'Cuckoo's Nest' and 'Amadeus' director Milos Forman dies at 86

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Forman died on Friday after a brief, unspecified illness, his wife, Martina Zborilova-Forman, told the Czech News Agency (h/t Variety).

Forman, a respected figure in the cinema redefined the world of film with this two films "The Loves of a Blonde" and "The Firemen's Ball" during the peak of the Czechoslovak New Wave in the 1960s.

In 1968, he moved from what was then Czechoslovakia to the United Sates after Warsaw Pact troops invaded the country to crush the "Prague Spring".

"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".

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).

In another adaptation, this time from an E. L. Doctorow novel and nominated for eight Oscars, Forman explored the roots of racism in the U.S. via an epic 1900s fresco set in and around NY following a black jazz pianist's experience of deep injustice and his radical rebellion, with fatal consequences.

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Forman was born in 1932 in what is now the Czech Republic.

"That is the only way to open the film to a certain kind of lightness", he said. Aspland said Forman's wife, Martina, notified him of the death.

Reports stated Forman made the film even after his friends continuously advised him against it saying the story was too American for a foreign director.

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

The director, who worked meticulously, spending months with screenwriters and overseeing every aspect of production, didn't release another film until 1979's Hair. His parents were killed in Auschwitz, and he spent much of his youth in a boarding school for war orphans. They were named after comedian Andy Kaufman and Jim Carrey, who played the part of Kaufman in "Man on the Moon". With the latter he had twins boys, Matej and Petr, before leaving Czechoslovakia.