The death of Oscar winning director Milos Forman was announced to the world by his third wife, Martina Zborilova-Forman. In a statement to CTK in Forman’s homeland of the Czech Republic, Martina said that Forman died on April 13 adding, “his departure was calm, and he was surrounded the whole time by his family and closest friends.”
The New York Times cited Forman’s agents, Dennis Aspland, in saying that the legendary director died at his home in Warren, Connecticut. The Times added in their tribute that Forman, who won Oscars for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, was a director who “challenged Hollywood with his subversive touch.”
Forman is survived by his children from his second marriage to actress Jana Brejchova, Petr and Matej, as well as Martina Zborilova-Forman, and their twin sons, James and Andrew. Milos and Martina’s kids are named for Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufmann. In 1999, Forman directed Carrey as Kaufmann in the biopic, Man on the Moon.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Couple Met When Martina Worked as Milos’ Production Assistant
In the New York Times’ obituary for Milos, it details that he met Martina while she worked as his production assistant. The Reuters tribute says that Martina had been a aspiring writer when the pair met in Prague. The couple was married just before the release of Man on the Moon in 1999. The couple’s sons had been born the year previous, in 1998.
2. Martina Attended the Film & TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague
According to her official website, Martina attended the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague where she studied screenwriting and drama. During her time in school, Martina worked as a model in her homeland. Martina is a native of the city of Brno, some 127 miles from Prague. Since 1994, Martina has lived in the United States where she divides her time between Connecticut and New York City. Her writing resume includes books, beginning in 2002 with Composer of Fragrances and two television movies.
At FAMU, Martina was a classmate of director Jan Hrebejk. He told Reuters about his feelings regarding Milos’ passing, “In his films you can see the author. When you watch them it’s as if that person is speaking to you, as the maker; not many people can do that.”
3. Martina Says She Feels Like American Women Don’t Care for Themselves
In a June 2017 interview in her homeland, Martina said that she feels more like an observer of Americans than an American herself. During that same interview Martina goes on to say, “I’m still shocked in Connecticut today when I see women who have come out of New York as beautiful and emancipated with their own professional lives, and suddenly as mothers of children they wear the tracksuit and there is a lot of things to them. In the Czech Republic, women still care for themselves.”
Martina adds that “men accept” their wife’s behavior. She goes on to say that even though her husband traveled a lot for work, she trusted him implicitly and “never went through his cell phone.”
4. The Forman’s Lived in a Home That Was a Converted Barn in Connecticut
Martina and Milos lived in converted barn in Connecticut. The New York Times featured the home in a 2009 piece. Milos told the newspaper that he bought the home in 1979 from painter Eric Sloane. In the article, Martina said of the home, “There is so much quiet time here, especially in the long winters, when you get cabin fever.” Milos discovered the area thanks to his friend, famed ballet dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov.
5. Some of Hollywood’s Biggest Names Have Been Offering Their Condolences on Social Media
In the wake of Milos’ tragic passing, some of Hollywood’s biggest names have been paying tribute to the legendary director on social media. Here are some of the most poignant messages: