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Louise Fletcher, Oscar-Winning Nurse Ratched Actor, Dies At 88
09-25-2022, 08:07 AM
Louise Fletcher, Oscar-Winning Nurse Ratched Actor, Dies At 88
Louise Fletcher, best known for her role as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, has died at age 88. Fletcher's role as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 film won her an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1976, and a BAFTA in 1977, among other accolades. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest would win the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay in 1976.

With a career spanning 62 years, Fletcher was a both a film and television star. Fletcher began her career in 1958, when she appeared in two episodes of the CBS anthology series Playhouse 90. She would go on to appear in several other television shows, but it wasn't until 1975 that she would become a massive star. Her role as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest launched her into stardom, though she took an 11-year break from acting shortly after the film to raise her two children. From 1993 to 1999, Fletcher held a recurring role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Kai Winn Adami. In 2011, at age 77, Fletcher appeared in a recurring role on the series Shameless, playing Frank's mother Pegg "Grammy" Gallagher.

Fletcher's agent David Shaul announced through Deadline that Fletcher has passed away at the age of 88, on September 23, 2022. Fletcher died in her home in Montdurausse, France, which she had built herself from a 300-year-old farmhouse. While no cause of death was specified, Shaul said that she passed away in her sleep, surrounded by her family.

What Else Louise Fletcher Was Known For

When Fletcher won her Oscar for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1976, she became the third woman to win an Academy Award, BAFTA, and Golden Globe for a single performance. Though the character of Nurse Ratched was hated, as she was a cold, unsympathetic nurse in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Fletcher's performance was so beloved that it went on to inspire the 2020 Netflix series Ratched, starring Sarah Paulson. During Fletcher's acceptance speech at the Oscars, she said "Well, it looks like you all hated me so much that you've given me this award for it - and I'm loving every minute of it. And all I can say is that I loved being hated by you", a sentiment which Fletcher would later echo in 1995, when she would describe her Oscar win as both exhilarating and incredibly fleeting.

Though Fletcher was best known for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, she had an incredibly storied career, appearing in over 70 television programs, and over 60 films. Fans will remember her today not only for her famous portrayal of Nurse Ratched, but also for her appearances in shows like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Twilight Zone, Joan of Arcadia, and Shameless. Survived by a large family that includes her two sons, her sister, and 10 nieces and nephews, the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest's star will be fondly remembered for her breathtaking performances, and incredible character work.


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