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Oscar-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest actor Louis Fletcher has died aged 88.ATN News

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Louise Fletcher, a late-blooming star, gives a flurry-over-ratcheted performance as the cruel and calculating nurse. Cuckoo’s nest Set a new standard for screen villains and won an Academy Award, dies at 88.

Fletcher died in his sleep surrounded by family at his home in Montdurausse, France, his agent, David Schall, told The Associated Press on Friday. No reason was given.

After years of putting her career on hold to raise her children, Fletcher was in her early 40s and relatively unknown when she was cast opposite Jack Nicholson in director Milos Forman’s 1975 film. Altman’s thieves are like us. Little did she know at the time that several major stars had turned it down, including Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn and Angela Lansbury.

“That was the last time I acted,” he recalled in a 2004 interview. “It wasn’t until halfway through the shoot that I realized the part had been offered to other actresses who didn’t want to appear so brutal on screen.”

FILE – Louise Fletcher stars in Shameless in Los Angeles, Jan. 5, 2012, posing at the premiere of the second season of the Showtime television series. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

It Happened One Night became the first film in 1934 to win Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Holding his Oscar at the 1976 ceremony, Fletcher told the audience, “Looks like you all hate me.”

Later, he addressed his deaf parents in Birmingham, Alabama, using sign language: “I want to thank you for teaching me to dream. You see my dream come true.

A moment of silence was followed by thunderous applause.

Later that night, Forman made an offhand remark to Fletcher and his co-star Jack Nicholson: “Now we’re all going to make huge failures.”

In the short term, he was right.

Forman’s next film, Hair, was a film version of the hit Broadway musical that failed to capture the appeal of the stage version. Nicholson directed and starred in Coen’s South, which is generally considered one of his worst films. Fletcher signed off on Exorcist II: The Heretic, a misguided take on the landmark original.

More than her male counterparts, Fletcher defied her age to find major roles in Hollywood. However, she continued to work throughout her life. His Cuckoo’s Nest films include Uncle Dracula, Dead Kids and The Boy Who Can Fly.

He received Emmy Award nominations for his guest roles in the television series Joan of Arcadia and Picket Fences, and reprized his role as Bajoran cult leader Guy Win Adami in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She played the mother of musical duo The Carpenters in 1989’s The Karen Carpenter Story.

FILE – Louis Fletcher accepts the Academy Award he won for his leading role in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” on March 30, 1976 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/File)

Fletcher’s career was also hampered by his height. At 5-foot-10, he was taller than his leading man and was immediately disqualified.

After graduating from North Carolina State University, Fletcher moved to Los Angeles to begin her acting career.

Working as a doctor’s receptionist by day and studying with famous actor and teacher Jeff Corey at night, she began getting day jobs on television series such as Wagon Train, 77 Sunset Strip and The Untouchables.

Fletcher married producer Jerry Pick in the early 1960s and had two sons in quick succession. She decided to put her career on hold to become a stay-at-home mom and was out of work for 11 years.

“I chose to stop working, but I didn’t see it as a choice,” he said in a 2004 interview. “I was forced to stay at home.”

She divorced Big in 1977 and he died in 2004.

In Cuckoo’s Nest, based on the novel by Ken Kesey, Nicholson’s character, RP McMurphy, is a delusional, small-time criminal who feigns insanity to get transferred from prison to a mental institution while participating in an experimental LSD program. Have to work very hard.

Once institutionalized, McMurphy discovers his psychiatric ward is run by Fletcher’s cold, imposing nurse Mildred Ratch, who keeps her patients tightly under her thumb. When the two clash, McMurphy takes over the ward with her bravery, leading to severe punishment from Ratchet and company, where she restores order.

The character was so memorable that he became the basis for the Netflix series Ratchet 45 years later.

Estelle Louise Fletcher was born in Birmingham on July 22, 1934, the second of four children. His mother was born deaf and his father was an itinerant Episcopal minister who lost his hearing when struck by lightning at the age of 4.

“It was like having immigrant parents who don’t speak your language,” he said in 1982.

The Fletcher children were assisted by their aunt, with whom they lived for a year in Bryant, Texas. He also taught them to read, write and speak, sing and dance.

It was those later studies that convinced Fletcher to act. He once said he was even more inspired when he saw Lady in the Dark with Ginger Rogers.

That and other films, Fletcher said, taught her that “if your dream is big enough, it can become a reality.”

“I learned from the movies that I didn’t have to stay in Birmingham and be like everyone else,” he used to say.

Fletcher’s death was first reported by Deadline.

He has two sons, John and Andrew Pick.


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