Elaine May Through The Years
Although she never
received a high school diploma, May audited classes at the University o Chicago at a time ( — ) when Mike Nichols and Susan Sontag were undergraduates.
May and Nichols were
members o Chicago’s Compass Players, a seedbed o improvisational comedy that lourished rom to . Other Compass members included Alan Arkin, Ed Asner, Shelley Berman, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Members o Compass went on to ound Second City.
In the late s,
“Teenagers,” a landmark work in the history o improv, made the reputations o Nichols and May in Chicago.
The duo conquered
New York with “Mother and Son” in . In the audience one night was comedy writer Woody Allen. He volunteered to write or them — only to be told that they wrote or themselves.
Then vice president
Richard Nixon introduced May at the Emmy Awards.
“A New Lea” was
May’s directorial debut. She also wrote and starred in it.
According to “Tootsie”
star Dustin Ho man, script doctor May “was the one who made the movie work.”
May on the inspiration or the ilm “Ishtar”: “Oddly enough, when I made this movie, Ronald Reagan was president and there was Iran-Contra, we were supporting Iran and Iraq. We put in Saddam. We had taken out the shah. Khomeini was there. I remember looking at Ronald Reagan and thinking: He’s rom Hollywood; he’s a really nice man. It’s possible the only movies he’s ever seen about the Middle East are the road movies with Hope and Crosby, and I thought I would make that movie.”
In May gave
an American Film Institute tribute to Nichols. And however ar-etched this seems, it is true that Nichols and Albert Einstein were distant cousins.
partner is Stanley Donen, director o “Charade” and “Singin’ in the Rain.” She bought him a dog tag, which he wears. It reads, “I ound, please return to Elaine May.”
WIKIMEDIA Nichols and May, in 1960
Dustin Ho man as ‘Tootsie’
Movie poster or ‘Ishtar’