Nurse Seized by One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Dead at 88

Louise Fletcher, the Oscar-winning actress best known for her role as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, died at the age of 88. His family announced his death in The deadlinesays he died in his sleep at his home in Montdurausse, France.

Born on July 22nd, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama, Fletcher got his start by appearing in 1950s television Westerns such as Lawman and Maverick. In 1959, she married film producer Jerry Bick, with whom she remained until 1977. The couple had two children, and she took 11 years off from acting to raise them. In 1974, he appeared in Robert Altman’s crime drama Thieves Like Us, where he caught the attention of director Miloš Forman.

Forman cast him in his upcoming film adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which ended a long search for an actress who could pair up with his star, Jack Nicholson. As Nurse Ratched, Fletcher portrays the cold, tyrannical head nurse of a mental institution where Nicholson’s Randle McMurphy feigns insanity to avoid being sent to prison. Fletcher won an Academy Award, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe for her performance, becoming only the third woman to take home all three awards for one performance. In his Oscars acceptance speech, he used sign language, a nod to his parents, who are deaf.

In the following years Cuckoo’s nestFletcher starred in a number of films, including Exorcist II: The Heretic, The Cheap Detective, The Lady in Red, and Blue Steel, although none of them were as successful as his 1975 breakout. He found more memorable roles on television, where he had a recurring role from 1993 to 1999 as the Bajoran religious leader Kai Winn Adami in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and received Emmy nominations for his guest appearances on Picket Fences and Joan of Arcadia. In 2011 and 2012, he had a recurring role in shameless, where she played the tough mother of Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy). His last role was a two-episode appearance in the Netflix series in 2017 Girlboss.

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