Louise Fletcher: American actress (born: 1934 - died: 2022) | Biography
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Louise Fletcher
American actress

Louise Fletcher

Louise Fletcher
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actress
A.K.A. Estelle Louise Fletcher
Was Actor Television actor Film actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 22 July 1934, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA
Death 23 September 2022, Montdurausse, canton of Salvagnac, arrondissement of Albi, France (aged 88 years)
Star sign Cancer
Height: 1.778 m
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ramsay High School
Academy Award for Best Actress 1974
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role  
The details (from wikipedia)


Estelle Louise Fletcher (July 22, 1934 – September 23, 2022) was an American actress, best known for her portrayal of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), which earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award. She was also well-known for her recurring role as the Bajoran religious leader Kai Winn Adami in the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–99), as well as for her role as Helen Rosemond in the movie Cruel Intentions (1999). She was nominated for two Emmy Awards for her roles in the television series Picket Fences (1996) and Joan of Arcadia (2004). Her final role was as Rosie in the Netflix series Girlboss (2017).

Early life

Fletcher was born on July 22, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama, the second of four children of Estelle (née Caldwell) and the Reverend Robert Capers Fletcher, an Episcopalian missionary from Arab, Alabama. Both of her parents were deaf and worked with the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Fletcher's father founded more than 40 churches for the deaf in Alabama. Fletcher and her siblings Roberta, John, and Georgianna were all born without any hearing loss so she was taught to speak by a hearing aunt.


Louise Fletcher
James Garner and Fletcher in Maverick (1959)
Louise Fletcher
Fletcher at the National Film Society convention (1979)

Fletcher began appearing in several television series including Lawman (1958) and Maverick (1959). (The Maverick episode "The Saga of Waco Williams" with James Garner was the series' highest-rated episode.) Also in 1959, she appeared in the second episode of the original Untouchables TV series, (starring Robert Stack), "Ma Barker and Her Boys", as Elouise. Fletcher recalled having greater success being cast in Westerns due to her height:

"I was 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m; 178 cm) tall, and no television producer thought a tall woman could be sexually attractive to anybody. I was able to get jobs on westerns because the actors were even taller than I was."

— Louise Fletcher (November 1975)

In 1960, Fletcher made two guest appearances on Perry Mason, as defendant Gladys Doyle in "The Case of the Mythical Monkeys", and as Susan Connolly in "The Case of the Larcenous Lady". In the summer of 1960, she was cast as Roberta McConnell in the episode "The Bounty Hunter" of Tate, starring David McLean.

In 1974, Fletcher returned to film in Thieves Like Us, co-produced by her husband Jerry Bick and Robert Altman, who also directed. When the two had a falling out on Altman's next project (Nashville (1975)), Altman decided to cast Lily Tomlin for the role of Linnea Reese, initially created for and by Fletcher. Meanwhile, director Miloš Forman saw Fletcher in Thieves and cast her as McMurphy's nemesis Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Fletcher gained international recognition and fame for the role, winning the Academy Award for Best Actress, as well as a BAFTA Award and Golden Globe. She was only the third actress ever to win an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and Golden Globe Award for a single performance, after Audrey Hepburn and Liza Minnelli. When Fletcher accepted her Oscar, she used sign language to thank her parents.

After Cuckoo's Nest, Fletcher had mixed success in film. She made several financially and critically successful films, while others were box-office failures. Fletcher's film roles were in such features as Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), The Cheap Detective (1978), The Lady in Red (1979), The Magician of Lublin (1979), Brainstorm (1983), Firestarter (1984), Invaders From Mars (1986), Flowers in the Attic (1987), Two Moon Junction (1988), Best of the Best (1989), Blue Steel (1990), Virtuosity (1995), High School High (1996), and Cruel Intentions (1999, as Sebastian's aunt). Additionally, she played the character Ruth Shorter, a supporting role, in Aurora Borealis (2005), alongside Joshua Jackson and Donald Sutherland, and appeared in the Fox Faith film The Last Sin Eater (2007).

Fletcher co-starred in TV movies such as The Karen Carpenter Story (1989) (as Karen and Richard Carpenter's mother, Agnes), Nightmare on the 13th Floor (1990), The Haunting of Seacliff Inn (1994), and The Stepford Husbands (1996). From 1993 to 1999, she held a recurring role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the scheming Bajoran religious leader Kai Winn Adami. She also earned Emmy Award nominations for her guest roles on Picket Fences (1996), and later on Joan of Arcadia (2004). In 2009, Fletcher appeared in Heroes as the physician mother of character Emma Coolidge. In 2011 and 2012, she appeared on four episodes of Shameless as Grammy Gallagher, Frank Gallagher's foul-mouthed and hard-living mother, who is serving a prison sentence for manslaughter related to a meth lab explosion. She portrayed the recurring role of Rosie on the series Girlboss (2017).

Personal life

Fletcher married literary agent and producer Jerry Bick in 1960, divorcing in 1977. The couple had two sons, John Dashiell Bick and Andrew Wilson Bick. Fletcher took an 11-year break from acting to raise them.

Fletcher received an honorary degree from Gallaudet University in 1982.

In 1998, Fletcher was charged with reckless driving after she allegedly struck a police officer who was removing a deer carcass from a roadway. The police officer was injured in both legs and had to be hospitalized.

Fletcher died at her home in Montdurausse, France, on September 23, 2022, at the age of 88.



Year Title Role Notes
1963 A Gathering of Eagles Mrs. Kemler
1974 Thieves Like Us Mattie
1975 Russian Roulette Midge
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Nurse Ratched
1977 Exorcist II: The Heretic Dr. Gene Tuskin
1978 The Cheap Detective Marlene DuChard
1979 The Lady in Red Anna Sage
The Magician of Lublin Emilia
Natural Enemies Miriam Steward
1980 The Lucky Star Loes Bakker
Mama Dracula Mama Dracula
1981 Strange Behavior Barbara Moorehead
Be Pretty and Shut Up Herself Documentary
1982 Talk to Me Richard's Mother
1983 Strange Invaders Mrs. Benjamin
Brainstorm Lilian Reynolds
1984 Firestarter Norma Manders
Once Upon a Time in America Cemetery Directress Extended cut only
Overnight Sensation Evie Peregrine aka "E.K. Hamilton" Short
1986 Invaders from Mars Mrs. McKeltch
The Boy Who Could Fly Dr. Granada
Nobody's Fool Pearl
1987 Flowers in the Attic Grandmother
1988 Two Moon Junction Belle Delongpre
1989 Best of the Best Mrs. Grady
1990 Shadowzone Dr. Erhardt
Blue Steel Shirley Turner
1992 The Player Louise Fletcher
Blind Vision Miss Taylor
1994 On Deadly Ground Bartender Uncredited
Giorgino Innkeeper
Tryst Maggie
Tollbooth Lillian
1995 Return to Two Moon Junction Belle Delongpre
Virtuosity Elizabeth Deane
1996 Mulholland Falls Esther Uncredited
Edie & Pen Judge
Frankenstein and Me Mrs. Perdue
2 Days in the Valley Evelyn
High School High Principal Evelyn Doyle
1997 Gone Fishin' Restaurant Owner uncredited
The Girl Gets Moe Gloria
1998 Johnny 316 unknown role
Love Kills Alena Heiss
1999 Cruel Intentions Helen Rosemond
A Map of the World Nellie Goodwin
The Contract Grandma Collins
2000 Big Eden Grace Cornwell
Very Mean Men Katherine Mulroney
More Dogs Than Bones Iva Doll
2001 After Image Aunt Cora
Touched by a Killer Judge Erica Robertson
2002 Manna from Heaven Mother Superior
2003 Silver Man Val
Finding Home Esther
2004 Clipping Adam Grammy
2005 Aurora Borealis Ruth Shorter
Dancing in Twilight Evelyn
2006 Fat Rose and Squeaky Bonnie
2007 The Last Sin Eater Miz Elda
A Dennis the Menace Christmas Mrs. Martha Wilson Direct-to-Video
2010 The Genesis Code Ellen Taylor
2011 Cassadaga Claire
2013 A Perfect Man Abbie filmed in 2000
2020 Grizzly II: Revenge Eileene Draygon filmed in 1983


Year Title Role Notes
1958 Flight unknown role "Red China Rescue"
Playhouse 90 Pete's Girl 2 episodes
Bat Masterson Sarah Lou Conant "Cheyenne Club"
Yancy Derringer Miss Nellie / Alithea "Old Dixie"
1959 Lawman Betty Horgan "The Encounter"
Maverick Kathy Bent "The Saga of Waco Williams"
77 Sunset Strip Julia Murphy "A Bargain in Tombs"
The Untouchables Eloise "Ma Barker and Her Boys"
Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond Jeannie "The Open Window" (broadcast Nov. 3rd., US)
Markham Ellen Amery "Strange Visitor"
1959–60 Wagon Train Elizabeth / Martha English 2 episodes
1960 The Millionaire Holly "Millionaire Vance Ludlow"
Sugarfoot Julie Frazer "Funeral at Forty Mile"
Tate Mrs. McConnell "The Bounty Hunter"
Perry Mason Susan Connolly / Gladys Doyle 2 episodes
1961 The Best of the Post unknown role "Groper in the Dark"
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp Aithra McLowery "The Law Must Be Fair"
1973 Medical Center unknown role "Child of Violence"
1974 Can Ellen Be Saved? Bea Lindsey TV Movie
1976 Dinah! Herself "#2.116"
1978 Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery Sally Kimball TV Movie
Hollywood Squares Herself (Panelist) "6.19.1978"
1979 The Muppets Go Hollywood Herself (uncredited) TV Special
1984 Islands Maureen Davis TV Movie
1985 A Summer to Remember Dr. Dolly McKeever TV Movie
1986 Last Waltz on a Tightrope Cynthia Diamond TV Movie
Second Serve Dr. Sadie M. Bishop TV Movie
1987 J. Edgar Hoover Annie M. Hoover TV Movie
1988 Worlds Beyond Karen Earl "Home"
The Twilight Zone Dr. Cline "The Hunters"
1989 The Karen Carpenter Story Agnes Carpenter TV Movie
Final Notice Mrs. Lord TV Movie
1990 In the Heat of the Night Catherine Tyler "December Days"
Nightmare on the 13th Floor Letti Gordon TV Movie
1991 The Hitchhiker Mother Birch "Offspring"
Tales from the Crypt Agent "Top Billing"
In a Child's Name Jean Taylor Miniseries

2 episodes

1992 The Boys of Twilight Genelva McPherson / Genelva 4 episodes
The Ray Bradbury Theater Miss Weldon "The Dead Man"
Civil Wars Judge Francis Wyler "The Triumph of DeVille"
1993 The Fire Next Time Sarge Miniseries
1993–99 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Kai Winn / Vedek Winn recurring role (14 episodes)
1994 The Haunting of Seacliff Inn Dorothy O'Hara TV Movie
Someone Else's Child Faye Maddox TV Movie
1995 Dream On Joanna "Try Not to Remember"
1995–97 VR.5 Mrs. Nora Bloom recurring role (6 episodes)
1996 Picket Fences Christine Bey 2 episodes
The Stepford Husbands Miriam Benton TV Movie
1997 Sins of the Mind D. Anna Bingham TV Movie
Married to a Stranger Nana, Megan's Mother TV Movie
Heartless Aunt Lydia McGuffy TV Movie
Breast Men Mrs. Saunders TV Movie
1998 Profiler Miriam Newquay, Jack's Mother 2 episodes
The Practice Judge N. Swanson "Rhyme and Reason"
Fantasy Island Doris Leeman "Dying to Dance"
Brimstone Evelyn McNabb "Encore"
1999 The Devil's Arithmetic Aunt Eva TV Movie
Time Served Warden Mildred Reinecke TV Movie
2000 Any Day Now Tillie Simms "Three Lucky Ladies on the Line"
2003 A Time to Remember Billy Calhoun TV Movie
2004 It's All Relative ER Nurse "Oscar Interrupts"
Joan of Arcadia Eva Garrison "Do the Math"
Wonderfalls Vivian Caldwell "Barrel Bear"
Biography Herself (Interviewee) "Jack Nicholson: The Joker Is Wild"
2005 7th Heaven Mrs. Wagner "Honor Thy Mother"
ER Roberta "Birdie" Chadwin 2 episodes
2006 A Dad for Christmas Glennie TV Movie
2009 Heroes Dr. Coolidge 2 episodes
2010–11 Private Practice Frances Wilder 2 episodes
2011–12 Shameless Peg Gallagher recurring role (4 episodes)
2012 Of Two Minds Aunt Will TV Movie
Bad Girls Actress TV Movie
2017 Girlboss Rosie 2 episodes


Association Year Category Nominated Work Results Ref.
AARP Movies for Grownups Awards 2007 Best Grownup Love Story Aurora Borealis Nominated
Academy Awards 1976 Best Actress One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Won
BAFTA Awards 1977 Best Actress in a Leading Role One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Won
CinEuphoria Awards 2020 Career — Honorary Award Won
Faro Island Film Festival 1975 Jury Prize Special Mention One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Won
Genie Awards 1981 Best Performance by a Foreign Actress The Lucky Star Nominated
Gold Derby Awards 2012 Drama Guest Actress Shameless Nominated
Golden Globes 1976 Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Won
Golden Raspberry Awards 1987 Worst Supporting Actress Invaders from Mars Nominated
New York Film Critics Circle Awards 1975 Best Supporting Actress One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Nominated
Online Film & Television Association 1997 Best Guest Actress in a Syndicated Series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Won
Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series Won
1998 Best Guest Actress in a Syndicated Series Won
1999 Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Best Guest Actress in a Syndicated Series Won
2012 Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series Shameless Won
Palm Beach International Film Festival 2005 Legend in Film Award Won
Primetime Emmy Awards 1996 Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Picket Fences Nominated
2004 Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Joan of Arcadia Nominated
Satellite Awards 1998 Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Breast Men Nominated
2016 Mary Pickford Award Won
Saturn Awards 1984 Best Actress Brainstorm Won
1988 Best Supporting Actress Flowers in the Attic Nominated
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 24 Sep 2022. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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