Milos Forman, Oscar-winning director is dead

Milos Forman, Oscar-winning director is dead

Forman passed away on Friday in the United States, where he lived, after a short illness, his wife, Martina, told Czech news agency CTK on Saturday. Forman immigrated to the United States and became a USA citizen in 1975.

Milos Forman poses after being presented with the "Giraldillo" award for his life-long career achievements at Sevilla Festival Film 2004.

"I was used to seeing the Russian and Czech films about composers, and they were the most boring films", he said.

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

After his first US film, 1971's Taking Off, flopped, Forman didn't get a chance to direct a major feature again for five years.

Forman is survived by his wife, Martina Zborilova-Forman, and four children.

With some trepidation, Forman returned to Czechoslovakia to make "Amadeus" because Prague was one of the few European cities that had been little changed since Mozart's time.

Writer and producer Larry Karaszewski, who made Man On The Moon and The People vs Larry Flynt with Forman, wrote: "Milos Forman was our friend and our teacher".

He was raised an orphan after both his parents died in concentration camps during World War Two.

Forman's Amadeus, a fictionalised biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, also swept the Oscars, fetching him his second best director trophy apart from registering seven other wins at the 57th Academy Awards. "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".

Forman, the anti-authoritarian director who left his native Czechoslovakia for creative freedom in the USA, was also known for two biopics - "The People vs. Larry Flynt" (1996) and "Man on the Moon" (1999).

Forman, who became an American citizen in 1975, continued his success in 1979 with Hair, based on the popular hippie Broadway musical, and E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime (1981), set in New York City in the early 1900s.

A cigar-puffing cycling enthusiast who always retained a heavy accent, Forman was married to actresses Jana Brejchova and Vera Kresadlova. They have twin boys.