Louise Fletcher

Louise Fletcher

Lily Tomlin's role in Robert Altman's Nashville (1975) was originally written for, and in part by, Fletcher, whose then-husband had been Altman's producer. When the two men had a falling-out, Altman chose to cast Tomlin instead.

After her divorce from producer Jerry Bick in the late 1970s she caused a stir when she, then in her 40s, began dating 21-year-old Morgan Mason, the son of actor James Mason.

Her Oscar-winning role as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) was ranked #5 in the American Film Institute's Villains list in their 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains.

Her role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) had been turned down by Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Colleen Dewhurst and Jane Fonda. Bancroft and Dewhurst turned down the role because they found it anti-feminist and downright misogynistic.

Learned sign language at a very young age, as both of her parents were deaf. When Fletcher neared the end of her (spoken) Best Actress Oscar acceptance speech for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), she finished with a unique (unspoken) touch in American Sign Language: "For my mother and my father, I want to say thank you for teaching me to have a dream. You are seeing my dream come true. Thank you." (29 March 1976).

One of the other Best Actress nominees in 1976 was Ann-Margret, who was nominated for her role Tommy (1975). Coincidentally, both films featured Jack Nicholson.

She was in several scenes that were later deleted from Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America (1984).

The mother of two sons with Jerry Bick, John Dashiell Bick and Andrew Wilson Bick, for whom she took an 11-year hiatus from acting to raise.

Was a leading choice to play the mother in Terms of Endearment (1983).

Was cited for reckless driving in 2000 when she slammed into a police car near her Virginia home.