“There are so few heroes in our world. So few impeccable craftsmen, so few people who personify unconditional love and friendship. Mike Nichols was like no other. In every way he was remarkable and amazing,” the actress, 47, tells PEOPLE in a statement.
Roberts worked with Nichols in his last two directorial feats, Closer (2004) and Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), both of which earned Academy Award nods.
“His musings were like pearls, his jokes were timeless and perfectly placed, his stories – detailed and wholly entertaining, his warm embrace was where you wanted to live forever,” the statement continues.
“He savored life and friends and French macarons. He always, always told the truth. He loved Diane utterly, immeasurably, magically,” Roberts said of Nichols’s marriage to ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer.
“He was my most cherished friend.”
• Reporting by JD HEYMAN