an extra in a political rally in the Martin Scorsese film. He’s also credited as a visual consultant on “Waking the Dead,” “The Best of Times,” “Mean Streets” and “Boxcar Bertha.”

A celebration of Nichols’ life will be announced once the coronavirus pandemic conditions improve and shelter-in-place guidelines are lifted. Donations to animal support foundations can be made in his name in lieu of flowers.