Milos Forman biography

Milos Forman

Birth Name: Jan Tomas Forman

Date of Birth: February 18, 1932

Born in Cáslav, Czechoslovakia, Forman and his brothers were orphaned at a young age when his parents were killed in a Nazi concentration camp. Brought up by relatives and friends, he became interested in the theatre while attending boarding school where he found himself especially taken with the comedies of Chaplin and Keaton, and the westerns of John Ford. He later attended the University of Prague's Film Institute to study direction.

After writing a few screenplays, he released his first film, Laterna Magika II (Magic Lantern II) in 1960. He went on to create a number of films such as Lásky jedné plavovlásky (A Blonde in Love) (1965) and Horí, má panenko (The Fireman's Ball) (1967) that contained a distinct style from the films made by the prior generation of filmmakers in Czechoslovakia, and played a major role in shaping the Czech New Wave of the 1960s.

When his country was invaded in the summer of 1968, Forman left for the United States to continue his film making work.

He started with the critical success and multi-BAFTA award nominated film Taking Off (1971).

Four years later, Forman released one of his greatest achievements, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Starring Jack Nicholson, the film about a criminal who pleas insanity to spend his prison time in an insane asylum, earned Forman his first Academy Award, as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe. Besides honors for Forman, the film took home the other top four Oscars, five more BAFTA and five more Golden Globes to add to its cache of awards from festivals worldwide.

Since One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Forman has continued to make quality films from exploring the music genre in Hair (1979), which is considered one of the best screen adaptations of a stage musical, to more Oscar nods for his work on Amadeus (1994) (earning eight Academy awards including one for Best Director), and The People vs. Larry Flynt (1997) (earning him his third Oscar nomination).

Besides directing, Forman is an accomplished screenwriter, having written all of the films he directed in Czechoslovakia. After moving to America, however, Forman's writing came to an end after penning the film Valmont (1989) based on the novel Dangerous Liaisons . Forman has also appeared in a number of films playing himself.

Forman has been married three times. His first marriage to actress Jana Brejchová ended in 1956, and he married actress Vera Kresadlová in 1964. His third marriage was to his assistant Martina Zborilova in 1999, whom he worked with during the filming of The People vs. Larry Flynt . Forman, who penned an autobiography in 1993 entitled, Turnaround: a Memoir, is the father of four boys.

Milos Forman Filmography




  • Valmont (1989)
  • Le Mâle du siècle (Male of the Century) (1975)
  • Taking Off (1971)
  • La Pince à ongles (The Nail Clippers) (1969)
  • Horí, má panenko (The Fireman's Ball) (1967)
  • Lásky jedné plavovlásky (A Blonde in Love) (1965)
  • Cerný Petr (Black Peter) (1963)
  • Kdyby ty muziky nebyly (Why Do We Need All the Brass Bands?) (1963)
  • Laterna magika II (Magic Lantern II) (1960)
  • Stenata (1957)
  • Nechte to na mne (1955)
  • Konkurs (Competition) (1963)

Milos Forman Photo