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After struggling to find further work in the US, 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. Most of Forman's most acclaimed work often dealt with well-known people with troubled personalities, such as Francisco Goya in Goya's Ghosts, Andy Kaufman in Man On The Moon, or Larry Flynt in The People Vs. Larry Flynt.

His wife confirmed the sad news of his death to the Czech news agency CTK on Friday. In 1976, Forman made a cinematic adaptation of Ken Kesey's 1962 novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Forman also served as the jury president at the Cannes Film Festival in 1985 and the Venice Film Festival in 2000. Forman became an American citizen in 1975.

The 86-year-old director died at dwelling within the Czech Republic "surrounded the entire time by his household and his closest pals.”".

- 1940: His parents, members of the resistance against the Nazis, are deported to the Buchenwald and Auschwitz concentration camps where they die.

Amadeus, starring Tom Hulce as Mozart, which was filmed in Forman's native Czechoslovakia, won eight Oscars, including best picture and director. Forman told Los Angeles Times in a 2004 interview.

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"I explained I wanted to make the film because to me it was not just literature but real life, the life I lived in Czechoslovakia from my birth in 1932 until 1968", Forman told the Directors Guild of America. In 1965 he was for the first time nominated for the Oscars.

"A director is little bit of everything, little bit of the writer, little bit of an actor, little bit of an editor, little bit of a costume designer", Forman once said.

The film was instant hit that solidified the director as a formidable force in Hollywood, and he later directed "Amadeus", "Hair", "Ragtime", and "The People vs Larry Flint".

The director's first marriage, to actress Jana Brejchova ended in divorce.

He was father to two sets of twin boys, with his second and third wives.