born February 18, 1932, Čáslav
Jan Tomáš Forman is a Czech-born New Wave filmmaker known primarily for the distinctively American movies that he made after his immigration to the United States.
In the mid-1950s Forman studied at the Film Faculty of the Academy of Arts in Prague. Upon graduating he wrote two screenplays, the first of which, Nechte to na mně (Leave It to Me, 1955), was filmed by noted Czech director Martin Frič. Forman was an assistant director on the second of those screenplays, a situation comedy entitled Štěňata (Cubs, 1958).
The first major productions that he directed, Černý Petr (Black Peter, 1964) and Lásky jedné plavovlásky (Loves of a Blonde, 1965), had great success both domestically and internationally—the latter received an Academy Award nomination for best foreign-language film—and Forman was hailed as a major talent of the Czech New Wave.
When Hoří, má panenko (The Firemen’s Ball, 1967) was banned in Czechoslovakia after the Soviet invasion of 1968, Forman immigrated to the United States; he became a U.S. citizen in 1975. His first American film was Taking Off (1971), although not a box-office success, it won the jury grand prize at the Cannes film festival.
Great movies: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), wining all five major Academy Awards: best picture, actor (Nicholson), actress (Fletcher), director, and screenplay (Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben); Hair (1979), Ragtime (1981), the acclaimed Amadeus (1984) – eight Oscars, _ The People vs. Larry Flynt_ (1996), Man on the Moon (1999)… He has also won Golden Globe, Cannes, Berlinale, BAFTA, Cesar, David di Donatello, European Film Academy, and Czech Lion awards.
In addition to his directorial efforts, Forman occasionally acted in films, including Heartburn (1986), Keeping the Faith (2000), and Les Bien-Aimés (2011; Beloved).
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest