Buck Henry
Jon Robin Baitz
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Ash Carter & Sam Kashner 
with Buck Henry and Jon Robin Baitz

discussing their book,

Life isn’t everything:
Mike Nichols, as remembered by 150 of his closest friends.

William Turner Gallery
Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90404 

$45 Reserved Section + Book
$20 General Admission Section

Sam Kashner is an editor-at-large at Air Mail and was for many years a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine. He is the author of Sinatraland, a notable book of both the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times and the acclaimed memoir When I Was Cool: My Life At the Jack Kerouac School and coauthor of the recent New York Times bestsellers The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Tragic and Glamorous Lives of Jackie and Lee and Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century.

Ash Carter is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in EsquireVanity FairTown & Country, and the New York Times. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.

Buck Henry is a screenwriter and actor whose screenplays include three films directed by his life long friend Mike Nichols,  in addition to, most famously, “The Graduate,” Buck wrote the screen adaptations for “Day of the Dolphin,” and “Catch-22.”  He has also adapted Joyce Maynard’s novel “To Die For,” which starred Nicole Kidman and a young Joaquin Phoenix, as well as Peter Bogdanovich’s “What’s Up Doc,” and “Heaven Can Wait, which he co-directed with Warren Beatty. Buck was also, along with Mel Brooks the creator of the wildly popular secret agent spoof “Get Smart,” which ran on NBC from 1965 to 1970. He was also an influential writer/ performer and host of Saturday Night Live in its early and most famously influential years.

Jon Robin Baitz’s plays include The Film Society, The Substance of Fire, Three Hotels, A Fair Country, Ten Unknowns, Mizlansky/Zilinsky, a new version of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler (Broadway,2001),The Paris Letter and Other Desert Cities, which along with A Fair Country, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in drama.  He is the creator of the hit ABC TV show Brothers & Sisters, which he also executive produced for the first two seasons, as well as the mini-series The Slap, for NBC.  His PBS film version of Three Hotels won a Humanitas Award. Other screenplays include The Substance of Fire based on his play, and People I know, which starred.. a Guggenheim, and NEA fellow, and American Academy of Arts & Letters Award winner, a founding member and a former artistic director of New York’s Naked Angels theatre company. His new play Faraway Friends will be produced next season at Lincoln Center Theater.     

Life isn’t everything: Mike Nichols, as remembered by 150 of his closest friends is an up close and personal portrait of a legendary filmmaker, theater director, and comedian, drawing on candid conversations with his closest friends in show business and the arts.

The work of Mike Nichols pervades American cultural consciousness―from The Graduate and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to Angels in America, The Birdcage, Working Girl, and Primary Colors, not to mention his string of hit plays, including Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple. If that weren’t enough, he was also one half of the timelessly funny duo Nichols & May, as well as a founding member of the original improv troupe. Over a career that spanned half a century, Mike Nichols changed Hollywood, Broadway, and comedy forever.

Most fans, however, know very little of the person behind it all. Since he never wrote his memoirs, and seldom appeared on television, they have very little sense of his searching intellect or his devastating wit. They don’t know that Nichols, the great American director, was born Mikail Igor Peschkowsky, in Berlin, and came to this country, speaking no English, to escape the Nazis. They don’t know that Nichols was at one time a solitary psychology student, or that a childhood illness caused permanent, life-altering side effects. They don’t know that he withdrew into a debilitating depression before he “finally got it right,” in his words, by marrying Diane Sawyer.

Ash Carter and Sam Kashner offer an intimate look behind the scenes of Nichols’ life, as told by the stars, moguls, playwrights, producers, comics and crewmembers who stayed loyal to Nichols for years. Life Isn’t Everything is a mosaic portrait of a brilliant and original director known for his uncommon charm, wit, vitality, and genius for friendship, this volume is also a snapshot of what it meant to be living, loving, and making art in the 20th century.