Oscar-winning actress Louise Fletcher dies at 88

Actress Louise Fletcher, known for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, has died at the age of 88, Fox News reports

Information about Fletcher’s passing was provided by her agent, David Shaul.

Deadline reports:

Although no cause was specified, Shaul said she passed away in her sleep at the home she had built from a 300-year-old farmhouse, surrounded by family. Earlier today, she said to her family about her beloved home, “I can’t believe I created something so meaningful to my well-being.”

The referred-to home is the one in Montdurausse, France.

Remembering Fletcher

There is little doubt that Fletcher is best known for her role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. There she played the villainous Nurse Ratched.

The Associated Press reports:

After putting her career on hold for years to raise her children, Fletcher was in her early 40s and little known when chosen for the role opposite Jack Nicholson in the 1975 film by director Milos Forman . . . At the time, she didn’t know that many other prominent stars, including Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn and Angela Lansbury, had turned it down.

Be that as it may, the situation couldn’t have worked out better either for the filmmakers or for Fletcher. The film received the top five Oscars for 1975, including Best Picture; best director, Milos Forman; best adapted screenplay; best actor, Nicholson; and best actress, Fletcher.

At the Oscar ceremony, Fletcher joked, “it looks as though you all hated me.” She also thanked her parents “for teaching [her] to have a dream,” saying, “you are seeing my dream come true.” Fletcher did so in sign language as her parents were deaf.

Fletcher would go on to star in a number of television and movie roles.


Many have been paying tribute to Fletcher, following the news of her passing, on social media.

Her agent, Shaul, said, “Louise was a mega talent which was overshadowed only by what an amazing human being she was. Representing her was a joy and highlight of my almost 40 years as an agent.”

Fletcher is survived by the two sons – John and Andrew Bick – whom she had with Jerry Bick before they divorced in 1977.