2. He became part of the Compass Players (a predecessor of Second City) in 1955, joining Elaine May, Paul Sills, Shelly Berman and Del Close in the endeavor. Nichols & May launched as a comedy due in 1958.
3. Nichols & May’s 1960 An Evening with Nichols and May won a Grammy in the comedy performance category. (Frankly, I think some new Grammy categories should have been created just to honor this one recording. But I’m a bit obsessive.)
4. Nichols’ first job as a Broadway director was for the original production of Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, which ran an astounding 1,530 performances.
5. His first film directing job was not too shabby, namely Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. His second, The Graduate, didn’t turn out too badly either.
6. Nichols is an Arabian horse enthusiast and was a well known horse breeder for many years.
7. He has (so far) earned 7 Tony Awards for directing (for Barefoot in the Park, Luv and The Odd Couple (one award), Plaza Suite, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Real Thing, Spamalot and Death of a Salesman).
8. Nichols was the first film director to receive a $1,000,000 salary (for Catch-22).
9. He has said that when he emigrated to the U.S. as a child, he could only speak two English sentences: “I do not speak English” and “Please do not kiss me.”
10. Nichols is the only person who has won a Best Director Oscar prior to 1972 who is still alive. (Read into that what you may!)