Tributes paid to One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest film-maker Milos Forman

Tributes paid to One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest film-maker Milos Forman

The two-time Oscar victor passed away following a short illness, his third wife Martina confirmed to Czech news agency CTK.

Forman first attracted global attention with features like "Black Peter", "The Loves of a Blonde" (1965) - an Oscar nominee for best foreign-language film and "The Firemen's Ball".

At his lowest point he was offered the chance to direct One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, another anti-authoritarian parable adapted from Ken Kesey's novel.

The 1975 film, which starred Jack Nicholson as a rebellious ringleader inside the institution, was a commercial and artistic breakthrough for Forman and swept the top honors at the Academy Awards, winning for best picture, best director, best actor and best actress (Louise Fletcher as the stone-hearted Nurse Ratched). Forman then had another huge success with Amadeus, a film version of Peter Shaffer's play about the rivalry between Mozart and Salieri; it won eight Oscars, including Forman's second for best director. His other notable films include "Hair", "Ragtime" and "Man on the Moon".

Actor Antonio Banderas was among those to remember the Czech-born film-maker, also known for Amadeus (1984), The People vs Larry Flynt (1996) and Man On The Moon (1999).

Forman was born in Caslav, Czech Republic, in 1932.

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

Married three times, Forman met his third wife Martina - a writer three decades his junior - in Prague in the 1990s. He also wrote and acted in several of his movies.

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.

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.

Valmont, Forman's 1989 adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, proved something of an anticlimax as another version, directed by Stephen Frears and containing a star-making performance from John Malkovich, had been released the previous year. His parents were killed in Auschwitz, and he spent much of his youth in a boarding school for war orphans. With the latter he had twins boys, Matej and Petr, before leaving Czechoslovakia.

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