Oscar-winning 'Cuckoo's Nest' director Milos Forman dies at 86

Forman won a Best Director Oscar for

Forman won a Best Director Oscar for"The People v. Larry Flint

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

Forman died about 2 a.m. Saturday at Danbury Hospital, near his home in Warren, Connecticut, according to a statement released by the former director's agent, Dennis Aspland.

However, it was during the 1960s that Forman became a well-recognized film director for "Loves of a Blonde" and "The Firemen's Ball", both of which were also nominated for the Oscars in the best foreign film category.

Amadeus (1984), starring Tom Hulce as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, raked in 11 Oscar noms and eight wins, including those for best picture and director.

"That is the only way to open the film to a certain kind of lightness", he said.

"I explained I wanted to make the film because to me it was not just literature but real life, the life I lived in Czechoslovakia from my birth in 1932 until 1968", Forman told the Directors Guild of America.

He was raised an orphan after both his parents died in concentration camps during World War Two.

In August 1968 Czechslovakia was invaded by Warsaw Pact forces aiming to suppress Alexander Dubcek's liberalising reforms; Forman opted to stay in the United States, were he was joined by fellow director Ivan Passer.

He followed up his success in 1979 with a film adaptation of the hit musical "Hair", and then in 1981 with an adaptation of E. L. Doctorow's novel "Ragtime".

"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.

At the time, Forman was in Paris, in negotiations for Taking Off, a USA production about the youth protest movement.

Writer and producer Larry Karaszewski, who made Man On The Moon and The People vs Larry Flynt with Forman, wrote: "Milos Forman was our friend and our teacher".

Forman rebounded four years later with the iconic "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", which won five Academy Awards, including one for himself as director. 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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