An iconoclastic American director, Mike Nichols came to movies after a successful live comedy career with partner Elaine May. Nichols's first splash was Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), which came along at a time when America was on the verge of a great liberalization of thought and cultural mores. With The Graduate in 1967, Nichols wittily examined youthful angst with the story of a freshly minted college grad who desires the daughter but beds the mother. Hollywood grew up in the mid-1960s, and Nichols was at the forefront.