Milos Forman, from orphan of Nazi camps to Oscar-winning director

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The Oscar-winning director of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Milos Forman, has died at the age of 86. The film garnered five Oscar wins - including Forman's first for Best Director - and it would help reunite the filmmaker with his sons. The CTK news agency quoted his wife Martina as saying Forman, who lived in the United States, died suddenly on Friday after a short illness. His two most acclaimed films from that early period, "Loves of a Blonde" (1965) and "The Firemen's Ball" (1967), were both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

His debut as director, Black Peter, about a teenager in his first job, incurred the dislike of the Communist authorities for its irreverent attitude, but after its prizewinning appearance at the Locarno film festival enabled Forman to continue directing. He had been in Paris when the communists crushed the Prague Spring movement in 1968, and he hadn't bothered to return home, becoming a US citizen in 1975.

In a 2004 interview with the LA Times, Forman said, "When we started to make our films, they were really Czech films about Czech society and Czech little people - and who cares about Czech little people?"

The 1975 film, based on Ken Kesey's novel about a misfit who leads mental institution inmates in a revolt against authority, captured every major Oscar at that year's Academy Awards, the first film to do so since 1934's It Happened One Night.

He received numerous awards, including a Directors Guild of America's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 for motion picture direction.

His other notable films include "Hair" (1979), "Ragtime" (1981) and "Valmont" (1989). His biggest successes after "Amadeus" were two other films about colorful real-life characters: the Larry Flynt biopic "The People vs. Larry Flynt", and "Man on the Moon", about comedian Andy Kaufman.

"Several times before, I asked the Czech government to let my children come see me, and they never did".

The death of Milos Forman has triggered tributes to the iconic two-time Oscar-winning director from the film community in many parts of the world.

He remained connected to his birth country, filming "Amadeus" there. Larry Flynt, Man on the Moon and Goya's Ghosts.

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