Dr. Dean Brooks of Oregon State Hospital and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” fame died this morning. He was 96.
He passed away peacefully in his apartment at Willson House surrounded by family, including his three daughters, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Brooks was the superintendent at the State Hospital from 1955 to 1981, and although he did much to improve patient care during his tenure, he is best known for inviting the makers of “Cuckoo’s Nest” into the hospital in 1974-75.
READ – A Bushel of Shoes, by Dean Brooks, MD. Brooks was superintendent of the Oregon State Hospital. From Journal of Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 1969.
READ – Dean Brooks, Superintendent and Actor, Talks About Cuckoo’s Nest, interview from Journal of Hospital and Community Psychiatry, January 1977.
READ – Brooks to Unger (OSH 1951). This seems to be a transcript of a tour of the OSH, perhaps by Dean Brooks. There is a light penciled title “Oregon State Hospital 1951.”
READ – Historical texts about the Oregon State Hospital.
He played the role of Dr. Spivey, who performed the intake interview with Randle McMurphy, played by Jack Nicholson.
WATCH – The “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” trailer shows Dr. Dean Brooks, as Dr. Spivey, questioning Jack Nicholson’s character.
A memorial service for Brooks will be held in the coming weeks at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salem. The family is still working out the details.
Governor John Kitzhaber released the following statement on the passing of Dr. Brooks:
“Dr. Brooks left a legacy of hope and recovery for the patients of Oregon State Hospital and their families. During his tenure, he worked tirelessly to help people across the state understand the challenges facing those who live with mental illness. He was an agent of change, committed to helping others make their lives better, and he will be greatly missed.”