Photo by Petr Novák, courtesy Wikipedia
Famed film director Milos Forman was orphaned at the age of nine when his parents were killed in Nazi concentration camps. Introduced to the theater by his older brother, he studied at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Prague and began working in theater productions. He later began to work in film, both as a writer and director, while struggling against the repressive Communist government. In 1969, he made his first American film, Taking Off, which was a critical success, but it wasn’t until 1975 that he achieved real fame with his adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director—a feat he topped, in 1985, with the film Amadeus, which won eight Oscars. His more recent films include The People vs. Larry Flynt, Man on the Moon, and Goya’s Ghosts. He is also a professor at Columbia University and director of its film division.