In Los Angeles Louise Fletcher, a late-blooming star who earned an Academy Award for her compelling portrayal of the cold-blooded Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” has passed away at age 88.
Fletcher passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Montdurausse, France, according to her agent David Shaul, who spoke to The Associated Press on Friday. The reason wasn’t stated.
Fletcher was in her early 40s and relatively unknown when filmmaker Milos Forman chose her for the role opposite Jack Nicholson in the 1975 movie. Forman had appreciated her work in director Robert Altman’s “Thieves Like Us” the year before. Back then, She was unaware that a number of other well-known actors, such as Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, and Angela Lansbury, had declined the role.
In a 2004 interview, she said, “I was the last person cast.” I didn’t understand the part had been offered to other women until we were halfway through filming because they didn’t want to seem so awful on screen.
After “It Happened One Night” in 1934, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” went on to become the first movie to win best picture, best director, best actor, best actress, and best screenplay.
It appears that you all hate me, Fletcher said to the audience while clutching her Oscar during the 1976 ceremony.
She continued, speaking and signing to her deaf parents in Birmingham, Alabama: “I want to thank you for educating me to have a dream. My wish is being fulfilled in front of you.
There was silence for a moment, then roaring applause.
Later that evening, Forman made the sardonic remark, “Now we will all make enormous flops,” to Fletcher and her co-star, Jack Nicholson.
He was correct—at least in the near term.
Next, Forman helmed the film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical “Hair,” but it fell short of the stage production in terms of appeal.
One of Nicholson’s poorest movies, “Goin’ South,” was both his directorial debut and his acting debut.
Fletcher agreed to work on the poorly thought out sequel to the iconic first film, “Exorcist II: The Heretic.”
Fletcher’s age made it far more difficult for her to land significant jobs in Hollywood than it did for her male peers.
She continued to work nonstop for the majority of the rest of her life.
She followed “Cuckoo’s Nest”