Mike Nichols (born Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky; November 6, 1931 – November 19, 2014) was a German-born American film and theatre director, producer, actor and comedian. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
American society to me and my brother was thrilling because, first of all, the food made noise. We were so excited about Rice Krispies and Coca-Cola. We had only silent food in our country, and we loved listening to our lunch and breakfast.
Being with an insanely jealous person is like being in the room with a dead mammoth.
Everybody wants to be known. Everybody's a Kardashian.
I am drawn to the mystery of marriage. You can never know what the contract is between two people, and that is a very strong subject.
I asked a shrink: 'Everything is so great. Why am I still so angry?' He said, 'Anger doesn't go away.' I always thought it was kind of a good engine.
I came to love silence, because it's so rare, and it's now my favorite aural condition.
I still think that luck is what a lot of the good things come from. It's simply the luck of where you are, when.
I've learned that many of the worst things lead to the best things, that no great thing is achieved without a couple of bad, bad things on the way to them, and that the bad things that happen to you bring, in some cases, the good things.
It's the hardest thing on earth to like yourself, and then when you do, it's a catastrophe. I mean, the people I know who like themselves- I don't want to see them!
Limitations are inspiring: they lead to thinking, so I don't mind them.
Nerves provide me with energy... It's when I don't have them, when I feel at ease, that's when I get worried.
Never let people see what you want, because they will not let you have it. Never let anybody see what you feel, because it gives them too much power. You're probably better off not showing weakness whenever you can avoid it, because they'll go for you.
People, by and large, would rather be talking than listening.
That seems to me the great American danger we're all in, that we'll bargain away the experience of being alive for the appearance of it.
The only safe thing is to take a chance.
The reason that most British actors are better than most American actors in the end is that they don't make any money. At the very end of their lives, they get into a space movie and they make a lot of money, but until that happens, basically, they don't have bank accounts. They live from day to day.
The things that you saw earlier in your life generally have more power than the things you saw last week.
The whole point about laughter is it's like mercury: you can't catch it, you can't catch what motivates it- that's why it's funny.
There are absolutely almost perfect people who experience no guilt; they don't know what it is. They simply do what they need to do- or want to do- next. They see nothing wrong with it. They feel no guilt. They express no guilt. And it's not even certain what harm they do.
There's nothing better than discovering, to your own astonishment, what you're meant to do. It's like falling in love.
There's nothing in the American dream about character. It's a serious flaw.
Whether something is a success or not has never had much to do with what you do next.
You can always tell gifted and highly intelligent people as they always turn to the past. Any young person who knows anything that happened before 1980, or 1990, or 2000 for that matter, is immediately someone who is intelligent, probably creative, maybe a writer. Nobody who is drawn to the past and learning about the past is not gifted.
(November 6 is also the birthday of Zig Ziglar.)