Oscar-winning Czech-born film director Milos Forman, known for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus,” has died aged 86, his agent told AFP on Saturday.
“I heard from (Forman’s wife) Martina Forman very early this morning letting me know Milos passed away at Danbury Hospital near his home in Warren, Connecticut,” Forman’s friend and agent Dennis Aspland said.
The Czech news agency CTK quoted Martina Forman as saying Forman died suddenly on Friday after a short illness.
“He passed away quietly, surrounded by his family and his closest people,” she said.
In an obituary on Twitter, Hollywood actor Antonio Banderas labelled Forman a “genius of cinematography.”
Born in the town of Caslav east of Prague on February 18, 1932, Forman lost both parents in Nazi concentration camps.
In the 1960s, he joined the New Wave of filmmakers standing up to the Communist regime in what was then Czechoslovakia, making himself famous with “Black Peter,” “Loves of a Blonde” and “The Firemen’s Ball.”
Shortly before the 1968 Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia, which put an end to a liberal period known as the Prague Spring, Forman moved to the United States via France.
– Cinema ‘genius’ –
His career overseas started with “Taking Off” in 1971, followed by “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” four years later, which brought Forman his first ‘best director’ Oscar.
An American citizen since 1977, Forman returned to still-Communist Prague in 1983 to film “Amadeus,” which earned him a second Oscar for best director and won eight out of 11 nominations.
“Milos Forman has left us. Genius of cinematography and master in the portrayal of the human condition. RIP,” Banderas wrote on Twitter.
“He was my dad’s best friend and we both looked up to him,” Czech director David Ondricek, the son of Forman’s cameraman Miroslav Ondricek, told the website of the DNES daily.
“He had a beautiful character and fantastic energy. People wanted to be near him, he was a fabulous story-teller and a kind man,” Ondricek added.
Gilles Jacob, former director of the Cannes Film Festival, said Forman had been the only director who proceeded from the New Wave to “great, popular American author films covered with Oscars.”
“He loved beer, tennis, Cannes. He said: ‘Tell the truth, that’s all’,” Jacob tweeted.
Forman’s other films include “Hair” (1979), “Ragtime” (1981), “Valmont” (1989) and “The People vs. Larry Flynt” (1996), which won him another best director Oscar nomination, as well as “Man on the Moon” (1999) and “Goya’s Ghosts” (2006).
Here’s how Mitch McConnell could lose his leverage to replace Ginsburg after November
WATCH: Trump reveals how he can manipulate Democrats to help him put Ted Cruz on the Supreme Court
President Donald Trump spoke about his plans for the Supreme Court during a Friday night campaign rally in Bemidji, Minnesota.
Trump took the stage before news was announced that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died and appeared to not know of the Supreme Court vacancy.
Trump explained to his audience why he had put Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on his shortlist for a Supreme Court nomination.
“I said, you know, I have to have someone that we’re going sure we get approved and the only one I could think of is Ted, because he’s going to get 50 Republican votes and he’s going to get 50 Democrat votes — they’ll do anything to get him out of the Senate," Trump said.
GOP senator blasted after immediately calling for vote on RBG replacement: ‘Only a ghoul would tweet something like this’
Embattled Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to move forward with a vote on whomever President Donald Trump nominates to replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the United States Supreme Court.
"This U.S. Senate should vote on President Trump's next nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court," McSally said.
McSally lost her 2018 bid for the United States Senate, but was appointed a senator anyway by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. Polls show her trailing Democratic challenger and former astronaut Mark Kelly.
As the race is Special Election to fill a vacant seat, Kelly could be sworn in as early as November 30 if he prevails.