FranceLouise Fletcher – who played “Flying over the cuckoo’s nest” – died at the age of 88 at her home in Montdurausse, on September 23.
Follow Guardian, David Shaul – the actor’s agent – announced her passing in the arms of her family. Above Hollywood Reporter, Andrew Bick – the actor’s son – said she died of old age disease. Before that, she underwent two treatments for breast cancer.
Fletcher won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1976 for her role as the evil head nurse Ratched in the film One flew over the cuckoo’s nest (Vietnamese title: Flying over the cuckoo’s nest) adapted from the 1962 novel of the same name. At the awards ceremony, Fletcher used sign language to thank her deaf parents and the audience who hated her role. “To my parents, I want to say thank you for teaching me to dream. People are seeing my dreams come true,” Fletcher said.
Estelle Louise Fletcher was born in 1934 in Birmingham, USA, the second child in a family of four siblings. She graduated from the University of North Carolina and moved to Los Angeles. From the late 1950s and early 1960s, she acted in about 20 television series. She married producer Jerry Bick in the early 1959, and had two sons, John and Andrew. She quit her job to take care of her children.
In 1974, Fletcher returned to the screen as a cold woman in Thieves Like Us co-produced by her husband Jerry Bick and Robert Altman. She was then chosen by director Milos Forman to play Fly over the cuckoo’s nest. Forman said: “I was surprised when Louise appeared on the screen. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She had a certain kind of mystery that I thought would be perfect for the role of the evil head nurse Ratched.”
Nurse Mildred Ratched has a gentle appearance but always uses all kinds of tricks to terrorize the spirits of the patients treated at Salem mental hospital. With absolute power and ruthlessness, Ratched makes the dreams of the people she imprisoned impossible.
Peter Bradshaw’s critic The Guardian commented that the nurse is one of the most hated characters in movie history because of her inhuman treatment of patients and can make ordinary people go crazy under her control.
She then played the lead role – psychiatrist Linda Blair – in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), workaholic scientist in Brainstorm (1983), the scary wife in Firestarter (1984), the benevolent hostess in the film 2 Days in the Valley (1996)… Fletcher and her husband divorced in 1977, with two children living with their mother.