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Milos Forman, director of Oscar-winning Cuckoo's Nest, dies at 86

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Milos Forman

Orphaned at nine when his parents died in a Nazi concentration camp, Forman launched his directing career in his native land, then known as Czechoslovakia, earning two Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Film before moving to the US following the Warsaw Pact invasion of Poland in 1968. His early works Loves of a Blonde and The Firemen's Ball both scored "Best Foreign Film" nominations at the Academy Awards.

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is one of only three films to win what are considered the five most important Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay (adapted, in this case); the other two are "It Happened One Night" and "The Silence of the Lambs".

He received numerous awards, including a Directors Guild of America's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 for motion picture direction.

Forman was surrounded by his family when he died on Friday after a short illness, his wife was quoted as saying by Czech media.

In 1968 Milos fled Europe and settled down in the U.S. where he became an American citizen. You'll hurt yourself.' And I said, 'What are you talking about? At the time, Forman was in Paris, in negotiations for Taking Off, a US production about the youth protest movement.

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

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The director, who worked meticulously, spending months with screenwriters and overseeing every aspect of production, didn't release another film until 1979's Hair.

Later works included "Valmont" (1989), "The People vs. Larry Flynt" (1996), which garnered Forman another best director Oscar nomination, "Man on the Moon" (1999) and "Goya's Ghosts" (2006).

Milos Forman won his second best-director Oscar for "Amadeus" in 1985.

He remained connected to his birth country, filming "Amadeus" there.

Former collaborator writer and producer Larry Karaszewski, who worked on Man On The Moon and The People vs Larry Flynt, said Forman was "our friend and our teacher". He left his second wife, singer Vera Kresadlova, behind with the couple's twin sons when he left Czechoslovakia.

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