Louise Fletcher, who won an Oscar for playing the sadistic Nurse Mildred Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, has died at 88.
Deadline reported that her family made the announcement through agent David Shaul but that no cause of death was given.
Fletcher passed away at the home she built in Montdurausse, France, with Shaul saying she told her family just before she died, “I can’t believe I created something so meaningful to my well-being.”
She started her acting career in TV shows like Maverick, The Untouchables and 77 Sunset Strip before going on to star in films like A Gathering of Eagles and Thieves Like Us, a performance that gained the attention of Milos Forman who was in the process of casting One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Forman had reportedly considered Ellen Burstyn, Anne Bancroft and Geraldine Page before casting Fletcher as one of film’s most notorious villains— Nurse Ratched.
It proved to be the right choice with Fletcher going on to win the Best Actress Oscar for the film, which would also be awarded Best Picture, Best Director, Best Leading Actor and Best Screenplay at the Academy Awards.
Born in Birmingham, AL, to deaf parents, Fletcher used sign language in her memorable Oscar’s speech.
She had guest roles in Picket Fences and Joan of Arcadia, which brought Emmy nominations in 1996 and 2004, respectively, and a recurring role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Fletcher was married to film producer Jerry Bick from 1959 until their divorce in 1977 and had two children, sons John and Andrew Bick.