Louise Fletcher, who earned an Academy Award for her portrayal of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, has died at the age of 88.
According to her agency, the American actress died at her house in the south of France.
Fletcher’s career spanned six decades, encompassing TV and movies, and she was most known for her role of Nurse Ratched.
Former coworkers and admirers praised the actress, calling her “absolutely wonderful.”
When she was cast as Nurse Ratched in 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Fletcher was a relative unknown. She began her acting career in the 1950s but took a decade off to raise her children.
Leading ladies such as Angela Lansbury and Ellen Burstyn all turned down the role.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was directed by Milos Forman and based on Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel of the same name. It was set and filmed in a mental institution in Oregon, USA.
The picture was a big success, earning several prizes and making many lists of the greatest American films of all time.
Fletcher’s vicious and cunning Nurse Ratched, a scary figure of institutional power juxtaposed against the individuality of Jack Nicholson’s Randle McMurphy, was central to the film’s appeal.
Nurse Ratched was ranked fifth in the American Film Institute’s list of the best villains, after only The Wicked Witch of the West, Darth Vader, Norman Bates, and Hannibal Lecter.
Fletcher won an Oscar in 1976 for her role, part of a rare clean sweep that saw the film also bag Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay.
A child of deaf parents, she thanked them for using sign language in her acceptance speech.
While her career never again hit the same heights, Fletcher had a recurring role in the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and gained Emmy nominations for guest-starring in Picket Fences and Joan of Arcadia, in 1996 and 2004 respectively.
She married producer Jerry Bick in the 1960s, before getting divorced in 1977. She is survived by two sons, John and Andrew.
Friends and fans shared tributes on social media.
Marlee Matlin, a deaf American actress who co-wrote Picket Fences with Fletcher, called her a “great actor” on Twitter, noting that she was the first to utilize sign language in an Oscar acceptance speech.
“It was an honor and a joy to write for Louise Fletcher, one of the absolute great A blazing talent and a complete class act,” remarked Robert Hewitt Wolfe, a writer for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Louise Fletcher, Oscar-winning actress in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, has died at the age of 88.
Louise Fletcher, a veteran actress, has died. Fletcher, well known for her portrayal of the vicious Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, died in her sleep at her home in Montdurausse, France, surrounded by relatives.
According to 10TV, no particular reason for death was given. Fletcher was 88 years old when he died.
On July 22, 1934, Fletcher was born. In the 1950s, she dabbled in acting, appearing in legendary TV episodes such as Perry Mason and Untouchables.
She starred in the Robert Altman film Thieves Like Us in 1974, which drew the attention of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest director Milos Forman. Recognizing her talent, Forman cast Fletcher as Nurse Ratched, and the rest is history.
In the years thereafter, Fletcher has appeared in several feature films, including Exorcist II: The Heretic, The Lady in Red, Brainstorm, Firestarter, Invaders From Mars, Blue Steel, High School High, Cruel Intentions, and Aurora Borealis.
Her latest film appearance was in the 2011 film Cassadaga, however, two films she appeared in many years earlier, A Perfect Man and Grizzly II: Revenge, were released in 2013 and 2020, respectively.
Meanwhile, Fletcher had received praise for her television performances. This would include a role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Kai Winn Adami.
Fletcher was also nominated for Emmys for her roles in Picket Fences and Joan of Arcadia. She was most recently seen in Shameless as the mother of William H. Macy’s Frank Gallagher. Her other television credits include The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, The Boys of Twilight, Fantasy Island, 7th Heaven, ER, and Heroes.
Fletcher’s final acting appearance was in the Netflix series Girlboss, which debuted in 2017 on the streaming site.
Nurse Ratched, played by Fletcher in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, set a new bar for on-screen cinematic antagonists. Nurse Ratched is one of the movie history’s most effective villains because of how well she performed the character.
It was well earned when she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film in 1976, beating out other huge names in the field including Ann-Margret, Isabelle Adjani, Glenda Jackson, and Carol Kane.
She subsequently told journalists that her height – 5 feet 10 inches — made it difficult for her to obtain employment in anything other than westerns, where her height was an advantage. Approximately half of her first 20 or so movie roles in the late 1950s and early 1960s were in television westerns such as “Wagon Train,” “Maverick,” and “Bat Masterson.”
In 1959, Ms. Fletcher married film producer Jerry Bick. They had two boys, John and Andrew, and she took a break from performing to raise them for more than a decade.
Mr. Bick and Ms. Fletcher divorced in 1977. Her sons, her sister, Roberta Ray, and a granddaughter are among her survivors.
Ms. Kael said, “We can see the virginal anticipation — the purity — that has evolved into puffy-eyed self-righteousness.” “She believes she is doing good for others, and she gets upset — she feels mistreated — when her authority is called into question.
Ms. Fletcher is sometimes mentioned as an example of the Oscar curse — the phenomenon in which winning an Academy Award for acting does not usually result in long-term cinematic success — although she did have a busy career in films and on television until her late 70s.
Is Louise Fletcher deaf?
Estelle Louise Fletcher was born on July 22, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama, as the fourth of four hearing children of Episcopal clergyman Robert Capers Fletcher and the former Estelle Caldwell, both of whom had been deaf since infancy.
Is Louise Fletcher still living?
She is particularly well-known for her recurring role as the Bajoran religious leader Kai Winn Adami in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–99) television series.
Born Estelle Louise Fletcher was born on July 22, 1934. Birmingham, Alabama, United States Occupation Actress
Years of operation 1958-present
Where did Louise Fletcher live?
Birmingham is a city in the north-central area of Alabama, in the United States. Birmingham is the county seat of Jefferson County, Alabama’s largest.
Who played Nurse Ratched?
Sarah Catharine Paulson is an actress from the United States. She began her career on stage in New York City before going on to star in the short-lived television programs American Gothic and Jack & Jill.
Why is the film called One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest?
The title is based on a children’s song that also acts as the epigraph. “One went east, one flew west, / One flew above the cuckoo’s nest,” the epigraph says. Because the title is merely the second half of the epigraph, “one flew over the cuckoo’s nest” must be the most crucial part of the rhyme for Kesey.