Anne Bancroft

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Anne Bancroft
Black-and-white studio publicity headshot of Bancroft (late 1950s)
Bancroft 1956
BornAnna Maria Louisa Italiano
(1931-09-17)September 17, 1931
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 6, 2005(2005-06-06) (aged 73)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Cause of death
Uterine cancer
OccupationActress
Years active1951–2005
ReligionCatholic[1]
Spouse(s)

Martin May (m. 1953; div. 1957)

Mel Brooks (m. 1964–2005); her death
ChildrenMax Brooks (born 1972)
 
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For the American explorer, see Ann Bancroft.
Anne Bancroft
Black-and-white studio publicity headshot of Bancroft (late 1950s)
Bancroft 1956
BornAnna Maria Louisa Italiano
(1931-09-17)September 17, 1931
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 6, 2005(2005-06-06) (aged 73)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Cause of death
Uterine cancer
OccupationActress
Years active1951–2005
ReligionCatholic[1]
Spouse(s)

Martin May (m. 1953; div. 1957)

Mel Brooks (m. 1964–2005); her death
ChildrenMax Brooks (born 1972)

Anna Maria Louisa Italiano (September 17, 1931 – June 6, 2005), known professionally as Anne Bancroft, was an American actress associated with the method acting school, which she had studied under Lee Strasberg.[2] Respected for her acting prowess and versatility, Bancroft was often acknowledged for her work in film, theatre and television. She won one Academy Award, three BAFTA Awards, two Golden Globes, two Tony Awards and two Emmy Awards, and several other awards and nominations.[3][4]

She made her film debut in Don't Bother to Knock (1952) and, following a string of supporting film roles during the 1950s, won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Miracle Worker (1962), receiving subsequent nominations for her roles in The Pumpkin Eater (1964), The Graduate (1967), The Turning Point (1977), and Agnes of God (1985). Bancroft's other acclaimed movies as a lead actress include Young Winston (1972), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975), To Be or Not to Be (1983), and 84 Charing Cross Road (1987).

Later in her career, she made the transition back to supporting roles in theatrical films such as Point of No Return (1993), Home for the Holidays (1995), Great Expectations (1998), Antz (1998), Keeping the Faith (2000), and Heartbreakers (2001). She also starred in seven television films, the last of which was The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (2003) for which she received Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.

Bancroft died of uterine cancer, age 73, in 2005. Among her survivors were her mother Mildred, her husband of 40 years, Mel Brooks, and their son Max Brooks.

Early life[edit]

Bancroft was born Anna Maria Louisa Italiano in The Bronx, New York, the daughter of Mildred (née DiNapoli; 1907–2010), a telephone operator, and Michael G. Italiano (1905–2001), a dress pattern maker.[5][6] Her parents were both children of Italian immigrants. She was brought up as a Roman Catholic.[7] Bancroft graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx in 1948, and attended HB Studio, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Actors Studio, and the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women at the University of California, Los Angeles. After appearing in a number of live television dramas under the name Anne Marno, she was told to change her surname for her film debut in Don't Bother to Knock.

Career[edit]

Bancroft in 1997

Bancroft was a contract player in the early days of her career just as the studio contract system was ending. She left Hollywood because of the poor quality of roles she was being offered and returned to New York.

In 1958, Bancroft made her Broadway debut as lovelorn, Bronx-accented Gittel Mosca opposite Henry Fonda (as the married man Gittel loves) in William Gibson's two-character play Two for the Seesaw, directed by Arthur Penn. For Gittel, she won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play. (Though her role was quite equal to Fonda's, he, an established film actor, was the star, and so she was eligible in the featured category.)

She subsequently won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play in 1960, again with playwright Gibson and director Penn, when she played Annie Sullivan, the sight-impaired, heroically indefatigable young woman who teaches the child Helen Keller to communicate in The Miracle Worker. She took the latter role to Hollywood, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress, with Patty Duke repeating her own success as Helen alongside Bancroft in the 1962 film version of the play. Bancroft had returned to Broadway to star in Mother Courage and Her Children, so Joan Crawford accepted Bancroft's Oscar on her behalf, and later presented the award to her in New York. She is one of the very distinct few to have won an Academy Award and Tony Award for the same role. Bancroft also co-starred as a medieval nun obsessed with a priest opposite Jason Robards in the 1965 Broadway production of John Whiting's play The Devils. Produced by Alexander H. Cohen and directed by Michael Cacoyannis, it ran for a total of 63 performances.[8]

Bancroft received a second Academy Award nomination in 1965 for her performance in The Pumpkin Eater. Her best-known role during this period was as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967), for which she received a third Academy Award nomination. In the film, she played an unhappily married woman who seduces a family friend, the much-younger recent college graduate played by Dustin Hoffman. In the movie, Hoffman's character later dates and falls in love with her daughter. Bancroft was ambivalent about her appearance in The Graduate; she stated in several interviews that the role overshadowed all of her other work. Despite her character becoming an archetype of the "older woman" role, Bancroft was only six years older than Dustin Hoffman.

A CBS television special, Annie: the Women in the Life of a Man (1970), won Bancroft an Emmy Award for her singing and acting.[9] Bancroft is one of a very select few entertainers to win an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony award. She followed that success with a second television special, Annie and The Hoods (1974), which was telecast on ABC and featured her husband Mel Brooks as a guest star. She made an uncredited cameo in the film Blazing Saddles (1974), directed by Brooks. She received a fourth Academy Award nomination for her performance in The Turning Point (1977) opposite Shirley MacLaine, and a fifth nomination for her performance in Agnes of God (1985) opposite Jane Fonda.

Bancroft made her debut as a screenwriter and director in Fatso (1980), in which she starred along with Dom DeLuise. Bancroft was also the original choice to play Joan Crawford in the film Mommie Dearest (1981), but backed out at the eleventh hour, and was replaced by Faye Dunaway. She was also a front-runner for the role of Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment (1983), but declined in order to act in the remake of To Be or Not to Be (1983), with her husband Mel Brooks.[citation needed]

During the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s, Bancroft took supporting roles in a number of films in which she co-starred with major film stars, including Honeymoon in Vegas (1992) with Nicolas Cage; Love Potion No. 9 (1992) with Sandra Bullock; Malice (1993) with Nicole Kidman; Point of No Return (1993) with Bridget Fonda; Home for the Holidays (1995) with Robert Downey Jr. and directed by Jodie Foster; How to Make an American Quilt (1995) with Winona Ryder, G.I. Jane (1997) with Demi Moore; Great Expectations (1998) with Gwyneth Paltrow; Keeping the Faith (2000) with Ben Stiller; and Heartbreakers (2001) with Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sigourney Weaver and Gene Hackman. She also lent her voice to the animated film Antz (1998) which also featured performances from Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, and Woody Allen.

Bancroft also starred in several television movies and miniseries, receiving six Emmy Award nominations (winning twice), eight Golden Globe nominations (winning twice), and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Her final appearance was as herself in a 2004 episode of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. Her last project was the animated feature Delgo, released posthumously in 2008.

She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6368 Hollywood Boulevard, for her work in television.[10] At the time of her star's installation (1960),[11] she had recently appeared in several TV series. Bancroft is also a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 1992.

Marriage and family[edit]

Bancroft with Mel Brooks at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.

Bancroft was married to Martin May from July 1, 1953, to February 13, 1957. They had no children.

In 1961, Bancroft met Mel Brooks at a rehearsal for the Perry Como variety show. Bancroft and Brooks married on August 5, 1964, at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau near New York City Hall and were together until her death. In 1972 Bancroft gave birth to her only child, Maximillian Brooks.

They were seen three times on the screen together: once dancing a tango in Brooks's Silent Movie (1976); in his remake of To Be or Not to Be (1983); and in the episode entitled "Opening Night" (2004) of the HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm. They were also in Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), but never appeared together. Brooks produced the film The Elephant Man (1980), in which Bancroft acted. He also was executive-producer for the film 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) in which she starred. Both Brooks and Bancroft appeared in season six of The Simpsons. According to the DVD commentary, when Bancroft came to record her lines for the episode "Fear of Flying", the Simpsons writers asked if Brooks had come with her (which he had); she joked, "I can't get rid of him!" In 2010, Brooks credited Bancroft as being the guiding force behind his involvement in developing The Producers and Young Frankenstein for the musical theatre, citing an early meeting as "From that day, until her death on June 5, 2005, we were glued together."[12]

In April 2005, two months before her death, Bancroft became a grandmother when her daughter-in-law Michelle gave birth to a boy, Henry Michael Brooks.

Death[edit]

Anne Bancroft's grave in Kensico Cemetery

Anne Bancroft died, age 73, of uterine cancer on June 6, 2005, at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.[13] Her death surprised many, even some of her friends. She was intensely private and had not released details of her illness.[citation needed] She is interred at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York, near her parents, Mildred (who died in April 2010, five years after her daughter) and Michael Italiano. A white marble monument with a weeping angel adorns her grave. Her last film, Delgo, was dedicated to her memory.

Work[edit]

Theatre[edit]

YearTitleRole
1958Two for the SeesawTony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
1959Miracle Worker, TheThe Miracle WorkerTony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
1963Mother Courage and Her Children
1965Devils, TheThe Devils
1967Little Foxes, TheThe Little Foxes
1968Cry of Players, AA Cry of Players
1977GoldaNominated—Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
1981Duet for One
2002Occupant

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1952Don't Bother to KnockLyn Lesley
1953Tonight We SingEmma Hurok
1953Treasure of the Golden CondorMarie, Comtesse de St. Malo
1953Kid from Left Field, TheThe Kid from Left FieldMarian Foley
1954Gorilla at LargeLaverne Miller
1954Demetrius and the GladiatorsPaula
1954[14]Raid, TheThe RaidKaty Bishop
1955New York ConfidentialKatherine (Kathy) Lupo
1955Life in the Balance, AA Life in the BalanceMaría Ibinia
1955Naked Street, TheThe Naked StreetRosalie Regalzyk
1955Last Frontier, TheThe Last FrontierCorinna Marston
1956Walk the Proud LandTianay
1957NightfallMarie Gardner
1957Restless Breed, TheThe Restless BreedAngelita
1957Girl in Black Stockings, TheThe Girl in Black StockingsBeth Dixon
1962Miracle Worker, TheThe Miracle WorkerAnnie SullivanAcademy Award for Best Actress
BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress
Laurel Award for Top Female Dramatic Performance (2nd place)
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
San Sebastián International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1964Pumpkin Eater, TheThe Pumpkin EaterJo ArmitageBAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Laurel Award for Top Female Dramatic Performance
1965Slender Thread, TheThe Slender ThreadInga Dyson
19667 WomenDr. D.R. Cartwright
1967Graduate, TheThe GraduateMrs. RobinsonGolden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Laurel Award for Top Female Dramatic Performance
1972Young WinstonJennie, Lady Randolph ChurchillNominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1974Blazing SaddlesExtra in Church Congregationuncredited
1975Prisoner of Second Avenue, TheThe Prisoner of Second AvenueEdna EdisonNominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1975Hindenburg, TheThe HindenburgUrsula, The Countess
1975Urban Living: Funny and FormidableHerselfshort
1976LipstickCarla Bondi
1976Silent MovieHerself
1977Turning Point, TheThe Turning PointEmma JacklinNational Board of Review Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1980FatsoAntoinetteAlso director and writer
Nominated — Taormina International Film Festival Golden Charybdis Award
1980Elephant Man, TheThe Elephant ManMadge Kendal
1983To Be or Not to BeAnna BronskiNominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1984Garbo TalksEstelle RolfeNominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1985Agnes of GodMother Miriam RuthNominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1986'night, MotherThelma CatesNominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
198784 Charing Cross RoadHelene HanffBAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1988Torch Song TrilogyMa Beckoff
1989Bert Rigby, You're a FoolMeredith PerlesteinNominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress
1992Honeymoon in VegasBea Singer
1992Love Potion No. 9Madame Ruth
1993Point of No ReturnAmanda
1993MaliceMrs. Kennsinger
1993Mr. JonesDr. Catherine Holland
1995How to Make an American QuiltGlady Joe ClearyNominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1995Home for the HolidaysAdele Larson
1995Dracula: Dead and Loving ItMadame Ouspenskaya (Gypsy Woman)
1996Sunchaser, TheThe SunchaserDr. Renata Baumbauer
1997G.I. JaneSen. Lillian DeHaven
1997Critical CareNun
1998Great ExpectationsMs. Dinsmoor
1998Mark Twain's America in 3DNarratordocumentary
1998AntzQueenvoice
2000Keeping the FaithRuth Schram
2000Up at the VillaPrincess San Ferdinando
2001HeartbreakersGloria Vogal/Barbara
2001In Search of PeaceGolda Meir (voice)documentary
2008DelgoSedessavoice

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1951SuspenseTV series, one episode: "Night Break", as Anne Marno.
1951The Ford Theatre HourTV series, three episodes, as Anna Marno.
1950-51Studio One in HollywoodMaria CassiniTV series, three episodes, as Anne Marno.
1951The Adventures of Ellery QueenTV series, one episode: "The Chinese Mummer Mystery", as Anne Marno.
1951DangerTV series, two episodes: "The Killer Scarf" and "Murderer's Face", as Anne Marno.
1951The WebTV series, one episode: "The Customs of the Country" as Ann Marno.
1951Lights OutHelenTV series, one episode: "The Deal", as Anne Marno.
1953OmnibusTV series, one episode: "The Capital of the World"
1953Kraft TheatreTV series, one episode: "To Live in Peace"
1954-1957Lux Video TheatreLolita/Sally/Kendal Browning/Ann Sommers/HerselfTV series, five episodes
1956-57Climax!Audrey/ElenaTV series, two episodes: "Fear Is the Hunter" (Audrey) and "The Mad Bomber" (Elena)
1957Playhouse 90Isobel Waring/Julie BickfordTV series, two episodes: "So Soon to Die" (Isobel Waring) and "Invitation to a Gunfighter" (Julie Bickford)
1957The Alcoa HourAlegre/GiselleTV series, two episodes: "Key Largo" (Alegre) and "Hostages to Fortune" (Giselle)
1958The Frank Sinatra ShowCarol WellesTV series, one episode: "A Time to Cry"
1960Person to PersonHerselfTV series documentary, Episode 7.35
1960Gala Adlai on BroadwayHerself: PerformerTV Movie
1962Password All-StarsHerselfTV series, one episode: "Anne Bancroft vs. Robert Goulet"
1962-1964What's My Line?Herself: Mystery GuestTV series, three episodes
1964Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler TheatreFaye Benet GarretTV series, one episode: "Out on the Outskirts of Town"
1967ABC Stage 67VirginiaTV series, one episode: "I'm Getting Married"
1969The Kraft Music HallHerselfTV series, Episode 2.23
1970Arthur Penn, 1922-: Themes and VariantsTV documentary
1970This Is Tom JonesHerselfTV series documentary, Episode 3.1
1970Annie: The Women in the Life of a ManPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety or Musical Program – Variety and Popular Music
1974Annie and the HoodsHerself: HostessTV Movie
1977Jesus of NazarethMary MagdaleneMiniseries; Parts 1 and 2
1978The Stars Salute Israel at 30HerselfTV Movie
1978LørdagshjørnetHerselfTV series, one episode: "Mel Brooks", also archive footage[15]
1978Walt Disney's Wonderful World of ColorHerselfTV series, one episode: "Mickey's 50"
1978Mickey's 50Herselfdocumentary
1979The Muppets Go HollywoodHerselfTV Movie, uncredited
1980ShogunNarrator of US home video version (voice)TV movie
1982Marco PoloMarco's motherMiniseries
1982Women I Love: Beautiful But FunnyHerselfTV Movie
1983An Audience with Mel BrooksHerselfTV special
1990Freddie and MaxMaxine (Max) ChandlerTV series, six episodes
1992Broadway BoundKate JeromeTV movie
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1992Mrs. CageLillian CageNominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1994Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells AllLucy Marsden (age 99–100)TV movie
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1994Great PerformancesMrs. FanningTV series, one episode: "Paddy Chayefsky's 'The Mother'"
1994Simpsons, TheThe SimpsonsDr. ZweigVoice role, one episode: "Fear of Flying"
1996HomecomingAbigail TillermanTV Movie
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
1998The Secret World of 'Antz'HerselfTV documentary
1998Living with Cancer: A Message of HopeNarratorTV documentary
1999Deep in My HeartGeraldine 'Gerry' Eileen CumminsTV movie
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1999AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Dustin HoffmanHerselfTV special documentary
2000The Rosie O'Donnell ShowHerself
2000The Living EdensNarratorTV series documentary, one episode: "Anamalai: India's Elephant Mountain"
2001Exhale with Candice BergenHerselfTV series, one episode
2001HavenMama GruberNominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
2003Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, TheThe Roman Spring of Mrs. StoneContessaTV movie
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2004Curb Your EnthusiasmHerselfTV series, one episode: "Opening Night"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://marriage.about.com/od/entertainmen1/p/bancroftbrooks.htm/
  2. ^ Strasberg, Lee. Strasberg at the Actors Studio: Tape-recorded Sessions, Theatre Communications Group (1965) back cover
  3. ^ Frank Northen Magill (October 1, 1987). Magill's Cinema Annual: 1987. Gale. ISBN 978-0-89356-406-3. Retrieved December 3, 2011. "...Anne Bancroft, one of the world's most respected and versatile actresses..." 
  4. ^ A. Willis, John (2005). Screen World 55. "An impassioned, clever, and gifted actress who has been equally brilliant in both drama and comedy, emerging as one of the most enduring and respected performers of her generation." 
  5. ^ Anne Bancroft Biography (1931–)
  6. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths ITALIANO, MICHAEL G.". The New York Times. April 13, 2001. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  7. ^ "Mel Brooks – Director, Actor, Writer and Producer". h2g2 (BBC). Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  8. ^ "The Devils" at Internet Broadway database
  9. ^ Annie: the Women in the Life of a Man
  10. ^ Hollywood Walk of Fame
  11. ^ "Anne Bancroft". walkoffame.com. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
  12. ^ Carucci, John (March 3, 2010). "Brooks Recalls Anne Bancroft as Wife, Collaborator – Mel Brooks Reminisces of Wife Anne Bancroft as Anniversary of Their First Meeting Draws Near". The Associated Press (via ABC News). Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  13. ^ Staff writer (June 8, 2005). "Graduate Star Anne Bancroft Dies – Oscar-Winning Actress Anne Bancroft, Who Starred Opposite Dustin Hoffman in Film Classic The Graduate, Has Died". BBC News. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  14. ^ The Raid (1954) at the Internet Movie Database
  15. ^ "Lørdagshjørnet" Mel Brooks (1978) at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]