Mike Nichols: American Masters

Production Biographies

Air date: 01/29/2016

Mike Nichols: American Masters

Premieres nationwide Friday, January 29 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)


Production Biographies


Elaine May


Elaine May began in Second City where she formed a successful comedy team with Mike Nichols. She earned a Drama Desk Award for her play Adaptation; wrote, directed and performed in A New Leaf; directed The Heartbreak Kid (the original); wrote and directed Mikey & Nicky and Ishtar; received an Oscar nomination for writing Heaven Can Wait; reunited with Nichols to write The Birdcage and Primary Colors (a BAFTA-winner); and worked with producer Julian Schlossberg on six New York productions. She has done other things, but this is enough.


Julian Schlossberg


Julian Schlossberg is an award-winning theater, film and television producer. For TV, he’s produced for HBO, AMC and PBS, including American Masters — Nichols & May: Take Two and American Masters: The Lives of Lillian Hellman. Plays produced by Schlossberg have earned many honors, including six Tony Awards, two Obie Awards, seven Drama Desk Awards and five Outer Critics Circle Awards, among them Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Fortune’s Fool. He also produced six of Elaine May’s plays: Relatively Speaking, Adult Entertainment, After the Night and the Music, Power Plays, Death Defying Acts and Taller Than a Dwarf. Widows’ Peak (New Line), In the Spirit (Warner Brothers) and the documentary No Nukes (Warner Brothers) are among his film production credits. He is also the founder of film production and distribution companies Castle Hill Productions, Jumer Productions Inc. and Westchester Films Inc., including features by Elia Kazan, John Cassavetes, Orson Welles, Woody Allen, John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock. With partner Danny Goldberg, Schlossberg founded Gold Castle Records, whose artists included Peter, Paul & Mary, Joan Baez and Judy Collins. His early career included positions at ABC and Paramount, and hosting the nationally syndicated radio program Movie Talk as well as its local television companion series. He is a native New Yorker and currently lives in Katonah, N.Y.


Michael Kantor

American Masters Series Executive Producer

Michael Kantor joined American Masters as the series’ executive producer in April 2014 during its 28th season on PBS. An Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, Kantor has worked on projects for PBS, HBO, Bravo and 20th Century Fox. His PBS series include Broadway: The American Musical (hosted by Julie Andrews), Make ’Em Laugh (hosted by Billy Crystal) and Superheroes (hosted by Liev Schreiber). Kantor also wrote, directed and produced the award-winning profile American Masters: Quincy Jones: In the Pocket, and served as executive producer of Give Me the Banjo with Steve Martin. He is president of Almo Inc., a company that distributes the American Film Theatre series, including Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance, starring Katharine Hepburn, and Chekhov’s Three Sisters with Laurence Olivier. Kantor has co-authored three books, served as a Tony nominator, and taught documentary filmmaking and producing at the School for Visual Arts in New York City. Kantor was born in New Haven, Conn., and lives in Scarsdale, N.Y.