Memorial | No one wanted to play the horror nurse, but Louise Fletcher made a name for herself in film history

    On September 23, local time, veteran American actress Louise Fletcher died of illness at the age of 88.

    Louise Fletcher

    For decades, Fletcher is best known for his role as head nurse Ratched in the non-classic film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. With her convincing performance in the film, she won consecutive Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Oscars that year. In 2003, the American Film Institute (AFI) voted for the top 100 screen villains in American film history, and the head nurse Ratched ranked fifth, second only to a few villains such as murderer Hannibal and Darth Vader.

    "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" stills

    Louise Fletcher was born on July 22, 1934, into a poor family in Alabama, USA. Her parents are severely hard of hearing, but fortunately all four children can listen and speak. Old Fletcher is a devout Christian. He usually mainly does missionary work, serving the poor church members who are also deaf. He is not at home all the year round. The relatively special growing environment has created Fletcher's taciturn, autistic and introverted character; on the other hand, she has also cultivated a strong personality. Later, she said in an interview: "I have never cried much since I was a child. I don't have this habit. Even if I fall down or get injured, I will not cry, because no one at home can hear me when I cry. ."

    Fortunately, the aunt who settled in Texas has a good family, including Louise, and several children of the Fletcher family live by her side for a period of time every year and enjoy a happy time. It was also at the weekend party at her aunt and uncle's house that she discovered her talent for acting for the first time.

    After graduating from high school, Louise Fletcher did not insist on completing her university studies, and came to Hollywood halfway, wanting to realize her dream of being an actress, but most of the time she can only play a small supporting role in various TV series. "I'm 178, and it's hard to get good roles. Almost all TV producers don't believe that such a tall woman can be sexy, so I basically play some western cowboy TV series, because there are only those males. The actor's height will be taller than me, and it is easier to play." Fletcher recalled with a wry smile.

    In 1958, at the age of 24, she tied the knot with Jerry Bick, a New York producer who was 11 years older than herself. Soon after, she quit the acting industry because of her pregnancy and childbirth, and she retired for more than ten years. . In the future, she once said in an interview that she could not enjoy the joys of a normal family when she was a child, so after becoming a mother, she made up her mind to give her two sons a normal family life, even at the expense of her acting career.

    In 1973, the famous director Robert Altman started filming a new work "Thieves Like Us". The male and female lead actors were Keith Carradine and Shirley Duvall, but there was a middle-aged mother who did not play much. The role of the film was never able to find a suitable actor, so the film's producer Jerry Beek invited his wife to make a cameo appearance, and this performance also revived Fletcher's drama addiction.

    Louise Fletcher (later) as her mother in No Tomorrow.

    It's just that, having been away from Hollywood for many years, and the age has reached 40 years old, it is easier said than done to return to the arena. Finding a suitable agency is the most important first step in acting in Hollywood, but Fletcher at that time had reached the point where no agent was willing to act as her agent. More than a dozen agency firms advised her to save money. , and continue to be a housewife with peace of mind for the rest of her life. However, life is often about whether it is extremely prosperous or not. When the mountains and rivers are exhausted, the blessing of the goddess of luck is often beckoning to you not far away.

    In 1974, director Milos Foreman began planning the film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." "I was looking for an actor," recalls Foreman, "and I was recommended to see No Tomorrow heroine Shirley Duvall, who might be a good fit for the role of a whore in a lunatic asylum. As a result, Louise When Fletcher came on, I was stunned. Her performance caught my eye. It was a mystery that people couldn't explain. In my opinion, this is really Nurse Ratched. A very, very important quality in a character."

    Originally, the producers also sought out big-name actors such as Anne Bancroft, Angela Lansbury and Ellen Burstyn to play the role, hoping to use their popularity to boost the box office. After all, the role of Head Nurse Ratched is almost omnipresent from the beginning to the end of the film, no less important than the hero played by Jack Nicholson. As a result, after reading the script, most of these actors felt that the role of Nurse Ratched was too terrifying and evil, and they rejected them for fear of affecting their own image, so the opportunity finally fell to 41-year-old Louise Fletcher. on the head.

    In January 1975, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" started filming at the Oregon State Psychiatric Hospital. The film tells the crazy story of the hospital trying to reform and discipline its patients at the extreme. In the film, Louise Fletcher shows amazing acting skills. When facing the patient, she does not rely on hysterical shouting or overwhelming physical superiority; An aura can make people shudder.

    "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" received numerous acclaim after its release, and Fletcher's performance was also unanimously recognized by the media and audiences. Pauline Kael, a well-known film critic at the time, wrote in "The New Yorker" magazine: "Louise Fletcher The nurse, played by Letcher, is completely convinced that she is doing the right thing, that she is thinking of those patients, and that if anyone dares to question her authority, she will also feel offended and hurt from the bottom of her heart, so we You'll see Louise Fletcher's mouth tucked back slightly, the muscles of the lower half of her face sagging slowly...it's a masterful performance."

    In the end, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" won five awards at the 48th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor and Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay - so far only "It Happened One Night", "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "The Silence of the Lambs" "These three films have reached this Grand Slam score. When taking over the statue that belonged to her, Fletcher also expressed his gratitude to his parents in sign language.

    Lois Fletcher won the 1975 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Head Nurse.

    Since then, various film appointments have come one after another, but I am afraid that because of age, Fletcher can only play supporting roles most of the time, and it is difficult to find opportunities for her to truly exert her acting skills. I believe it is because the role of the head nurse left the audience with a very deep impression. Later, the roles she received often had the image of such a devil and a big villain, and the type of movies she performed also became stereotyped. Mostly horror and action films, she was even nominated for the 1987 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress ("Contact to Mars"). On the contrary, on the TV screen where she started, Fletcher received some good roles later in her career, such as the Bajoran Pope in the sci-fi TV series "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", or the American version of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine". The foul-mouthed old mother Gallagher in Shameless.

    Screenshot of "Encounter with Mars"

    Screenshot of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

    American version of "Shameless" stills

    In an early interview, Fletcher predicted: "When I die, the headlines in the newspaper obituaries will surely read: 'Louise Fletcher, Oscar winner for Best Actress...' Indeed, won Oscar is a big event that can completely change your life, but in fact it does not mean that you will have smooth sailing in the future. I am a very realistic person, and I can only be realistic because I was 41 years old when I won the Oscar Come on. To put it bluntly, how many characters are reserved for people like us? I don’t want to complain too much. I can only play whatever I want, even if I don’t really like those characters. You need to film to make a living.”


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