Jiri Menzel, the Oscar-winning Czech director, writer, and actor died on Saturday after struggling with a long illness, his wife Olga confirmed the news on social media.
“DEAREST Jirka, I thank you for each and every single day I could spend with you. Each was extraordinary. I am also grateful to you for the last three years, as hard as they were,” his wife wrote in both a Facebook and Instagram post.
Menzel was born in Prague and very early in his life, he became an important figure in the Czech New Wave as long as his colleagues Milos Forman and Vera Chytilova. The artist won the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film for the 1966 ‘Closely Watched Trains.’ This movie was brutally cut short by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, which made him go to America and grow in his career. He will be remembered for his love of small detail and tenderness towards his characters.
The director was also nominated for other pieces of work like the nomination for a foreign-language Oscar for the dark comedy ‘My Sweet Little Village’ in 1986.
Many of his films were based on the novels of Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal, the long time collaboration includes the well-known ‘Closely Watched Trains.’