'Cuckoo's Nest' and 'Amadeus' director Milos Forman dies at 86

'Cuckoo's Nest' and 'Amadeus' director Milos Forman dies at 86

"His departure was calm and he was surrounded the whole time by his family and his closest friends", Forman's wife Martina told Czech news agency CTK.

Forman's agent confirmed his death, multiple outlets reported, including CNN.

In an obituary on Twitter, Hollywood actor Antonio Banderas labelled the cigar-smoking director a "genius of cinematography".

Milos Forman's eclectic filmography showcases Oscar-winning classics and an impressive range of interests, from historical figures to controversial themes, and always with a penchant for rebellious characters. "RIP", the "Desperado" star said.

Born in Czechoslovakia, Milos, real name Jan Tomas Forman, graduated from the Prague Film Faculty of the Academy of Dramatic Arts, and won acclaim with films like Black Peter and Oscar-nominated The Loves of a Blonde and The Fireman's Ball, before fleeing Europe in 1968 to become an American citizen. After the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Forman emigrated to the United States, where he built a brilliant career in the movies.

This adaptation of Ken Kesey's classic novel brought Forman his first Oscar for best director in his sad yet bitterly amusing portrait of a sane prisoner transferred to a mental institution who meets a matron more twisted than any madness.

"He was a master film-maker - no-one better at capturing small unrepeatable moments of human behaviour".

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Forman would also receive the Best Director Oscar for 1985's Amadeus (another Best Picture winner), as well as a further nomination for 1996's The People vs. Larry Flynt.

"No one combined masterful storytelling with extraordinary images like Milos", tweeted British actor Cary Elwes.

He received numerous awards, including a Directors Guild of America's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 for motion picture direction.

"He had a attractive character and fantastic energy".

Milos Forman poses during a photo call after being awarded for his contribution to cinema during the second edition of the Lumiere 2010 Film Festival in Lyon, eastern France. "He said: "Tell the truth, that's all", Jacob tweeted.

Other notable films include 1979's "Hair", based on the summer-of-love Broadway musical, 1981's "Ragtime", 1989's "Valmont" and 1999's "Man on the Moon", a biopic of comedian Andy Kaufman starring Jim Carrey.