Mike Nichols will receive the 38th AFI Life Achievement Award, the American Film Institute’s board of trustees chair Sir Howard Stringer announced over the weekend.

Nichols, a veteran comedian and creator of award winning film, TV and theatre, will collect the honour at a gala tribute in Los Angeles next summer.

The US director said he felt “very blessed”, adding: “I was watching The Graduate on my Blackberry last week and it really holds up.”

“Genius is a word oft overused in our world, but surely not in the case of Mike Nichols,” Stringer said. “His artistry has spanned the mediums of modern storytelling – movies, television and the stage – and his gifts across five decades continue to inspire artists and audiences alike.”

Nichols won the directing Oscar in 1968 for The Graduate, and his credits include Catch-22, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Working Girl, Silkwood, Closer, and Charlie Wilson’s War.