Forman was known for his fierce dramas, getting both explosive and nuanced performances out of his actors, specifically Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, a young Danny DeVito and Brad Dourif in his feature adaptation of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest about a mental patient played by Nicholson who challenges the hospital's status quo ruled by Fletcher's Nurse Ratched. The Movie earned five Oscar wins for best picture, director, actress, actor and adapted screenplay; the first five premium sweep since 1934's It Happened One Night.
The filmmaker was born on Feb. 18, 1932 in Caslav, Czechoslovakia. His mother died in Auschwitz and he was raised by family. Forman later learned that his real biological father, Otto Kohn, survived the Holocaust.
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