Milos Forman, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest director, dies aged 86

Milos Forman, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest director, dies aged 86

Milos Forman, the Czech-born director who fled his home country in search of creative freedom in the USA and is most recognized for his Oscar-winning masterpieces One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and his screen adaptation of Peter Shaffer's play Amadeus, has died at 86.

Forman recalled the last time he saw his father: when aged seven he was pulled out of class to see Forman senior escorted by two leather-coated members of the Gestapo.

A year later, his next film,"The Loves of a Blonde", would be his first to receive worldwide acclaim, earning an Oscar Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. He also shot a film version, released internationally in 2009.

The winners included Jack Nicholson as lead actor, Louise Fletcher as lead actress, screenwriters Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben, Forman as director and the film itself for best picture.

Born Jan Tomáš Forman on February 18, 1932 in Čáslav, Czechoslovakia, Forman began his career in his native country before moving to the United States following the Prague Spring in 1968.

"In his films you can see the author", he said.

Former collaborator writer and producer Larry Karaszewski, who worked on Man On The Moon and The People vs Larry Flynt, said Forman was our friend and our teacher.

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In this file photo taken on October 09, 2009 Czech-born USA film director Milos Forman poses in Paris.

His humor and anti-establishment sensibility jelled best in his next feature, The Firemen's Ball.

The Czech government, realizing the money to be made by letting "Amadeus" be filmed in Prague, allowed Forman to come home, and the public hailed his return.

At the time, Forman was in Paris, in negotiations for Taking Off, a USA production about the youth protest movement. The smash movie won eight Oscars out of 11 nominations.

Later works included "Valmont" (1989), "The People vs. Larry Flynt" (1996), which garnered Forman another best director Oscar nomination, "Man on the Moon" (1999) and "Goya's Ghosts" (2006). The Czech-born director is survived by his wife Martina and his four children, Peter, Matej, Andrew, and James.

Milos Forman's eclectic filmography showcases Oscar-winning classics and an impressive range of interests, from historical figures to controversial themes, and always with a penchant for rebellious characters.

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