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Oscar-winning director Milos Forman no more

15 April 2018

Forman died on Friday after a brief, unspecified illness, his wife, Martina Zborilova-Forman, told the Czech News Agency (h/t Variety).

Born in Caslav, Czechoslovakia in 1932, Forman emerged as one of he leading figures of the Czechoslovak New Wave during the late 1950s and early 1960s, where his credits included Loves of a Blonde (1964) and The Fireman's Ball (1967), both of which were nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.

He moved to the United States after the Communist crackdown on the "Prague Spring" uprising in 1968 and became a U.S. citizen in the 1970s.

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).

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- 1985: Earns second best director Oscar for his fictionalized biography of Mozart, "Amadeus".

His next movie was "Hair" (1979), a musical pitting hippies against the Vietnam War, followed by "Ragtime" (1981).

"We made two movies together and every day spent with him was a unique adventure", said Karaszewski, who wrote the screenplays for Forman's "The People vs Larry Flynt" (1996) and "Man on the Moon" (1999) together with Scott Alexander.

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.

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He was born Jan Tomas Forman on February 18, 1932, the youngest of three brothers, in Caslav, a town outside of Prague.

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

Forman's first United States film "Taking Off" (1971) was also filmed with non-actors but failed to impress a non-European audience.

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. Both of Forman's parents were killed in Nazi concentration camps.

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He was father to two sets of twin boys, with his second and third wives.

Oscar-winning director Milos Forman no more