Louise Fletcher, whose Oscar-winning performance as the sadistic nurse was composed in 1975 flew over a cuckoo’s nest gave Hollywood one of its greatest villains and provided culture a portrait of bureaucratic evil that was so indelible that the character’s last name could carry a TV series 45 years later, having died Friday at his home in Montduras, France. Went. She was 88 years old.
Her death was announced by her family through agent David Shawl. Although no reason was specified, Shawl said she slept at the home, which she built from a 300-year-old farmhouse, surrounded by family. Earlier today, she told her family about their lovely home, “I can’t believe I’ve created something so meaningful for my own good.”
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Although forever associated with his most famous character, Fletcher enjoyed an acting career that spanned more than 60 years and included numerous appearances in both television and film. she had a recurring role Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Bajoran religious leader Kai Winn as Adami, and guest-starring roles picket fence And Zone of Arcadia brought Emmy nominations in 1996 and 2004 respectively.
Born July 22, 1934 in Birmingham, AL, to deaf parents—he used sign language in his Academy Award acceptance speech, one of the Oscars’ most memorable moments (see it below)—Fletcher played a role in the 1950s Finally started his acting career in such episodes. as a TV series Lawman, Bat Masterson, Maverick, The Untouchables And 77 Sunset Strip.
Similar roles followed at a steady clip during the 1960s, with appearances in Sugarfoot, Perry Mason And The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. She appeared in the film 1963 a gathering of eagles and, incidentally, in the 1974 thieves like us, directed by Robert Altman. It was his performance in the latter film that attracted the interest of director Milos Forman, who was in the process of adapting his film. One flew over the cuckoo’s nest, The 1962 Ken Kesey novel is set in a mental institution and focuses on the conflict between a man pretending to be insane to escape prison and a domineering head nurse who demands conformity and obedience at all costs.
with With Jack Nicholson set to star as anti-hero patient Randall McMurphy, Forman spent the better part of a year searching for a potential co-star who could hold himself against the actor, then riding high from success. Can do chinatown, The director reportedly proposed to Colleen Duhurst, Ellen Burstyn, Anne Bancroft and Geraldine Page, among others, before deciding to find her tyrant Mildred Ratched in Fletcher.
flew over a cuckoo’s nest It was an immediate critical and box office hit, and won the Oscars of the Year, winning awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Leading Actor, Best Leading Actress, and Best Screenplay, for the work of Lawrence Houben and Bo Goldman.
In winning her Oscar, Fletcher became only the third woman to win an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award for solo performance. His portrayal was so indelible that in 2020, the Ryan Murphy-Evan Romansky Netflix series Ratched —a prequel of sorts to the novel and film starring Sarah Paulson — would only need a one-word title to evoke the sense of fear and brutality conveyed by Fletcher decades ago.
The effect of the Oscar win was, she later recalled, exhilarating but fleeting. In a 1995 interview new York Timesshe advised that year’s winners to “just enjoy it; it’ll make you surprisingly happy for one night. But don’t expect it to do anything for your career.”
Fletcher, 60, said, “I got the Oscar when I was 41. If I was 23, it would have been hard to deal with. Hell, it was hard to deal with at my age. It was like throwing an explosive.” .
In the same interview, she recalled a prophetic comment made by the Czech-born foreman backstage at Oscar night. “Milos said, ‘Now we’re all going to make flops.’ it was true. i made heretic – Second the Exorcist – And it was a huge flop. Milos did rythm, and jack did [The] Missouri breaks up, That’s the Czech prediction. ,
Exorcist II: Heretic (1977) marked the beginning of a series of high-profile but less-than-successful films for Fletcher: cheap detective (1978), the lady in Red (1979), Brainstorm (1983), blue Steel (1990) and cruel intentions (1999), among others. In a more memorable role, she played the Ratched-esque mother of Karen and Richard Carpenter in the 1989 TV-movie. Karen Carpenter’s Story,
A career revival began a few years later, when, in 1993, she landed the recurring role of the devious Bajoran religious leader Kai Winn Adami. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In 1996 he guested picket fence As another cold-on-the-ice character, playing the estranged mother of the town’s mayor (portrayed by deaf actor Marlee Matlin). As a woman who rejected her deaf daughter, Fletcher earned an Emmy nomination.
Fletcher was nominated for another Emmy in 2004 for his guest appearance as an elderly music teacher. Zone of Arcadia.
Later TV roles included appearances on 7th Heaven, Private Practice and, from 2011-12 onwards, shameless, in which she memorably reprized herself as the meth-cooking jailbird mother of Frank Gallagher in William H. Macy’s. His last TV credit was in the 2017 Netflix comedy girlboss,
Fletcher was married to filmmaker Jerry Bick from 1959 until their divorce in 1977. He is survived by sons John and Andrew Bick; granddaughter Emily Kaya sold; sister Roberta Ray and brother-in-law Edward Ray; and 10 nieces and nephews.