American actress Louise Fletcher died on Friday at the age of 88. She went down in cinema history with the Oscar-winning, unforgettable portrayal of the sinister sister Ratched in ” One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest “. The artist passed away in a dream in a house she had built in the French town of Montdurausse. In the last moments, her family was with her.
How Did Louise Fletcher Die?
The 88-year-old actress and mother of two has died at home and is survived by two children, Variety and Deadline reported, citing her representatives.
Her family confirmed the news to Deadline, the cause was not revealed but a family member said she passed away while sleeping at home surrounded by relatives. We are still looking for information on how she died, we will keep you updated.
Louise Fletcher was born on July 22, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama. Due to the fact that her parents were deaf, the actress learned to use sign language in her childhood. Years later, she used this skill in a memorable speech of thanksgiving at the Oscar gala:
Fletcher’s screen career began in the late 1950s with cameo appearances in the popular series Lawman, Bat Masterson, Maverick, The Untouchables and 77 Sunset Strip. The breakthrough came only in the 1970s, thanks to her appearance in the forgotten film by Robert Altman, ” Thieves Like Us “. The supporting role of Mattie’s sister-in-law caught the attention of Miloš Forman, who was then completing the cast for the screen adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Louise Fletcher: Oscar-winning Career
Casting Fletcher as the despotic sister Ratched – the sadistic tyrant in charge of the psychiatric ward that Jack Nicholson’s protagonist finds himself in – turned out to be a bull’s eye. The character created by the actress has become one of the most famous film villains, and at the same time the embodiment of a ruthless authoritarian system. In addition to the American Film Academy Award, Fletcher received a Golden Globe and a BAFTA statuette for this performance.
In 2003, Mildred Ratched was ranked fifth on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Villains of All Time. In 2020, Ryan Murphy created the series ” Ratched” telling about the roots of the protagonist. Sarah Paulson was cast in the title role.
Years later, when a New York Times journalist asked the actress for advice for future Oscar winners, he replied: Just enjoy. Oscar will make you unbelievably happy for one night. However, do not expect this award to have any impact on your career.
Louise Fletcher – an actress to whom Oscar did not bring happiness
The Oscar for her performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest did not bring Louise Fletcher star status. The actress was also not lucky for her next role – she played Dr. Gene Tuskn in John Boorman’s film ” The Exorcist II: The Heretic “. The sequel to the horror film by William Friedkin was crushed by critics, and it was not a commercial success.
In the years that followed, Louise Fletcher appeared frequently in B-class productions. Among them were the comedy horror films ” Mamma Dracula ” and ” Grizzly II: Revenge”, which was not completed after one of the producers fled with the money. The film, the illegal copy of which has been circulating among moviegoers for years, was unexpectedly remembered in 2020. It was to be completed and released on VOD and in selected car theatres The losing streak was not reversed by a performance in ” Once Upon a Time in America ” by Sergia Leone. The role of Louise Fletcher was completely cut out. We could not see her until the extended version released years later.
In the rich filmography of Louise Fletcher we can find, among others the sci-fi thriller ” Brainstorm “, in which she starred opposite Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood, ” Mars Invaders ” by Tobe Hooper, ” Flowers in the Attic “, in which she played the cruel grandmother Olivia Foxworth, ” Blue Steel ” Kathryn Bigelow, ” Angry Juveniles “, a parody of ” Young Angry ” or ” School of Seduction “, a youth version of “Dangerous Liaisons”.
Throughout her career, Louise Fletcher was eager to appear on the small screen. The most famous television role she played in the series ” Star Trek: Space Station “, in which she played the religious leader Vedek Winn Adami. In turn, her appearances in ” Where the Devil Says Good Night ” and ” Joan of Arcadia ” brought her nominations for the Emmy Awards. She also appeared as a guest in such popular productions as ” Twilight Zone “, ” Tales from the Crypt “, ” Seventh Heaven “, ” Bones “, ” ER “, ” Private Practice “, “