Milos Forman, from orphan of Nazi camps to Oscar-winning director

14 April, 2018, 22:16 | Author: Norman Carr
  • Forman won a Best Director Oscar for

Here are key dates in the life of Czech-born United States film director Milos Forman, who died on Friday aged 86.

After struggling to find further work in the USA, he was eventually hired by producers Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz to direct their 1975 adaptation of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

When Soviet tanks rumbled into Prague in August 1968, Forman was in Paris for negotiations on his first American production and was sacked by his Czech studio, leading him to emigrate. Forman also earned an Oscar nomination for The People vs. Larry Flynt and won acclaim with another American biopic, Man on the Moon, about Andy Kaufman.

He was orphaned after his parents were taken to concentration camps.

"I have seen 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" enough times to be able to silently mouth along with the movie. The Czech native was 86 years old.

He's survived by spouse Martina, their twin sons Andrew and James, and two youngsters from a earlier marriage.


Forman, who was born in the small town of Caslav in 1932, moved to U.S.in the 1960s and became widely known for his humanism, dark humor, and fascination with rebellious characters.

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.

The winners included Jack Nicholson as lead actor, Louise Fletcher as lead actress, screenwriters Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben, Forman as director and the film itself for best picture.

His manager, Dennis Aspland, confirmed that he had been told by Forman's wife Martina that the director passed away on Friday 15 April after a short illness. It garnered Oscar nominations for the actor and Forman's direction. They were named after comedian Andy Kaufman and Jim Carrey, who played the part of Kaufman in "Man on the Moon".

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

A cigar-puffing cycling enthusiast who always retained a heavy accent, Forman was married to actresses Jana Brejchova and Vera Kresadlova.

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