We’re a little late on this one but we can’t let it go by that the great Louise Fletcher passed away on September 23rd, 2022. Yeah you have your Chuckies, your Freddys, your Jasons… but for my money, Nurse Ratched may be one of the most terrifying characters ever put to screen.
I mean when you can make Jack Nicholson look scared, you’ve done something.
She earned an Oscar for her performance in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and that was back when getting an Oscar actually meant something. While she hasn’t been the most prolific actress since then, her turn in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Kai Winn was deliciously icy and malovelent. Let’s face it, no one could turn a character that should be a force for good into something of evil.
She wasn’t always that typecast but when she was, she was probably the best at it. Take her turn in the not so great movie Flowers In The Attic.
It may not be the best movie but you can’t fault her performance in it. But she wasn’t always horrible. For instance in Firestarter she played a kindly farmer’s wife who adopted Drew Barrymore at the end.
While she could be terrifying, she could play terrified pretty well too. Here’s her death scene in Brainstorm:
Louise won not only an academy award and a Bafta and a Golden Globe for her Cuckoo’s performance, but also two Emmy’s for her roles in Picket Fences and Joan of Arcadia. It was a crime she was never nominated as Kai Winn though.
Rest in peace Louise. You had a great run.