Louise Fletcher, won an Academy Award for her role as Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Ms. Fletcher died Friday in France of natural causes, according to her agent David Shaul. She was 88.
Born from deaf parents when she gave her Oscar speech she used sign language to acknowledge them.
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was only her second movie after a long break from acting to raise her children.
Fletcher studied drama at the University of North Carolina,moved to Los Angeles and won roles on late 1950s TV show including “Maverick,” “Lawman” and “The Untouchables.” In 1960 she married the producer Jerry Bick and quit acting in order to raise their two sons.
Robert Altman persuaded Fletcher to star in “Thieves Like Us” in 1974. Next would have come Altman’s next film, Nashville in 1975, but Altman balked at Bick’s insistence that his wife could only participate if he could produce. Altman said no, so the role went to to Lily Tomlin.
Miloš Forman, then cast her and the rest is history, Fletcher turned down the role of the evangelical mother in Carrie (1976) but took roles in “Exorcist II: The Heretic” (1977), “The Cheap Detective” (1978), “Strange Invaders” (both 1983), “Firestarter” (1984), “Nobody’s Fool” (1986) and “Flowers in the Attic” (1987).
Fletcher continued to act throughout her life, including the TV show “Shameless” (2011-12).
Fletcher and Bick divorced in 1977. She is survived by their two sons, John and Andrew.