November 28, 2014 at 05:00 AM EST

”It’s tough when we old potheads try to remember the exact chronology of things, but here’s the story of Mike Nichols: He’d been living with Simon & Garfunkel records while filming The Graduate, and he needed a song for the nervous, rhythmic scene at the end. I said, ”Paul has a trifle song we’re about to throw out called ‘Mrs. Roosevelt.”’ Mike seized on it. We polished the harmony and served it up as ”Mrs. Robinson.” Only an extraordinarily evolved, relaxed human being can point at a piece of reality and say, ”Wait! Stop right there. That is not a nothing. I declare that is a something.” But his intelligence allowed him to hang loose and make all these different, fabulous choices. I’m crazy about him. Ah, Mike, the golden boy. There’s never been anybody quite like him.” —Art Garfunkel, as told to Joe McGovern

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