Milos Forman (18 February 1932 – 13 April 2018) was a Czech and American film director, screenwriter, actor, and professor who rose to fame in his native Czechoslovakia before emigrating to the United States in 1968. Forman was an important figure in the Czechoslovak New Wave. Film scholars and Czechoslovak authorities saw his 1967 film The Firemen’s Ball as a biting satire on Eastern European Communism. The film was initially shown in theatres in his home country in the more reformist atmosphere of the Prague Spring. However, it was later banned by the Communist government after the invasion by the Warsaw Pact countries in 1968. Forman was subsequently forced to leave Czechoslovakia for the United States, where he continued making films, gaining wider critical and financial success. In 1975, he directed One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) starring Jack Nicholson as a patient in a mental institution. The film received widespread acclaim and was the second in history to win all five major Academy Awards: Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor in Leading Role, and Actress in Leading Role.
In 1978, he directed the anti-war musical Hair which premiered at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival. In 1981, he directed the turn of the century drama film, Ragtime, which was known for its large ensemble cast. The film went on to receive eight Academy Award nominations. His next feature was a period biographical film, Amadeus (1984), based on the life of famed classical musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart starring Tom Hulce, and F. Murray Abraham. The film was both a critical and financial success earning eleven nominations with eight wins including for Best Picture, and another win for Forman as Best Director. In 1996, Forman received another Academy Award nomination for Best Director for The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996).
Throughout Forman’s career he won two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, a British Academy Film Award, a César Award, David di Donatello Award, and the Czech Lion.