Washington [US]September 25 (ANI): Oscar winner Louise Fletcher died at her home in France on Friday at the age of 88.
Louise Fletcher, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her unforgettable performance as Nurse Ratched in Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, died with her. The cult film, based on the novel by Ken Kesey, won five Oscars in 1976, including best picture and best actor for Jack Nicholson. It examined the repressive tendency of authority through the history of a psychiatric ward’s patients and staff, as reported by Variety.
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According to Variety, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was the first film in over 40 years to win all major awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay. It was a major box office success and earned four more Academy Award nominations.
Fletcher began her acting career in the late 1950s on episodic TV shows such as Lawman, Bat Masterson, Maverick, The Untouchables and 77 Sunset Strip. Fletcher was born on July 22, 1934 in Birmingham, Alabama to deaf parents; One of Oscar’s most memorable moments was when she accepted her Oscar in sign language.
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Fletcher became only the third woman to receive an Oscar, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe for the same performance after winning her Oscar. Because of Fletcher’s portrayal, Ryan Murphy-Evan Romansky’s 2020 Netflix series Ratched, which serves as a sort of prequel to the book and movie starring Sarah Paulson, needed only the word “Ratchet” to evoke the horror and cruelty that Fletcher had depicted decades earlier, according to Deadline.
Just a few years later, in 1993, she was cast in a recurring role as the wily Bajoran religious figure Kai Winn Adami on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, marking the beginning of a career revival. She guest-starred on Picket Fences in 1996, portraying the mayor’s estranged mother, who was another cold-blooded character (portrayed by deaf actress Marlee Matlin). Fletcher was nominated for an Emmy for being the mother who rejected her deaf daughter.
Fletcher’s guest appearance as an elderly music teacher in Joan of Arcadia in 2004 earned her another Emmy nomination.
Later television roles included appearances on Private Practice, 7th Heaven and Shameless (2011-2012), where she memorably returned as the meth-cooking jailbird mother of William H. Macy’s Frank Gallagher. Her last TV appearance was in the 2017 comedy girl boss on Netflix.
Jerry Bick, a film producer, and Fletcher were married from 1959 until their divorce in 1977. Her surviving family members are sons John and Andrew Bick, granddaughter Emilee Kaya Bick, sisters Roberta Ray and Edward Ray, and 10 nieces and nephews. (ANI)
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