Milos Forman, renown director passes away at 86

Emmett Rice
April 15, 2018

Director Milos Forman, responsible for Oscar-winning films like "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Amadeus", died Friday in CT at the age of 86.

He died on Friday in the United States after a short illness, according to his wife Martina.

His manager, Dennis Aspland, confirmed his death was at a hospital near his home in Warren, Conn.

Larry Karaszewski, who co-wrote "Man on the Moon" and "The People vs Larry Flynt" with Scott Alexander, called Forman "our friend and our teacher" on Twitter.

His films, such as 1964's "Black Peter" and the 1967 communist satire "The Fireman's Ball", were banned for a time in the former Czechoslovakia. It was also the first film in 40 years since Frank Capra's "It Happened One Night" (1940) to win awards in all major categories of the Oscars.

He moved to the US following his native country's "Prague Spring" uprising against the Communist regime in 1968; he became a USA citizen in the 1970s.

"I was used to seeing the Russian and Czech films about composers, and they were the most boring films", he said.

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"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.

Hunting for locations, Forman realized Prague was the only European capital that had changed little since Mozart's time, but returning there initially filled him with dread.

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.

Forman's first USA film "Taking Off" (1971) was also filmed with non-actors but failed to impress a non-European audience. "So it was satisfying to have people in other countries respond". With disdain for the communist bureaucracy that was now in power in his homeland, he chose to emigrate to NY.

Forman, who became an American citizen in 1975, continued his success in 1979 with Hair, based on the popular hippie Broadway musical, and E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime (1981), set in New York City in the early 1900s.

Forman is survived by his wife, Martina Zborilova-Forman, and four children.

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