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

Forman won a Best Director Oscar for

Czech filmmaker Milos Forman, whose American movies "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Amadeus" won a deluge of Academy Awards, including best director Oscars, died Saturday. Forman, also known for two biopics about controversial Americans - The People vs. Larry Flynt(1996) and Man on the Moon (1999) - died Friday in the USA after a short illness, according to his wife, Martina, who broke the news to the Czech news agency CTK. The CTK news agency quoted his wife Martina as saying Forman, who lived in the United States, died suddenly on Friday after a short illness.

In a 2008 interview with the Directors Guild of America, Forman recalls how he, as a newly arrived foreigner, was warned against taking on "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", as the Ken Kesey novel it was adapted from was deemed to be quintessentially American. His debut as director, Black Peter, about a teenager in his first job, incurred the dislike of the Communist authorities for its irreverent attitude, but after its prizewinning appearance at the Locarno film festival enabled Forman to continue directing.

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 of Forman's parents died in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and he wound up being raised by relatives before entering the Prague Film Academy. Aspland said Forman's wife, Martina, notified him of the death.

Forman's first U.S. film "Taking Off" (1971) was also filmed with non-actors but failed to impress a non-European audience.

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The Czech-born film-maker, who was 86, was one of a small number of foreign directors to enjoy lasting commercial and critical success in Hollywood.

Just two years later, Forman made "The Firemen's Ball", a satirical look at the country's communist regime. The movie won eight of its 11 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director for Forman and Best Actor for F. Murray Abraham. It was nominated for, and won, multiple Oscars, including Best Picture.

- 1958-62: Married to actress Jana Brejchova. They were named after comedian Andy Kaufman and Jim Carrey, who played the part of Kaufman in "Man on the Moon".

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