Oscar-winner Louise Fletcher passes away at age 88 in her home in France.

Oscar-winner Louise Fletcher passes away at age 88 in her home in France.
Oscar-winner Louise Fletcher passes away at age 88 in her home in France.

The actor from Alabama received an Oscar for portraying one of the most evil characters on television. Her acceptance speech was particularly noteworthy.

Louise Fletcher, the endearing Alabama native and Academy Award-winning actress most known for playing the callous Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, one of the most despised characters in film history, has passed away. She was 88.

According to her son Andrew Bick, Fletcher passed away on Friday at her home in Montdurausse, France, from natural causes. She had battled breast cancer twice and prevailed.

Fletcher, who was born to deaf parents, gave one of the most moving Oscar acceptance speeches in history. She also co-starred with Peter Falk in The Cheap Detective and as a psychiatrist in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1978).

She appeared as the spiritual leader Kai Winn Adami on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and for her guest appearances on Picket Fences and Joan of Arcadia in 1996 and 2004, respectively, she was nominated for an Emmy.

She most recently portrayed the meth-dealing mother of William H. Macy in the Shameless television series, and she also made an appearance in the 2013 Liev Schreiber movie A Perfect Man and the Netflix series Girlboss with Britt Robertson.

Fletcher returned to Hollywood after more than ten years away to raise her two sons, and she starred alongside Keith Carradine and Shelley Duvall in the Robert Altman movie Thieves Like Us (1974).

She was discovered in that film by director Milos Forman, who was casting 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was based on Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel about life in an Oregon psychiatric facility.

In a 2016 interview, Fletcher said, “He was watching it to look at Shelley Duvall to portray one of the girls who comes on the ward on the party night, and there I was.” He remarked, “Who is that?”

Anne Bancroft, Angela Lansbury, Geraldine Page, Colleen Dewhurst, and Ellen Burstyn all turned down the opportunity to play Nurse Ratched a year later; all of them thought the role was too absurdly evil. Ultimately, Forman handed Fletcher the role.

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