'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' director Milos Forman dies

Oscar-winning director Milos Forman no more

Oscar-winning director Milos Forman dies at 86: Czech media

Forman, who directed "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Hair", and "Amadeus", died suddenly in the USA after a "short illness", his wife Martina Zborilova told the Czech news agency CTK.

"I heard from (Forman's wife) Martina Forman very early this morning letting me know Milos passed away at Danbury Hospital near his home in Warren, Connecticut", Forman's friend and agent Dennis Aspland said.

Jan Tomas Forman, born in Caslav, Czechoslovakia, was raised by relatives after his parents' deaths and attended arts school in Prague. "Though he blossomed in exile in 1970s America, his memory of totalitarianism would forever be his muse", writes Gina Piccalo at the Los Angeles Times.

In the 1960s, he joined the New Wave of filmmakers standing up against the Communist regime in former Czechoslovakia, making himself famous with Black Peter, Loves Of A Blonde and The Firemen's Ball.

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", adapted from Ken Kesey's 1962 novel, dealt with life inside an OR mental institution.

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is one of only three films to win what are considered the five most important Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay (adapted, in this case); the other two are "It Happened One Night" and "The Silence of the Lambs". About a decade later, Forman again scored Academy Award success with Amadeus.

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He returned to still-Communist Prague in 1983 to film Amadeus, which earned him a second Oscar and which won eight out of 11 nominations. However, it took him two years to become a United States citizen.

His father, who had been a member of the resistance, died in the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald.

"That is the only way to open the film to a certain kind of lightness", he said. It was nominated for, and won, multiple Oscars, including Best Picture.

Never prolific, Forman's output slowed even more after Amadeus, and his three subsequent films were disappointments.

Forman's first wife was actress Jana Brejchova.

In 1999, he married screenwriter Martina Zborilova with whom he also had twin sons, Andrew and James. They have twin boys.

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