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Mike Nichols honored with AFI lifetime award

June 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
For a change, director Mike Nichols got in front of the camera Thursday night. The American Film Institute is honoring him this year with its annual life achievement award and his friends came out to celebrate the moment with him. The 1967 film, "The Graduate," directed by Mike Nichols, has certainly earned its degree as one of the best loved films of the 20th century. It turns out that it has a special place in his wife's heart, too.

"I found a note once I had written to my mom saying, 'I'm going out to see a new movie called "The Graduate" and I've heard it's fantastic,' and of course, it was years before I ever met him,'" said Diane Sawyer.

Simon and Garfunkel performed their song from "The Graduate" at the tribute. Nichols has made 22 movies but he somehow never really kept count of all that work.

"It's surprising. It's like you've been growing this string along and you look back and you think, 'Oh, I brought everything with me,'" said Nichols.

Cher knew her role in "Silkwood" was a big deal. Nichols' films also include, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", "Working Girl," and more recently, "Closer," and "Charlie Wilson's War," both starring Julia Roberts.

Roberts appeared on stage to help salute Nichols. Longtime friends like Warren Beatty and John Goodman were also present.

"I got to do theater and film with him so it was swell and I'm here to suck up to him so I can do it again," said Goodman.

TV Land will air the AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Mike Nichols on June 26.

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