His career overseas started with Taking Off in 1971, followed by One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest four years later, which brought him his first "best director" Oscar.
Antonio Banderas, who has said he was inspired to become an actor when he watched Forman's 1979 musical Hair, described him as a "genius of cinematography and master in the portrayal of the human condition".
- 1940: His parents, members of the resistance against the Nazis, are deported to the Buchenwald and Auschwitz concentration camps where they die. In 1976, Forman made a cinematic adaptation of Ken Kesey's 1962 novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The first film he made in the USA, 1970's Taking Off, was a flop. At the time, Forman was in Paris, in negotiations for Taking Off, a US production about the youth protest movement. Forman then had another huge success with Amadeus, a film version of Peter Shaffer's play about the rivalry between Mozart and Salieri; it won eight Oscars, including Forman's second for best director. His wife was quoted by a Czech news agency CTK as saying, "His departure was calm and he was surrounded the whole time by his family and his closest friends".
The 1965 film is a bittersweet coming-of-age story that sold out in his home country before it was nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
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"Man on the Moon", based on the life of cult hero Andy Kaufman, did win its star, Jim Carrey, a Golden Globe.
"A director is little bit of everything, little bit of the writer, little bit of an actor, little bit of an editor, little bit of a costume designer", Forman once said.
- 1958-62: Married to actress Jana Brejchova.
He was father to two sets of twin boys, with his second and third wives. Two of them, twin sons named Jim and Andy, are named after Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman; Forman directed Carrey in "Man on the Moon", a biopic about Kaufman.