Forman was born in the Czech town of Caslav on February 18, 1932. His father was a member of a resistance group against the Nazi occupation. His mother died at Auschwitz.
Hunting for locations, Forman realized Prague was the only European capital that had changed little since Mozart's time, but returning there initially filled him with dread. "I was alone", he recalled.
Forman was surrounded by his family when he died on Friday after a short illness, his wife was quoted as saying by Czech media.
Forman first attracted worldwide 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".
Forman, by then an American citizen, returned to film the drama nearly entirely in Czechoslovakia.
"In his films you can see the author", he said.
The musical, about rebellious 1960s-era American youth, appealed to a director who had witnessed his own share of youthful rebellion against communist repression in Czechoslovakia.
But when he was shown the final version, Ponti refused to pay the promised $80,000 (65,000 euros) - an astronomic sum at that time - slamming the film as a trivial parody.More news: Mama Winnie: Mourners pay their last respects to an inspirational leader
In August 1968, just days before the Soviet-led crackdown that followed the Prague Spring uprising, Forman left Czechoslovakia for France, moving to the United States a few months later.
He remained connected to his birth country, filming "Amadeus" there.
Actor Michael Douglas gave Forman a second chance, hiring him to direct One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, which Douglas was co-producing.
"My instincts were too Czech".
In 1975, he rose to fame when he directed Hollywood blockbuster "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", an adaptation from a Ken Kesey novel. "Milos loved life. I will miss his laughter". "The Communist Party was my Nurse Ratched, telling me what I could and could not do; what I was or was not allowed to say; where I was and was not allowed to go; even who I was and was not".
Milos Forman after winning the best director Oscar for holds up his Oscar for his film Amadeus in 1985. The smash movie won eight Oscars out of 11 nominations.
The director, who worked meticulously, spending months with screenwriters and overseeing every aspect of production, didn't release another film until 1979's Hair. His biggest successes after "Amadeus" were two other films about colorful real-life characters: the Larry Flynt biopic "The People vs. Larry Flynt", and "Man on the Moon", about comedian Andy Kaufman.
- 1958-62: Married to actress Jana Brejchova. They have twin boys.