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Mike Nicholsvia NBC News

Mike Nichols, director of The Graduate, dies at 83

The award-winning filmmaker passed away from a cardiac arrest

Celebrated film director Mike Nichols has passed away from cardiac arrest, ABC News announced in a statement. The award-winning filmmaker behind The Graduate and Working Girl was 83 years old. 

Nichols, who was born in Germany but came to the US as a 7-year-old, was one of only 12 people in the world to win all four major American entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Tony, an Academy Award and Grammy. 

ABC News President James Goldston described Nichols as a "true visionary" who had won "the highest honours in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic".

He added: "No one was more passionate about his craft than Mike. In a triumphant career that spanned over six decades, Mike created some of the most iconic works of American film, television and theatre."

Nichols begun his career as a comedian, winning a Grammy for best comedy album with his partner Elaine May. He then made the leap to Broadway, directing Robert Redford in the Tony-winning play Barefoot in the Park

He went on to direct Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the 1966 film Who's Afraid of Virgina Wolf?, which earned him his first Oscar nom. A year later, he gave Dustin Hoffman his breakout role in The Graduate. Nichols won his first Academy Award for the now iconic film. 

The film powerhouse went on to direct some of the most classic movies of the 20th century, including The BirdcageWorking Girl and The Remains of the Day. He also won three Emmy Awards for his work in television, including two for his adapatation of Tony Kushner's AIDS-era play Angels in America. 

Nichols is survived by his wife, ABC News presenter Diane Sawyer, his children Daisy, Max and Jenny, and four grandchildren.

Watch one of Nichols' most masterfully directed scenes, from The Graduate, below: