The famed Oscar-winning director of films such as "Amadeus" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" has died after a short illness at his home in Warren Connecticut. His wife reportedly notified his agent of his passing on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Forman was orphaned at the age of nine when his parents were killed in German concentration camps. In 1968, after a short period of free expression in his home country of Czechoslovakia, Russian tanks and troops rolled through the streets crushing the movement. Forman was in Paris at the time and decided not to return home.

Mr. Forman goes to Hollywood

Forman left his European home with copies of his Czech made films in tow and set off for Hollywood. He was able to get work, but he had limited success in the business until Michael Douglas, who was co-producing a film called “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” took a chance on Forman to direct the film. The rest as they say, is history, and the film garnered all the top Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director (for Forman), Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay.

That film alone has cemented Forman’s place in film history, but he went on to direct such hits as “Amadeus,” “Ragtime,” and the Jim Carrey acted gem, “Man on the Moon.” Forman was a meticulous worker that generally took years to finish a film, resulting in his limited output, but he remains as a directing giant in Hollywood history.

Hollywood and social media reacts

The response to Forman’s passing was almost immediate on social media with thoughts and remembrances pouring in from around the world.

Writers, directors, and producers from around Europe such as former Cannes president Gilles Jacob are giving thanks to Forman for paving the way and inspiring them to enter the film industry.

On the American front, actress Jennifer Tilly of “Cult of Chucky” fame tweeted that Forman was a brilliant filmmaker, and Dana Delaney said that she would be forever grateful to Forman for giving her a chance to screen test for “Amadeus.”

Many on Twitter noted that his background led him to make films that championed individuals fighting or rebelling against the establishment and the status quo.

Jack Nicholson, as R.P. McMurphy, was arguably the best such characterization of fighting against the establishment in film history.

Thank you, Michael Douglas, for giving a young immigrant filmmaker a chance all those years ago. RIP Milos Forman.