Louise Fletcher's acting career can be divided into two stages. She started out appearing on television shows such as Wagon Train and [[Feature~V51947~The Untouchables~theuntouchables]] during the late '50s, but left acting in 1964, two years after marrying movie producer [[Performer~P167295~Jerry Bick~jerrybick]], to raise a family. She did not return to her craft until appearing in [[Performer~P79456~Robert Altman~robertaltman]]'s well-regarded feature film [[Feature~V113290~Thieves Like Us~thieveslikeus]] in 1974. [[Performer~P294388~Fletcher~fletcher]] then appeared in the spy thriller [[Feature~V42402~Russian Roulette~russianroulette]] (1975) before [[Performer~P90166~Milos Forman~milosforman]] cast her in what was to become her signature role, that of the iron-willed, sadistic Nurse Ratched who tormented [[Performer~P104455~Jack Nicholson~jacknicholson]] in [[Feature~V36363~One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest~oneflewoverthecuckoosnest]] (1975). Her believable portrayal won her a Best Actress Oscar and a Golden Globe. Perhaps the highest honor is that her Ratched has become a movie icon, one that has been frequently emulated and parodied in numerous subsequent films.
[[Performer~P294388~Fletcher~fletcher]] was born in Birmingham, AL, to a deaf Episcopalian minister and a deaf mother. She started acting in summer stock following her graduation from the University of North Carolina. [[Performer~P294388~Fletcher~fletcher]] next moved to Los Angeles and found work as a receptionist before breaking into television. Standing 5'10", the strikingly beautiful [[Performer~P294388~Fletcher~fletcher]] was often taller than her leading men, something that hindered her first bid at stardom.
Since her success with [[Feature~V36363~One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest~oneflewoverthecuckoosnest]], [[Performer~P294388~Fletcher~fletcher]] has found steady employment as a supporting and character actress on television -- where she received a 1996 Emmy nomination for a guest-star appearance on the highly acclaimed CBS series [[Feature~V133702~Picket Fences~thefence]] -- and in feature films. She also has a busy stage career. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi