'One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest' director Milos Forman dead at 86

Director Milos Forman, responsible for Oscar-winning films like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus,” died Friday in Connecticut at the age of 86.

Forman was born in 1932 in what is now the Czech Republic. Relatives raised him after his mother and the man he then believed to be his father were killed in Nazi death camps. Later, Forman discovered that his actual biological father had survived the war and ended up in Peru.

After graduating from film school in Prague in the mid-1950s, Forman began his career writing and assisting on other filmmakers’ projects. He started directing his own movies in the mid-1960s.

He had an early success with “Loves of a Blonde,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1967.

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Director Milos Forman dies at 86
Czech director Milos Forman attends the opening ceremony of the 44th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary July 3, 2009. REUTERS/David W Cerny (CZECH REPUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT)
Czech director Milos Forman (R) and his wife Martina arrive at the opening ceremony of the 44th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary July 3, 2009. REUTERS/David W Cerny (CZECH REPUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT)
Former Czech President and playwright Vaclav Havel (L) and Czech director Milos Forman attend the public presentation of French writer Georges-Marc Benamou's latest book "Phantom of Munich" in French Institute in Prague September 22, 2008. REUTERS/David W Cerny (CZECH REPUBLIC)
French writer Georges-Marc Benamou (L) hugs Czech director Milos Forman as they arrive for a public presentation of Benamou's latest book "Phantom of Munich" in French Institute in Prague September 22, 2008. REUTERS/David W Cerny (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Former Czech President and playwright Vaclav Havel (L), French writer Georges-Marc Benamou (C) and Czech director Milos Forman arrive for a public presentation of Benamou's latest book "Phantom of Munich" in French Institute in Prague September 22, 2008. REUTERS/David W Cerny (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Russian director Alexey Mizgirev (L) receives The Jury award from Czech director Milos Forman during the closing ceremony of the 7th Marrakesh International Film Festival December 15, 2007. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante (MOROCCO)
Jury members of the Marrakesh 7th International Film Festival pose at the opening ceremony December 7, 2007. The jury members are (L-R) American actress Parker Posey, British actor John Hurt, French director Claude Miller, Moroccan director Hamid Benani, Czech director and president of the jury Milos Forman, French actress of Senegalese-Malian origin Aissa Maiga, Indian director and actor Shekhar Kapur, Spanish actress Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Russian director Pavel Lounguine. REUTERS/Jean Blondin (MOROCCO)
Czech director Milos Forman (C) with his wife Martina (L) and script-writer Jean-Claude Carriere arrive for the Czech premiere of Forman's latest film "Goya's Ghosts" in Prague January 31, 2007. REUTERS/David W Cerny (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Czech director Milos Forman (R) and U.S. actress Natalie Portman answer questions during a news conference before the Czech premiere of movie "Goya's Ghosts" in Prague January 31, 2007. REUTERS/David W Cerny (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Spanish actor Javier Bardem (L), U.S. actress Natalie Portman (C) and Czech director Milos Forman pose before a news conference before the Czech premiere of movie "Goya's Ghosts" in Prague January 31, 2007. REUTERS/David W Cerny (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Spanish actor Javier Bardem (L), U.S. actress Natalie Portman (C) and Czech director Milos Forman pose before a news conference before the Czech premiere of movie "Goya's Ghosts" in Prague January 31, 2007. REUTERS/David W Cerny (CZECH REPUBLIC)
U.S. director Quentin Tarantino (L), president of the Jury at the 57th Cannes Film Festival, smiles with Czech-born director Milos Forman after they received awards from the French Culture Minister, May 18, 2004. Forman was named chevalier of the Legion of Honour and Tarantino was named officer of Arts and Letters at the ceremony. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard JES/JV
American actress Courtney Love (R), film director Milos Forman (C), and actor Edward Norton (L) pose for photographers prior a press conference to present their film "The Peoples vs. Larry Flint" on Berlin's 47th International Filmfestival, February 15.
Czech-born film director Milos Forman smiles as he displays the "Golden Bear Award" during a ceremony at Berlin's 47th International Film Festival, February 24. His film "The Peoples vs. Larry Flint", a controversal film about the American pornography publishing king was awarded with the Golden Bear for the best film.
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: Director Milos Forman addresses the audience before the screening for his film, 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' during the Bryant Park Summer Film Festival 2011 at Bryant Park on June 20, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO)
US director Milos Forman (2nd R) receives from French actresses Dominique Blanc (L) and Emmanuelle Devos (C) an award for his contribution to cinema on October 9, 2010 during the second edition of the Lumiere 2010 Film Festival in Lyon, eastern France. Forman is the guest of honour at the city's film festival, which runs from October 4-10. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK (Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 24: Director Milos Forman speaks onstage at the The Film Society of Lincoln Center's 37th Annual Chaplin Award gala at Alice Tully Hall on May 24, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
ROME - OCTOBER 17: Milos Forman attends the 'After' Premiere during day 3 of the 4th Rome International Film Festival held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica on October 17, 2009 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
ROME - OCTOBER 23: Members of Jury Milos Forman, Senta Berger, Gabriele Muccino, Jean-Loup Dabadie, Gae Aulenti and Pavel Lungin attend the Official Awards Ceremony on Day 9 of the 4th International Rome Film Festival held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica on October 23, 2009 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
ROME - OCTOBER 15: (L-R) Jury members Pavel Lungin, Gae Aulenti, Jury President Milos Forman, Gian Luigi Romdi, Senta Berger, Jean-Loup Dabadie and Gabriele Muccino attend the Juries Photocall on Day 1 of the 4th Rome International Film Festival held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica on October 15, 2009 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)
Jury members Pavel Lungin, Gae Aulenti, Jury President Milos Forman, Senta Berger, Jean-Loup Dabadie attend the premiere of movie Triage presented in competition at the 4th International Rome FIlm Festival (Photo by Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 16: Director Milos Forman attend the 7th Directors Guild of America Honors at the DGA Theater on October 16, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Czech-born US film director Milos Forman poses on October 9, 2009 in Paris. As a special guest of the 11th European Cinema Festival, Oscar-winning Forman, 77, will present his earlier movies and the most famous ones, like 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', 'Hair' and 'Amadeus.' AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 16: *** EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE *** Director and honoree Milos Forman and wife attend the 7th Directors Guild of America Honors at the DGA Theater on October 16, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 15: (L-R) Martina Zborilova, film director Milos Forman, actor Michael Douglas, and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones attend the 'Milos Forman: A Retrospective' at the Museum of Modern Art February 15, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
Milos Forman (President of the Jury) attends the Jury photocall during the 7th annual Marrakech film festival. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 16: Chris Newman, Patrizia Von Brandenstein, F. Murray Abraham, Milos Forman, Tom Hulce, Michael Hausman, Nena Danevic, and Anne Gyory attend the Amadeus cast and crew reunion at the Academy Theatre - Lighthouse International July 16, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - JULY 16: Film director Milos Forman, two-time winner of the Academy Award, poses in New York, July 16, 2007. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 22: (L-R) Director Milos Forman and his wife Martina Zborilova with Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Festival Roxanne Messina-Cabtor and actor Danny DeVito attends the '47th San Francisco Film Society Awards Night Fundraiser' at the Ritz Carlton April 22, 2004 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 22: Director Milos Forman attends the '47th San Francisco Film Society Awards Night Fundraiser' at the Ritz Carlton April 22, 2004 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
Gary Ross, Danny DeVito, Chris Cooper, Roxanne Messina Captor Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Society, and Milos Forman (Photo by Arun Nevader/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 21: (L-R) Actor Ed Begley Jr., director Milos Forman, Pat York and actor Michael York attend An Academy Salute to Oscar-Winning Director Milos Forman at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, on April 21, 2004 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Giulio Marcocchi/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 19: (L to R) Meir Fenigstein, Founder and President of the Israel Film Festival, actor Matthew Modine and director Milos Forman attend the 19th Annual Israel Film Festival June 19, 2003 in New York City. (Photo By Steven Henry/Getty Images)
ITALY - AUGUST 30: Giuseppe Bertolucci, Andreas Kilb, Claude Chabrol, Milos Forman, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Samira Makhmalbaf in Venice, Italy on August 30th, 2010. (Photo by Eric VANDEVILLE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - SEPTEMBER 12: Actors Tom Hulce. F. Murray Abraham and Jeffrey Jones, actress Elizabeth Berridge and director Milos Forman attending the premiere of 'Amadeus' on September 12, 1984 at Loew's Tower East Theater in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Actor Michael Douglas, director Milos Forman and actor Karl Malden attend the Fourth Annual Eastman Kodak Company Second Century Award Salute to Milos Forman on October 3, 1990 at Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
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His satire “The Fireman’s Ball” was banned in Czechoslovakia in 1968 after the Soviets invaded and crushed any liberal strides the country had made. Forman immigrated to the United States and became a U.S. citizen in 1975.

That same year, he directed “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which won five Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture.

Forman would win another directing Oscar for 1984’s “Amadeus” and be nominated again for 1996’s “The People vs. Larry Flint.” His other notable films include “Hair,” “Ragtime” and “Man on the Moon.” He also wrote and acted in several of his movies.

Forman is survived by his four children.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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