Oscar-winning director Milos Forman, best known for bringing One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus to the big screen, has died at 86 near his home in Connecticut. According to Variety, the director passed after a short illness according to a statement from his wife Martina to Czech news agency CTK. She noted that Forman’s “departure was calm, and he was surrounded the whole time by his family and his closest friends.”
The director earned two Best Director Academy Awards for Amadeus and Cuckoo’s Nest respectively but also earned several for Best Foreign Film before fleeing Czechoslovakia ahead of the 1968 Prague Spring. He would return to the country in 1983 while filming Amadeus but became a naturalized U.S. Citizen in 1977. Forman also became a professor of film at Columbia University, becoming the co-chair of the school’s film department in 1978.
Forman found continued success in the ’90s with films like Man On The Moon, the biopic of comedian Andy Kaufman starring Jim Carrey, and The People Versus Larry Flynt with Woody Harrelson in 1996. Larry Karaszewski, the co-writer of both films, was one of the many voices to share their thoughts on Forman following the news of his death. This includes James Mangold — who was mentored by Forman at Columbia — and others like Josh Gad and Edgar Wright sharing their thoughts about the late director: