Milos Forman Mourned by Jim Carrey, Michael Douglas, 'Larry Flynt' Writer and Subject, Others

Milos Forman - H 2016
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Milos Forman - H 2016

Edward Norton, Mia Farrow, Ron Howard, Antonio Banderas, Edgar Wright, James Mangold and Danny DeVito were among those paying tribute to the two-time Oscar-winning director, who died Friday.

Hollywood stars took to social media overnight on Friday to pay tribute to two-time Oscar-winning director Milos Forman, who died Friday at the age of 86 after a short illness.

The acclaimed Czech director who found creative freedom in the U.S. helmed such features as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt and Man on the Moon. The first two films won Forman best director Oscars, with both titles also capturing best picture, and People vs. Larry Flynt earned him his final best director Oscar nomination.

"Sadly we lost one of the greatest directors in the history of film," Cuckoo's Nest producer Michael Douglas said in a statement. "I had the honor of working with Milos on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and cherish what he taught me. My family sends our deepest sympathies to Martina and the children.”

People vs. Larry Flynt and Man on the Moon co-writer Larry Karaszewski called Forman "our friend and our teacher."

"He was a master filmmaker — no one better at capturing small unrepeatable moments of human behavior," added the scribe, who penned the screenplays for both films with collaborator Scott Alexander and, with Alexander, recently worked on the first two seasons of Ryan Murphy's American Crime Story anthology series. "We made two movies together and every day spent with him was a unique adventure. Milos loved life. I will miss his laughter."

Meanwhile, the People vs. Larry Flynt's subject himself called Forman one of film's "true visionaries." Said Flynt, "I will always be grateful to him for telling my story in The People vs Larry Flynt. He was a remarkable man with extraordinary talent. I will miss his presence on this earth."

One of People vs. Larry Flynt's stars, Edward Norton, called Forman "one of my true artistic heroes, not just because he was a great film director but because of his capacity to sustain an exuberant belief that individual human spirit can triumph over institutions of oppression and his conviction that art can and must play a role in that fight for the health of a society."

Continued Norton: "He was an infectious optimist and lover of life, despite losing both of his parents to the Nazis as a boy and then finding his way as a young man and artist under the Kafka-esque oppressions of a totalitarian state. And, if you were lucky enough to get to know him and hear about these experiences and how they forged him, you realized that for all the success and privilege that came to him, his own perspective was that he was lucky to simply be alive and free and that he had an obligation to keep using his work to shake his fist in defiance. He was my first real mentor in filmmaking and, to this day, I’ve never worked with anyone who matched his wizardry at cultivating the 'unrepeatable moments' that made his films so magical. The innumerable wonderful memories I have from working with him on The People vs. Larry Flynt, having him act in my first film and traveling with him to his beloved Prague, remain one of the greatest gifts of my career."

Natalie Portman, who starred in Goya's Ghosts, said of Forman: "I loved working with Milos and am so sad to hear of his passing. I am grateful to have gotten to experience the way he made the film set an absurdist adventure, his irreverent humor, his love of food, wine and family, and his phenomenal direction. He made me laugh and he made me think, and I will remember our time in Madrid always as one of the most meaningful filmmaking experiences of my life. I send my deepest condolences to his wife and children."

Tweeted Man on the Moon star Jim Carrey: "What a force. A lovely man. I’m glad we got to play together. It was a monumental experience."

Man on the Moon co-star and producer Danny DeVito tweeted, "Milos the magnificent! ?est k jeho památce (honour to his memory) light a good cigar, raise a drink, and shout 'HOVNO HOVNO HOVNO!'"

DeVito also released a statement in which he said, "He was a dear friend and I will miss him. My thoughts go out to his family. May he Rest In Peace."

Woody Harrelson, who starred in Forman's 1996 film The People vs. Larry Flynt, also paid his respects to the filmmaker, saying, "Milos was a master of his craft, and perhaps had mastered the art of living too. He was a loving papa bear who would yell your name with his big Czech voice when you entered the set or restaurant and wrap his arms around you and make you feel like the center of the world."

Fellow helmers James Mangold, Ava DuVernay and Edgar Wright also paid tribute to the director they learned from, while actors Antonio Banderas, Josh Gad, Cary Elwes and Mia Farrow also mourned him, with Elwes and Farrow remembering him as a friend.

The Directors Guild of America, which honored Forman with its lifetime achievement award in 2013 after he won the outstanding directorial achievement in feature film award for Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, released a statement from its president, Thomas Schlamme: “Milos was truly one of ours. A filmmaker, artist, and champion of artists’ rights. His contribution to the craft of directing has been an undeniable source of inspiration for generations of filmmakers. His directorial vision deftly brought together provocative subject matter, stellar performances and haunting images to tell the stories of the universal struggle for free expression and self-determination that informed so much of his work and his life. A member of the DGA’s National Board and a recipient of the DGA’s highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, Miloš actively championed artist’s rights throughout his career, speaking multiple times before Congress and world audiences about the importance of creative rights and artists’ protections against the violation of those rights. He stood up on behalf of his beloved fellow filmmakers time and again, and he believed with all his heart that creativity and artistic freedom could make a difference in the world. Now it’s up to us to prove him right. We will miss him.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences posted a video of Forman winning his best director Oscar for Cuckoo's Nest to its Facebook account, writing, "We’re saddened to hear about the loss of a legend. Milos Forman’s films One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus earned Oscars for best directing and best picture, among others and cemented him as a master storyteller of our time. With a rebellious filmmaker spirit and an eye for life's small moments, he captured the human condition like none other. His work will continue to inspire for generations to come. Mr. Forman, you are greatly missed."

Read on to see what others are saying about Forman.