Actor Louise Fletcher, best known for her role as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 Milos Forman film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” died Friday of natural causes, her representatives told several outlets.
Fletcher’s son Andrew Bick confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that the 88 year-old died in her Montdurausse, France, home. Fletcher, who won an Academy Award for her “Cuckoo’s Nest” role, previously battled breast cancer, THR reports.
The decorated actor, an Alabama native, had a career spanning back to the 1950s. In addition to film, Fletcher’s TV work included roles on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “The Twilight Zone” and “Shameless.”
Her portrayal of the sadistic Ratched, opposite Jack Nicholson, continued to be her most acclaimed until her death. The film, based on Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel, won all five major Academy Awards after its release — including an Oscar for Nicholson and the Best Picture trophy.
In 2020, “Ratched,” a prequel series by “American Horror Story” maestro Ryan Murphy premiered on Netflix. Starring Sarah Paulson in the title role, the limited series attempted to show Ratched in a more complex — and even empathetic — light.
In an interview with Huffington Post writer Matt Jacobs in 2020, Fletcher discussed stepping away from acting in her later years, saying she didn’t know if she’d ever work again because of the physical stamina it requires. She said, however, she’d return for “the right thing.”
Fletcher was born July, 22, 1934 and was married to Jerry Bick from 1960 to 1977. She is survived by two children.