Miloš Forman, Amadeus and Man on the Moon Director, Dead at 86

Forman won a Best Director Oscar for

Forman won a Best Director Oscar for"The People v. Larry Flint

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.

His parents had died in a Nazi concentration camp when he was 9. His mother died at Auschwitz.

Taking Off was a flop on its release in 1970, and Forman suffered a breakdown, living in the rundown Chelsea Hotel in NY but determined not to return to Czechslovakia. The house was silent.

Forman's wife Martina told Czech news agency CTK that the beloved filmmaker died on Friday after suffering a short illness.

Forman first stormed onto the worldwide scene in 1964 with his film Black Peter, followed by The Loves of a Blonde in 1965 (which was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign-language film) and The Firemen's Ball in 1967. He also shot a film version, released internationally in 2009.

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"That is the only way to open the film to a certain kind of lightness", he said. The Firemen's Ball triggered an uproar amongst the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.

Facing a lot of trouble and possibly a prison term, Forman finally persuaded French producer Claude Berri to buy the rights to the film.

Forman's friends had questioned him about his decision to direct "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", a story they said was "so American" for a foreign director.

"Milos Forman has left us".

Milos Forman's eclectic filmography showcases Oscar-winning classics and an impressive range of interests, from historical figures to controversial themes, and always with a penchant for rebellious characters. "The Communist Party was my Nurse Ratched, telling me what I could and could not do; what I was or was not allowed to say; where I was and was not allowed to go; even who I was and was not".

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His next movie was "Hair" (1979), a musical pitting hippies against the Vietnam War, followed by "Ragtime" (1981). But it would be his work on the 1984 biopic Amadeus that took him back to the Oscars where he again won Best Director and the film won Best Picture.

Forman was born in 1932 in what was then called Czechoslovakia.

The director's first marriage, to actress Jana Brejchova ended in divorce. The Czech-born director is survived by his wife Martina and his four children, Peter, Matej, Andrew, and James.

"Man on the Moon", based on the life of cult hero Andy Kaufman, did win its star, Jim Carrey, a Golden Globe.

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