Oscar-winning US actor Louise Fletcher, most famous for her role as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, has died at the farmhouse she restored in southern France at the age of 88.
The Alabama native won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her depiction of the cold and cruel nurse in the psychological drama, based on a novel by Ken Kesey, as well as a BAFTA and a Golden Globe.
In her acceptance speech of the Oscar in 1976 she thanked her parents, who were deaf, in sign language.
Her acting career spanned over 60 years, with her final role as Rose in the Netflix series Girlboss (2017).
In the 1990s Fletcher bought a farmhouse in the village of Montdurausse (Tarn), just north of Toulouse in the south of France. She completely restored the property and would spend around six months of the year there.
Georges Paulin, who was mayor of Montdurausse between 1983 and 2020, told La Dépêche that she was “a very discreet person who we would rarely see in the village”.
“She did not like to speak about her career. She preferred to contemplate the countryside from her farm,” he said.
He added that she had arrived at her farm this year in May and was supposed to head back to the US in October.
Tributes to her have been pouring in on social media from France and the US alike.
La formidable Louise Fletcher est décédée à l'âge de 88 ans— Colonel Farès (@LeColonelFares) September 24, 2022
Elle jouait l'inoubliable infirmière Mildred Ratched dans ️ One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest / Vol au-dessus d'un nid de coucou (Miloš Forman) avec Jack Nicholson
Oscar de la meilleure actrice en 1976#LouiseFletcher pic.twitter.com/vUAYL0sVsZ
RIP Louise Fletcher. No one else ever made the words "My child" sound so teeth gratingly condescending. pic.twitter.com/rybo8Ar5jG— The Werewolf of Wall Street (@AdamNuchtern) September 24, 2022
Disparition de Louise Fletcher, l'inoubliable Nurse Ratched de Vol au dessus d'un nid de coucou de Milos Forman. On l'avait également vue chez Altman, Boorman ou Douglas Trumbull. pic.twitter.com/DenbS9pw7B— Laurent Vachaud (@Laurent76300739) September 24, 2022