Louise Fletcher, an Oscar-award-winning actress who is best known for playing Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, has passed away at the age of 88. Fletcher died yesterday at her home in Montdurausse, France, surrounded by her family.
Fletcher was also well-known for her recurring appearance in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, playing the antagonistic Kai Winn Adami. She leaves behind multiple performances of villains we loved to hate, with Nurse Ratched still among the most iconic antagonists in film history, largely considered one of the best to be put to screen.
Fletcher's family confirmed the news of her passing to Deadline, revealing that she had died in her sleep in her home. No cause of death has been confirmed.
Tributes have been pouring in all morning, particularly in the Star Trek community. Throughout Deep Space Nine's six-year run, Fletcher played Bajoran religious leader, Kai Winn. A fan favourite villain, Winn was constantly a thorn in the side of the DS9 crew, endlessly self-righteous and ambitious. There was no better actor to take up the role than Fletcher, with many comparing her performance as the Kai with that of Nurse Ratched.
"The entire Star Trek family sends their condolences to Fletcher’s family, friends, loved ones, and fans around the world", reads the Star Trek website, which has just posted a tribute to the actress.
Many who worked alongside Fletcher on DS9 are sharing their own tributes, such as writer Ira Steven Behr. "Every fan of #StarTrekDS9 should be in mourning tonight", Behr writes. "Louise was key player for us. A stone cold pro who committed totally to her character. She was so damn good being so damn bad."
Fellow writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe has also shared his own tribute: "It was an honor and a pleasure to write for Louise Fletcher, one of the absolute greats. A blazing talent and a complete class act. May she rest with the Prophets."
Fletcher leaves behind a legacy as one of the greatest villain actors of all time, a role she embraced when she accepted an Academy Award for her performance as Nurse Ratched in 1976. "Well, it looks like you all hated me so much that you've given me this award for it, and I'm loving every minute of it", she said.
"All I can say is that I've loved being hated by you."
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