Milos Forman, 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' director, dies at 86

Forman won a Best Director Oscar for

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. "His departure was calm and he was surrounded the whole time by his family and his closest friends", she said.

After the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Forman emigrated to the United States, where he built a brilliant career in the movies.

"The Fireman's Ball", released in 1967, was a comedic film about a volunteer fire department's plans to host a big party going hilariously wrong, but also a seething criticism of Czechoslovakia's bureaucracy. He eventually studied direction at the Prague Film Academy. The film was a huge success, earning nine Oscar nominations and winning five - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress.

His next film, A Blonde in Love - inspired by a real-life incident in which Forman came across a young woman who had been duped and abandoned by a lover - established the free-wheeling, semi-documentary style that became his trademark in this period and made Forman a key figure in the burgeoning Czech new wave.

A year later, his next film,"The Loves of a Blonde", would be his first to receive global acclaim, earning an Oscar Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

This left Forman to be raised by foster parents who sent him to film school in Prague.

Forman returned to top form three years later, however, when he released "Amadeus".

In 1975, he rose to fame when he directed Hollywood blockbuster "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", an adaptation from a Ken Kesey novel. In fact, the film won six more Oscars and was nominated for three others.

Working with non-actors, Forman once revealed his strategy when making a film - the entire crew must have fun.

Forman, the anti-authoritarian director who left his native Czechoslovakia for creative freedom in the USA, was also known for two biopics - The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) and Man on the Moon (1999).

Jim Carrey, who played comedian Andy Kaufman in Forman´s "Man on the Moon" (1999) - a film that inspired Forman to name his twins James and Andrew - hailed Forman as "a force" and a lovely man.

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