HomeMovies and Shows‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ Actress Was 88 –

‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ Actress Was 88 –

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Louise Fletcher, the candy actress from Alabama who received an Academy Award for her flip because the heartless Nurse Ratched — some of the reviled characters in film historical past — in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, has died. She was 88. 

Fletcher died Friday of pure causes at her dwelling in Montdurausse, France, her son Andrew Bick advised . She had survived two bouts with breast most cancers.

A daughter of deaf mother and father — she made some of the touching acceptance speeches in Oscar historical past — Fletcher additionally starred as a psychiatrist in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) and performed reverse Peter Falk amid the star-studded ensemble in The Cheap Detective (1978).

On tv, she portrayed the non secular chief Kai Winn Adami on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and obtained Emmy nominations in 1996 and 2004 for her guest-starring stints on Picket Fences and Joan of Arcadia, respectively.

She extra lately performed William H. Macy’s meth-dealing mom on Shameless and appeared within the Liev Schreiber movie A Perfect Man (2013) and on the Netflix sequence Girlboss, starring Britt Robertson.

After spending greater than a decade away from present enterprise to lift her two youngsters, Fletcher returned to Hollywood and appeared reverse Keith Carradine and Shelley Duvall within the Robert Altman movie Thieves Like Us (1974).

Director Milos Forman, then casting 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest — primarily based on Ken Kesey’s 1962 e-book about life in an Oregon psychiatric hospital — noticed her in that film.

“He was watching it to look at Shelley Duvall to play one of the girls who comes on the ward on the party night, and there I was,” Fletcher recalled in a 2016 interview. “He stated, ‘Who is that?’ “

A yr later, after Anne Bancroft, Angela Lansbury, Geraldine Page, Colleen Dewhurst and Ellen Burstyn all rejected the prospect to play Nurse Ratched — many believing that the character was too impossibly depraved — Forman lastly gave Fletcher the half.

“I tried out for it many, many times,” she stated. “I didn’t realize that lots of other women were turning it down. They offered it to many movie stars who declined, luckily for me. To think, what if somebody else had said yes?”

In the movie, the icy Ratched humiliates her sufferers and revokes their privileges on a whim. When she will’t management a brand new arrival, Randle McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), she administers shock remedy on him, then has him lobotomized.

Fletcher knew her life had modified without end when she noticed Cuckoo’s Nest with an viewers for the primary time and noticed how individuals reacted to a scene during which McMurphy tries to kill her character.

“It was in Chicago, and it was a packed house,” she recalled. “When he strangles her, the audience stood up and yelled and cheered. Stood up. It was unbelievable. I was thrilled.”

On its 2003 record of the 100 best villains within the annals of movement footage, the American Film Institute positioned Nurse Ratched at No. 5, behind solely Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, Darth Vader and the Wicked Witch of the West. (Sarah Paulson lately revived the character in a Ryan Murphy prequel sequence for Netflix.)

After Fletcher heard her identify referred to as by presenter Charles Bronson and came to the stage on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to just accept her Oscar, she stated: “Well, it looks like you all hated me so much that you’ve given me this award for it, and I’m loving every minute of it. And all I can say is, I’ve loved being hated by you.”

She then paid tribute to her mother and father: “And if you’ll excuse me [using sign language]: for my mother and my father, I want to say thank you for teaching me to have a dream. You are seeing my dream come true.”

The second of 4 youngsters, she was born on July 22, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama, to an Episcopal minister, Rev. Robert C. Fletcher, and his spouse, Estelle. They had each misplaced their listening to after they had been youngsters, he when he was struck by lightning, she to sickness.

”If I fell down and harm myself, I by no means cried,” Fletcher told The New York Times in 1975. “There was no one to hear me.”

She was extraordinarily shy, and her mother and father despatched her to an aunt in Texas, the place she lived for elements of a number of years earlier than attending Ramsay High School in Birmingham after which graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1957.

She took a visit to Los Angeles with associates and determined to remain, working as a receptionist whereas taking performing lessons at night time with the acclaimed instructor Jeff Corey. (Robert Blake was a fellow pupil.)

After getting regular work on such tv exhibits as Bat Masterson, Lawman, 77 Sunset Strip, Wagon Train and Perry Mason, the 5-foot-10 actress made her big-screen debut within the warfare movie A Gathering of Eagles (1963), starring Rock Hudson.

She had son John in 1961, and whereas pregnant with Andrew a yr later, she determined to step away from the enterprise. She was married to Jerry Bick, a literary agent who would produce such movies as Altman’s The Long Goodbye (1973) and Thieves Like Us.

Fletcher stated she didn’t wish to seem in Thieves Like Us due to her husband’s involvement, however Altman insisted.

To put together for her position in Cuckoo’s Nest, Fletcher noticed group remedy periods at Oregon State Hospital in Salem, the place the film was shot. She spent 11 weeks on the facility through the making of the movie.

In her New York Times interview, she described Mildred Ratched: “She was so out of touch with her feelings that she had no joy in her life and no concept of the fact that she could be wrong. She delivered her care of her insane patients in a killing manner, but she was convinced she was right.”

Pauline Kael of The New Yorker referred to as her efficiency “masterful,” and the movie additionally received Oscars for finest director, image, actor and screenplay, a sweep matched solely by It Happened One Night (1934) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

Fletcher by no means approached such performing greatness once more.

The position of Linnea, the gospel-singing mom of two deaf youngsters in Nashville (1975), was created together with her in thoughts, however she and her husband had a falling-out with Altman, and Lily Tomlin obtained the half (and an eventual supporting actress Oscar nom).

Fletcher did seem in different motion pictures together with The Lady in Red (1979), Brainstorm (1983), Firestarter (1984), Invaders From Mars (1986), Flowers within the Attic (1987), Two Moon Junction (1988), Blue Steel (1989), The Player (1992) — again in good graces with Altman — Virtuosity (1995), High School High (1996), Mulholland Falls (1996), Cruel Intentions (1999) and A Map of the World (1999).

After she and Bick divorced, she made tabloid headlines by being romantically concerned with the much-younger Morgan Mason. (The son of British actor James Mason, he went on to marry singer Belinda Carlisle.)

Survivors embody her sons, Andrew and John, and her sister, Roberta.

Forever identified for enjoying Nurse Ratched, Fletcher noted in 2012 that she might not bear to observe herself in Cuckoo’s Nest. “I was really shocked in those scenes where I was actually so cruel,” she stated.

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