DISAPPEARANCE – The 88-year-old actress died in France. She had made a date at the Oscars by giving her acceptance speech in sign language.
Unforgettable cruel and terrifying nurse from Fly over a cuckoo’s nest, the American actress Louise Fletcher, Oscar for best actress for this emblematic role in the camera of Milos Forman, is no more. The woman who had survived two breast cancers died at the age of 88. Louise Fletcher, who had two sons, died at her home in Montdurausse in the South of France.
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Having been born on July 22, 1934 in Birmingham, Alabama, nothing predestined the shy young girl to embody one of the most iconic cinema villains of the seventh art. Born of deaf parents, Louise Fletcher only learned to speak at the age of eight under the tutelage of one of her aunts, living in Texas to whom she had been sent. It was this “godmother” who introduced him to the delights of comedy. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Louise Fletcher sets out on a road trip, but finds herself stranded by lack of resources in Los Angeles.
Immersion in a psychiatric hospital
She becomes a hotel receptionist and takes acting lessons at night. She landed her first roles on television in the series at Masterson, Lawman, 77 Sunset Strip, Wagon Train. She lands her first big-screen role opposite Rock Hudson in the Cold War psychological thriller The Red Telephone in 1963.
But a young mother of two children, Louise Fletcher decides to step back and devote herself to her family. With the encouragement of her husband, producer of We are all thieves she made her return in this gangster film by Robert Altman in 1974. This return put her on the radar of Milos Forman in full audition to find the actress who would risk lending her features to the inhuman psychiatric hospital nurse Mildred Ratched .
Louise Fletcher passes many screen tests. After having suffered the refusals of Anne Bancroft, Angela Lansbury, Geraldine Page, Colleen Dewhurst and Ellen Burstyn, the filmmaker finally chooses her to subject Jack Nicholson to electroshocks and have him undergo a lobotomy.
The actress prepares by observing group therapies in the hospital in Oregon where she is filming Flight over a cuckoo’s nest. She spent 11 weeks in the establishment, as the Hollywood Postponesr. This performance covers her with trophies: Bafta (the English Oscars), Golden Globe and Oscar. She makes history there by giving her acceptance speech in sign language to honor her parents.
She didn’t want to look anymore Flight over a cuckoo’s nest
After the feat of Flight from above a cuckoo’s nest, it is not easy to forget the character of Ratched. Louis Fletcher struggles to bounce back and appears in The Player by Robert Altman, L.‘Exorcist 2, Giorgino Laurent Boutonnat’s cursed film with Mylène Farmer, but also the fantastic thriller Flowers In The Attic the modern adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons, Cruel Intentions. Television offers him recurring roles in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Shameless. She is nominated for an Emmy Award for her appearances in soap operas Picket Fences where she plays the mother of Oscar-winning deaf actress Marlee Matlin and in the fantasy saga Joan of Arcadia.
Placed by the American cinematheque in the top 5 of the most unforgettable antagonists of cinema, Louise Fletcher confided that she was no longer able to look at herself in Flight from above a cuckoo’s nest, shocked by the inhumanity of her character. Showrunner Ryan Murphy had tried to trace in the controversial Netflix series Ratchedthe youth of the nurse.
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Death of actress Louise Fletcher, the terrifying nurse of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest