Culture&Arts

Miloš Forman, director of 'Amadeus' and 'Cuckoo's Nest,' is dead at 86

Miloš Forman, director of 'Amadeus' and 'Cuckoo's Nest,' is dead at 86

The Czech-born director died in the US after a brief illness, his wife, Martina, told Czech news agency CTK, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Forman was born in the Czech town of Caslav on February 18, 1932. Forman immigrated to the United States and became a US citizen in 1975.

"No matter what subject or genre he tackles, Miloš finds the universality of the human experience in every story, allowing us - his rapt audience - to recognize ourselves within the struggle for free expression and self-determination that Miloš so aptly portrays on the silver screen", past DGA President Taylor Hackford said at the time.

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

This adaptation of Ken Kesey's classic novel brought Forman his first Oscar for best director in his sad yet bitterly amusing portrait of a sane prisoner transferred to a mental institution who meets a matron more twisted than any madness.

In 1983, Forman shot "Amadeus" with a U.S. crew in Communist-controlled Prague, earning him his second best director Oscar.

- 1999: Marries his third wife, screenwriter Martina Zborilova with whom he has another set of twin sons.

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With some trepidation, Forman returned to Czechoslovakia to make "Amadeus" because Prague was one of the few European cities that had been little changed since Mozart's time.

His parents had died in a Nazi concentration camp when he was nine.

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

Forman's first U.S. film "Taking Off" (1971) was also filmed with non-actors but failed to impress a non-European audience. "The Communist Party was my Nurse Ratched, telling me what I could and could not do; what I was or was not allowed to say; where I was and was not allowed to go; even who I was and was not".

"Amadeus" (1984), starring Tom Hulce as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, raked in 11 Oscar nominations and eight wins, including those for Best Picture and Director.

His other notable work included the rock musical "Hair" in 1979, "Ragtime" in 1981 and "The People vs Larry Flint" in 1996, which was nominated for an Academy Award that year.

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


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