Milos Forman, 'Amadeus' and 'Cuckoo's Nest' Director, Dies at 86

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

Milos Forman, known for directing the classic films One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, has died at age 86, his manager tells NPR.

"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", his friend and agent Dennis Aspland said.

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

His films, such as 1964's "Black Peter" and the 1967 communist satire "The Fireman's Ball", were banned for a time in the former Czechoslovakia.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975).

"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".

He moved to the US following his native country's "Prague Spring" uprising against the Communist regime in 1968; he became a USA citizen in the 1970s.




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

Forman made his English-language debut with 1971's "Taking Off", and from there directed such films as "Hair", "Ragtime", and "Man on the Moon". "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?"

It would take some time for Forman to find his footing in Hollywood. "So it was satisfying to have people in other countries respond". College would allow him to pursue this passion and his travel to NY in the 1960s gave him the latitude he needed to make his films without censorship from communist authorities.

This left Forman to be raised by foster parents who sent him to film school in Prague.

He did not return to his homeland until 1983 when he filmed the multi-Oscar-winning Mozart biopic "Amadeus" there.

Forman is survived by his wife, Martina Zborilova-Forman, and four children. Their twin sons Andrew and James were named after Kaufman and Jim Carrey, who portrayed the madcap comic in Man on the Moon.

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