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Milos Forman

Milos Forman

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Also Known As: Tomas Jan Died:
Born: February 18, 1932 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: director, actor, screenwriter, producer, assistant director, professor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Perhaps the most famous and acclaimed filmmaker to hail from Czechoslovakia, Milos Forman first found success in his native country before doing likewise in Hollywood. Forman earned international acclaim with films like "Black Peter" (1964), "Loves of a Blonde" (1965) and "The Fireman's Ball" (1967), all of which marked a distinct thematic and stylistic break with the prior generation of Czechoslovakian filmmaking that played a major role in shaping that country's cinematic New Wave of the 1960s. After leaving Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia following the Prague Spring in 1968, Forman embarked on a successful career in Hollywood that saw him make some of cinema's most acclaimed and decorated films of all time. In 1975, he directed the subversive, anti-establishment drama, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," which became only the second film ever to win Oscars in all five major categories. In the next decade, he directed the lush and vibrant "Amadeus" (1984), which many considered to be one of the best films of the 1980s. Though he tapered off a bit with "The People vs. Larry Flynt" (1996) and "Man on the Moon" (1999), Forman nonetheless made the case for being one of the most accomplished foreign...

Perhaps the most famous and acclaimed filmmaker to hail from Czechoslovakia, Milos Forman first found success in his native country before doing likewise in Hollywood. Forman earned international acclaim with films like "Black Peter" (1964), "Loves of a Blonde" (1965) and "The Fireman's Ball" (1967), all of which marked a distinct thematic and stylistic break with the prior generation of Czechoslovakian filmmaking that played a major role in shaping that country's cinematic New Wave of the 1960s. After leaving Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia following the Prague Spring in 1968, Forman embarked on a successful career in Hollywood that saw him make some of cinema's most acclaimed and decorated films of all time. In 1975, he directed the subversive, anti-establishment drama, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," which became only the second film ever to win Oscars in all five major categories. In the next decade, he directed the lush and vibrant "Amadeus" (1984), which many considered to be one of the best films of the 1980s. Though he tapered off a bit with "The People vs. Larry Flynt" (1996) and "Man on the Moon" (1999), Forman nonetheless made the case for being one of the most accomplished foreign directors to have made considerable contributions to American cinema.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
3.
  Man on the Moon (1999) Director
4.
5.
  Valmont (1989) Director
6.
  Amadeus (1984) Director
7.
  Ragtime (1981) Director
8.
  Hair (1979) Director
10.
  Visions of Eight (1973) Director ("The Decathalon")

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Generation 68 (2008)
3.
4.
 Tell Them Who You Are (2004) Himself
6.
 Keeping the Faith (2000) Father Havel
8.
 Why Havel? (1991) Narration
10.
 New Year's Day (1989) Lazlo--The Landlord
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised by two uncles and one family of friends of his parents after parents were arrested
1945:
Became a film buff after the Occupation ended
1950:
While a senior at Dejvice high school, organized a drama club and staged an avant-garde musical about Francois Villon which toured small halls near Prague
1950:
Enrolled in newly founded Film Institute at the University of Prague (FAMU)
1954:
Directed documentaries for Czech TV
:
Collaborated on script of Martin Fric's feature comedy "Leave It to Me" (1955) while still a student at FAMU
1956:
First onscreen appearance, Alfred Radok's "Old Man Motorcar"
1957:
Wrote and was assistant director on Ivo Novak's film "Puppies"
:
Joined theater group Laterna Magika (Magic Lantern) as an assistant writer; worked with Alfred Radok on presentations that mixed film with live actors to be performed for the Brussels World Fair
1963:
Made medium-length, 16mm semi-documentary directorial debut with "Konkurs/Competition"; first collaboration with Ivan Passar and cinematographer Miroslav Ondricek
1963:
Feature film directing debut, "Cerny Petr/Black Peter"
1967:
Made first trip to the U.S.; negotiated to make first U.S. feature; wanted to produce a film adaptation of the stage musical "Hair," but rights were not available
1968:
Was in Paris at time of Russian occupation of Czechoslovakia in August and the fall of the Dubcek regime in September and stayed there until moving to New York in 1969
1971:
Made first U.S. film "Taking Off"
1971:
Subject of Mira Weingarten's documentary short, "Meeting Milos Forman"
1972:
Was a contributing director for "Visions of Eight," a documentary covering Munich Olympics
:
Directed a failed play for the NY stage
1973:
Was suffering from acute depression when approached by producers Saul Zaentz and Michael Douglas to direct film adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel <i>One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest</i>
1975:
Directed breakthrough U.S. feature "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"; won first Oscar as Best Director
1975:
Named co-director of Columbia University film division
1977:
Became a U.S. citizen (November 30)
1978:
Made professor of Columbia University film division
1979:
Helmed adaptation of stage musical "Hair"
1981:
Directed "Ragtime"; convinced James Cagney to come out of retirement to play final screen role
1984:
Reteamed with producer Saul Zaentz to direct the film adaptation of Peter Shaffer's "Amadeus"; returned to Czechoslovakia for the first time since 1968 to film on location; earned second Oscar as Best Director
1986:
Made U.S. acting debut in small role in Mike Nichols' "Heartburn"
1989:
Was subject of a segment of the PBS series "American Masters"
1989:
Last film released for seven years, "Valmont"
1989:
Acted in Henry Jaglom's "New Year's Day"
:
Worked on unproduced film "Hell Camp," about Americans in Japan
1993:
Began pre-production on "Disclosure"; withdrew from film in fall of 1993 and eventually replaced by Barry Levinson
1996:
Returned to feature directing with "The People vs. Larry Flynt," based on the life of the publisher of <i>Hustler</i> magazine
1999:
Helmed "Man on the Moon," the biopic of comedian Andy Kaufman starring Jim Carrey
2000:
Co-starred with Edward Norton in the actor's directorial debut "Keeping the Faith" as the wise friend to Norton's young, conflicted priest
2007:
Executive produced "Nomad," a historical epic set in 18th-century Kazakhstan
2007:
Helmed "Goya's Ghosts," a film about Spanish grand master Francisco de Goya starring Javier Bardem and Natalie Portman
2009:
Co-directed musical film "A Walk Worthwhile" with son Petr Forman
2011:
Appeared in French film "Beloved," starring Catherine Deneuve
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

FAMU: - 1950 - 1955

Notes

Forman has notably cast non-actors in prominent film roles. For example, author Norman Mailer played Stanford White in "Ragtime" and poitical pundit James Carville was cast as a prosecuting attorney in "The People vs. Larry Flynt".

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jana Brejchova. Actor. Born c. 1940; first wife; married from 1951 to 1956; appeared in Ivo Novak's "Stenata/Puppies" (1957).
wife:
Vera Kresadlova. Singer, actor. Married in 1964; separated c. 1968; mother of Forman's twin sons; appeared in Forman's first short film, "Konkurs/Competition" (1961); Forman filed for divorce in L.A. in February 1999.
companion:
Beverly D'Angelo. Actor. Met during the filming of "Hair" (1979); no longer together.
wife:
Martina Zborilova. Mother of Forman's twin sons born in October 1998; married in Connecticut on November 27, 1999.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Rudolf Forman. Professor of education. Jewish; arrested by Nazis in 1940; died in Buchenwald concentration camp in 1944.
mother:
Anna Forman. Protestant; arrested by Nazis in 1940 for suspicion of being Jewish or having Jewish blood; died in Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.
brother:
Blahoslav Forman. Born 1917; died of exposure after being injured during a mountain hike in May 1962.
brother:
Pavel Forman. Artist. Born c. 1919; settled in Australia in 1968.
son:
Petr Forman. Twin of Matej; born on August 24, 1964; mother, Vera Kresadlova; raised in Czechoslovakia.
son:
Matej Forman. Twin of Petr; born on August 24, 1964; mother, Vera Kresadlova; raised in Czechoslovakia.
son:
Andrew Forman. Twin of James; born in October 1998; mother, Martina Zborilova; named for Andy Kaufman.
son:
James Forman. Twin of Andrew; born in October 1998; mother, Martina Zborilova; named for Jim Carrey.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Turnaround" Random House
"Milos Forman: A Bio-Bibliography" Greenwood Press

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