He died on Friday in the U.S. after a short illness, according to his wife Martina. He first attracted global attention with features like Black Peter, The Loves of a Blonde(1965) - an Oscar nominee for best foreign-language film, and The Firemen's Ball.
The 1975 film, based on Ken Kesey's novel about a misfit who leads mental institution inmates in a revolt against authority, captured every major Oscar at that year's Academy Awards, the first film to do so since 1934 " s "It Happened One Night". The film won Oscars in the five most celebrated categories: Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
"That is the only way to open the film to a certain kind of lightness", he said.
One of his last films was Goya's Ghosts in 2006, which was "an intricate examination of persecution in Spain in the era of religious persecution and Napoleonic conquest", as the Times described it.
Bank of America to stop lending money to military-style weapons makers
The bank has had "intense conversations over the last few months" with those kinds of gun manufacturers to tell them it won't finance their operations in the future, she said.
Fellow filmmakers and fans alike have taken to Twitter to share their admiration of Forman.
Born in Caslav in former Czechoslovakia, Forman's parents, his mother and the man he thought was his biological father; died in the Nazi concentration camps and he was raised by relatives. Forman established his talent with a title at the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition, but made his feature debut in 1963 with Black Peter, which won the top prize at the Locarno Film Festival. "When we started to make our films, they were really Czech films about Czech society and Czech little people - and who cares about Czech little people?" Forman said in a 2004 interview with the Los Angeles Times. College would allow him to pursue this passion and his travel to NY in the 1960s gave him the latitude he needed to make his films without censorship from communist authorities. "So it was satisfying to have people in other countries respond".
After directing Hair (1979) and Ragtime (1981), Forman helmed the period drama Amadeus, a fictionalised biography of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Forman is survived by his wife, Martina Zborilova-Forman, and four children.