Written by / 6/01/2013 / No comments / , , ,

REST IN PEACE DEAN BROOKS FROM THE REAL CUCKOO'S NEST

Dean R. Brooks as Dr. Spivey in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST
Dean Brooks played Dr. John Spivey in the Oscar Winning classic ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, a film best known for its ensemble of talented character actors. Although Dean, whose performance was genuine and memorable, wasn’t an actor: He was the real deal, in charge of the Oregon State Hospital in 1975 when CUCKOO’S NEST was filmed there.

In my interview in 2012 with Louise Fletcher, who played the formidable Nurse Ratched under Spivey’s docile watch, agreed on how capable Dean was in the movie.
Oscar Winner Louise Fletcher on her friend and co-star Dean Brooks
"Wasn’t he great? You know he’s still around. He’s ninety-four or five, and we talk about every month or so… He’s very, very involved with the hospital still and they’re building a new hospital and he’s very active in all that. But he’s in an assisted living place now."

We then discussed a scene where Dr. Spivey asks Nurse Ratched about what she wants to do with Jack Nicholson’s boisterous Randall Patrick McMurphy. Unlike the other doctors, she wants the cocky convict to stick around.

"I make it look like I’m really sacrificing… I think I can help him now… She’s has it in for him."
Dr. Spivey reacts to McMurphy smashing a fly on his desk
Dr. Spivey is first introduced in his office, asking McMurphy questions about how and why he went from prison into the mental hospital.

One classic moment has McMurphy swatting an imaginary fly on the desk, wherein Dean gives a flash of a quirky smile, approving, or perhaps simply acknowledging, this spontaneous distraction, one of several Nicholson adlibs during the memorable scene.
Dr. Spivey gets Nurse Ratched's two cents on McMurphy's future
In real life, Dean Brooks would allow patients wear their own clothes and take therapeutic field trips into the wilderness. Thankfully there was no Nurse Ratched to curb this brand of positive therapy.

God only knows what "Mildred" (a name Dr. Spivey first mentions, and that Louise herself made up for her character, who had only a last name in the Ken Kesey novel) would have done to cheer down the patients.

After a long dedicated life, Dr. Dean Brooks was 96 when he passed away on May 30th, 2013... Rest in Peace…
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