Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Oscar-winning director of 'Cuckoo's Nest' and 'Amadeus' dies at 86

Oscar-winning director Milos Forman dies aged 86 after short illness Milos Forman has passed away aged 86
Michele Schwartz | 14 April, 2018, 22:15

Director Milos Forman, best known known for his work on Oscar-winning films One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, has died at the age of 86, his wife Martina has told the Czech news agency CTK.

After struggling to find further work in the US, he was eventually hired by producers Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz to direct their 1975 adaptation of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Forman, the anti-authoritarian director who left his native Czechoslovakia for creative freedom in the United States, was also known for two biopics - The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) and Man on the Moon (1999).

Forman was surrounded by his family when he died on Friday after a short illness, his wife was quoted as saying by Czech media.

Milos Forman poses during a photo call after being awarded for his contribution to cinema during the second edition of the Lumiere 2010 Film Festival in Lyon, eastern France.

Antonio Banderas, who has said he was inspired to become an actor when he watched Forman's 1979 musical Hair, described him as a "genius of cinematography and master in the portrayal of the human condition". Both his parents were killed in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, according to Forman's official biography.

An American citizen since 1977, the father-of-four returned to still-Communist Prague in 1983 to film Amadeus, which earned him a second Oscar for best director and won eight out of 11 nominations.

In a 2004 interview with the LA Times, Forman said, "When we started to make our films, they were really Czech films about Czech society and Czech little people - and who cares about Czech little people?" In 1965 he was for the first time nominated for the Oscars.

He remained connected to his birth country, filming "Amadeus" there.

A cigar-puffing cycling enthusiast who always retained a heavy accent, Forman was married to actresses Jana Brejchova and Vera Kresadlova.

"Man on the Moon", based on the life of cult hero Andy Kaufman, did win its star, Jim Carrey, a Golden Globe.

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