Saturday, November 26, 2022

Oscar-winning ‘Cook’s Nest’ actor Lewis Fletcher dies

Must read

Oscar-winning 'Cook's Nest' actor Lewis Fletcher dies
Oscar-winning 'Cook's Nest' actor Lewis Fletcher dies
Oscar-winning 'Cook's Nest' actor Lewis Fletcher dies

1 of 4

FILE – Louise Fletcher wins an Academy Award for her leading role in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” on March 30, 1976 in Los Angeles. Fletcher, a late blooming star whose stellar performance as the ruthless and calculating nurse in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” set a new standard for screen villains and won her an Academy Award, Friday, September 23, 2022 died at the age of 88. (TN photo/file)

- Advertisement -

1 of 4

FILE – Louise Fletcher wins an Academy Award for her leading role in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” on March 30, 1976 in Los Angeles. Fletcher, a late blooming star whose stellar performance as the ruthless and calculating nurse in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” set a new standard for screen villains and won her an Academy Award, Friday, September 23, 2022 died at the age of 88. (TN photo/file)

LOS ANGELES (TN) — Louise Fletcher, a late blooming star whose stellar performance as the ruthless and calculating nurse in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” set a new standard for screen villains and earned her the Academy Award nomination. Won the award, has died age 88.

- Advertisement -

Fletcher died in his sleep surrounded by family at his home in Montduras, France, his agent David Shawl told the Today Nation News on Friday. No reason was given.

After putting his career on hold for years to raise his children, Fletcher was in his early 40s and little known when director Milos Forman was cast for the role opposite Jack Nicholson in the 1975 film A year earlier in the director Robert had praised his work. Altman’s “Thives Like Us.” At the time, she didn’t know that several other major stars, including Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, and Angela Lansbury, had turned it down.

- Advertisement -

“I was the last person,” she recalled in a 2004 interview. “It wasn’t until we were halfway through the shoot that I realized the role was offered to other actresses who didn’t want to look so terrible on screen.”

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” became the first film since 1934’s “It Happened One Night” to win Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay.

Holding his Oscar at the 1976 ceremony, Fletcher told the audience, “Looks like you all hate me.”

She then spoke in sign language while addressing her deaf parents in Birmingham, Alabama, saying: “I want to thank you for teaching me how to dream. You are watching my dream come true.”

After a moment’s silence, there was thunderous applause.

Later that night, Forman made a scathing remark to Fletcher and his co-star, Jack Nicholson: “Now we’ll all make tremendous flops.”

In the short run, at least, he was right.

Foreman next directed “Hair”, the film version of the hit Broadway musical that failed to capture the appeal of the stage version. Nicholson directed and starred in “Goin’ South”, which is generally regarded as one of his worst films. Fletcher signed on for “Exorcist II: The Heretic,” a faux sequel to the landmark original.

Far more so than his male peers, Fletcher was hindered by his age in finding leading roles in Hollywood. Nevertheless, he worked tirelessly for most of the rest of his life. His post-“Cuckoo’s Nest” films included “Mama Dracula,” “Dead Kids” and “The Boy Who’s Flying”.

He was nominated for Emmys for his guest roles in the TV series “Joan of Arcadia” and “Picket Fence” and his recurring role as Bajoran religious leader Kai Winn Adami in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”. She played the mother of the musical duo Carpenter in 1989’s “The Karen Carpenter Story.”

Fletcher’s career was also hampered by his height. At 5ft-10, she was often immediately dismissed from auditions because she was taller than her leading man.

Fletcher moved to Los Angeles to begin his acting career soon after graduating from North Carolina State University.

Working as a doctor’s receptionist by day and studying at night with renowned actor and teacher Jeff Corey, he landed a day job on TV series such as “Wagon Train,” “77 Sunset Strip” and “The Untouchables.” started.

Fletcher married producer Jerry Bick in the early 1960s and fathered two sons in quick succession. She decided to put her career on hold to become a stay-at-home mom and didn’t work for 11 years.

“I chose to stop working, but I didn’t see it as an option,” she said in a 2004 interview. “I felt compelled to stay at home.”

She divorced Bick in 1977 and died in 2004.

In “Cuckoo’s Nest”, based on the novel by Ken Kesey while participating in an experimental LSD program, Nicholson’s character, RP McMurphy, is a petty criminal who pretends to be insane in order to be transferred from prison to a mental institution. , where she wouldn’t have to work so hard.

Once institutionalized, McMurphy learns that his mental ward is run by Fletcher’s cold, implying nurse Mildred Ratched, who holds his patients tightly under his thumb. As the two struggle, McMurphy with all but his valiant captures the ward, leading to severe punishment from Ratched and the institution, where she restores order.

The character was so memorable that she would become the basis for the Netflix series, “Ratched,” 45 years later.

Estelle Louise Fletcher was born on July 22, 1934, in Birmingham, the second of four children. Her mother was born deaf and her father was a traveling Episcopal minister who lost his hearing at the age of 4 by lightning.

In 1982, he said, “It was like having parents who are immigrants who don’t speak your language.”

Fletcher’s children were helped by their aunt, with whom they lived for a year in Bryant, Texas. She taught them to read, write and speak, as well as sing and dance.

This later studies convinced Fletcher that she wanted to act. She was further inspired, she once said, when she saw the movie “Lady in the Dark” with Ginger Rogers.

That and other films, Fletcher said, taught him “your dream can become real life if you want it bad enough.”

“I knew from the movies,” she would say, “that I wouldn’t have to live in Birmingham and be like everyone else.”

Fletcher’s death was first reported by Deadline.

She is survived by her two sons, John and Andrew Bick.

,

The late TN Entertainment writer Bob Thomas contributed biographical material to this report.

,

Follow TN Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

- Advertisement -

More articles

Latest article