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MiloŇ° Forman, the Czech-born director of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, has died at the age of 86.

Forman was born in the Czech town of Caslav in 1932; after the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, his mother died in concentration camps.

Forman recalled the last time he saw his father: when aged seven he was pulled out of class to see Forman senior escorted by two leather-coated members of the Gestapo. At the time, Forman was in Paris, in negotiations for Taking Off, a USA production about the youth protest movement. "I know exactly what this is about". And then she was gone. Forman's wife Martina confirmed of his demise that he passed after a brief illness.

He became an established foreign film director in the 1960s for "Loves of a Blonde" and "The Firemen's Ball", which were nominated for Oscars in the best foreign-language film category.

"That is the only way to open the film to a certain kind of lightness", he said.

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- 1968: Flees Czechoslovakia just before a Soviet crackdown on the Prague Spring uprising.

Milos Forman won his second best-director Oscar for "Amadeus" in 1985. "In any case, I had to change my working style", Forman said.

After struggling to find further work in the USA, he was eventually hired by producers Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz to direct their 1975 adaptation of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Forman helmed the adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel "Cuckoo's Nest" and it went on to become a critically acclaimed film in 1975.

"The Communist Party was my Nurse Ratched, telling me what I could and could not do".

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Forman's other films include Hair (1979), Ragtime (1981), Valmont (1989) and Goya's Ghosts (2006).

He returned to still-Communist Prague in 1983 to film Amadeus, which earned him a second Oscar and which won eight out of 11 nominations.

Jan Hrebejk, a leading Czech film director and a friend and former classmate of Forman's wife Martina, told Reuters news agency the director was a gifted storyteller and a great person.

Forman won a Best Director Oscar for "The People v. Larry Flint."

Forman was married to actresses Jana Brejchova and Vera Kresadlova, having twin boys with the latter. Two of them, twin sons named Jim and Andy, are named after Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman; Forman directed Carrey in "Man on the Moon", a biopic about Kaufman.

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"Man on the Moon", based on the life of cult hero Andy Kaufman, did win its star, Jim Carrey, a Golden Globe.


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