Edit
Anne Bancroft Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (46) | Personal Quotes (13) | Salary (4)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 17 September 1931The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 6 June 2005New York City, New York, USA  (uterine cancer)
Birth NameAnna Maria Louise Italiano
Nickname Annie
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Anne Bancroft was born on September 17, 1931 in the Bronx, New York, the daughter of Italian-American parents Michael Italiano (1906-2001), a dress pattern maker, and Mildred DiNapoli (1908-2010), a telephone operator. She made her cinema debut in Don't Bother to Knock (1952) in 1952 and over the next five years appeared in a lot of undistinguished movies as a supporting actress (like, for example, Gorilla at Large (1954) and The Girl in Black Stockings (1957)). By 1957, she had grown dissatisfied with the state of her career, left Hollywood and spent the next five years on Broadway. She returned to the screen in 1962 with her portrayal of Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker (1962), for which she won an Oscar. Bancroft went on to give acclaimed performances in The Pumpkin Eater (1964), The Slender Thread (1965), Young Winston (1972), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975), The Elephant Man (1980), To Be or Not to Be (1983), 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) and other movies, but her most famous role would be as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967). Her status as the "older woman" in the film is iconic, although in real life Bancroft was just 36 and less than six years older than co-star Dustin Hoffman, who played a character seduced by a woman more than twice his age. Bancroft would later express her frustration over the fact that the film overshadowed her other work. Though usually a very selective actress, Bancroft increased her output in the 1990s with character roles in such films as Love Potion No. 9 (1992), Point of No Return (1993), Home for the Holidays (1995), G.I. Jane (1997), Great Expectations (1998) and Keeping the Faith (2000). She also started to make some TV films, including Deep in My Heart (1999), for which she won an Emmy. Sadly, on June 6, 2005, Bancroft passed away at the age of 73 from uterine cancer. Her death surprised many, as she had not revealed any information of her illness to the public. Among her survivors was her husband of forty years (Mel Brooks), and her only child (Max Brooks) who was born in 1972. Her final film, the animated feature Delgo (2008), was released posthumously in 2008 and dedicated to her memory.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Volker Boehm

Spouse (2)

Mel Brooks (5 August 1964 - 6 June 2005) (her death) (1 child)
Martin May (1 July 1953 - 13 February 1957) (divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

In most of her films, she habitually removes an earring before answering a telephone
Husky resonant voice

Trivia (46)

Was a leading choice to play Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment (1983). The part went to Shirley MacLaine, who won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance.
Was offered the role of Chris MacNeil in The Exorcist (1973), but had to turn it down because she was pregnant. The part went to Ellen Burstyn.
She and Mel Brooks met on the set of a talk show, and Mel later paid a woman who worked on the show to tell him which restaurant Anne was going to eat at that night so he could "accidentally" bump into her again and strike up a conversation.
Graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan.
She and Mel Brooks married at New York City Hall, where a passer-by served as their witness.
Nieces: Julie and Teresa.
Said that director Arthur Penn had the greatest impact on her career.
Parents: Michael (1906-2001) and Mildred (1908-2010).
Sisters: Joanne (older) and Phyllis (younger)
Son with Mel Brooks: Max Brooks, born 1972.
1999: She became the 15th performer to win the Triple Crown of acting. Oscar: Best Actress, The Miracle Worker (1962), Tonys: Best Supporting Actress-Play, "Two for the Seesaw" (1958) and Best Actress-Play, "The Miracle Worker" (1960), and Emmy: Best Supporting Actress-Miniseries/Movie, Deep in My Heart (1999).
One of only eight actors to have won both the Tony and the Oscar for having portrayed the same roles on stage and screen. The others are Joel Grey (Cabaret (1972)), Shirley Booth (Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)), Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady (1964)), Yul Brynner (The King and I (1956)), Paul Scofield (A Man for All Seasons (1966)), José Ferrer (Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)) and Jack Albertson (The Subject Was Roses (1968)).
Has won two Tony Awards: in 1958, as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for "Two for the Seesaw", and in 1960, as Best Actress (Dramatic) for "The Miracle Worker", a role she recreated in her Oscar-winning performance in the film version of the same name, The Miracle Worker (1962). She was also Tony nominated in 1978 as Best Actress (Play) for "Golda", in which she played the title character, Golda Meir.
1967: She accepted the Oscar for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" on behalf of Elizabeth Taylor, who wasn't present at the awards ceremony.
1993: She (together with Dustin Hoffman) accepted the Oscar for "Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium" on behalf of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who wasn't present at the awards ceremony.
April 2005: First grandchild, Henry Michael Brooks, born.
1987: Was booked to appear on the British chat show Wogan (1982). In the green room five minutes before airtime, host Terry Wogan informed her that the show was live. According to Wogan she turned a deathly shade of pale and said she never did live television. In order to calm her down, Wogan suggested that she count 1, 2, 3... before walking on. When she was called onto the set, she could quite noticeably be seen counting whilst walking to her seat. She remained very uncomfortable and all her answers were monosyllabic. Wogan still says she was his most difficult guest.
She was less than 6 years older than Dustin Hoffman, although in The Graduate (1967) her character is supposed to be more than twice his age. She was only 8 years older than Katharine Ross, who played her daughter in the film.
She said that at the start of her career, 20th Century Fox thought that her real name--Anna Maria Italiano--was "too ethnic", and gave her several options for a new one. She chose Bancroft because she thought it sounded dignified.
She, Mel Brooks and their son Max Brooks all are Emmy-winners.
Her performance as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967) is ranked #47 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Was in consideration for the role of Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest (1981), which went to Faye Dunaway.
In 1963, she won her Oscar for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" against fellow contender Geraldine Page. In 1986, it was Page who won the Oscar for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" beating out Bancroft, who was nominated for her performance in Agnes of God (1985).
Said that for many years after doing The Graduate (1967), young men would tell her that she was the first woman they had sexual fantasies about.
1998: Made a special appearance at the The 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998) and participated in the Oscar Winners Tribute sequence along with other Academy Award winners.
June 2005: At her memorial service in New York City, Paul Simon sang "Mrs. Robinson" and she was eulogized by her The Miracle Worker (1962) co-star Patty Duke.
Godmother of Alan Yentob's children.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 29-31. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Has a street named after her in Iowa City, Iowa.
Godmother of Dom DeLuise's youngest son David DeLuise.
She studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.
Is one of twelve actresses to have won the Triple Crown of Acting (an Oscar, Emmy and Tony); the others in chronological order are Helen Hayes, Ingrid Bergman, Shirley Booth, Liza Minnelli, Rita Moreno, Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, Audrey Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith and Ellen Burstyn.
Was in consideration for the role of Alice Hyatt in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974). The part went to Ellen Burstyn, who won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance.
Turned down the role of Annie Haworth in The Birds (1963). The part went to Suzanne Pleshette, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6368 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Is one of 3 actresses to have won the Best Actress Academy Award for their portrayal of a character named "Annie". The others are Diane Keaton (for Annie Hall (1977)) and Kathy Bates (for Misery (1990)).
Is one of 14 Best Actress Oscar winners to have not accepted their Academy Award in person, Bancroft's being for The Miracle Worker (1962). The others are Katharine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, Joan Crawford, Judy Holliday, Vivien Leigh, Anna Magnani, Ingrid Bergman, Sophia Loren, Patricia Neal, Elizabeth Taylor, Maggie Smith, Glenda Jackson and Ellen Burstyn.
Was the 57th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Actress Oscar for The Miracle Worker (1962) at The 35th Annual Academy Awards (1963) on April 8, 1963.
Her first role was as star of the kindergarten play as Mama Bear in "The Three Little Bears.".
She taught English to Peruvian actress/singer Yma Sumac.
During her days as a radio actress Bancroft performed under the name Anne St. Raymond.
Bancroft was engaged to actor John Ericson in the early 50s.
Born in an apartment on St. Raymond Street, near the corner of Seddon Street and Maclay Avenue in the Bronx.
During her early career in TV, she called herself Anne Marno. Darryl Zanuck changed it when she signed with Fox.
Bancroft suffered a pinched nerve following an accident while filming "The Last Hunt" and was replaced by Debra Paget.

Personal Quotes (13)

I was at a point where I was ready to say, "I am what I am because of what I am and if you like me I'm grateful, and if you don't, what am I going to do about it?"
Life is here only to be lived so that we can, through life, earn the right to death, which to me is paradise. Whatever it is that will bring me the reward of paradise, I'll do the best I can.
The best way to get most husbands to do something is to suggest that perhaps they're too old to do it.
When [Mel Brooks] told his Jewish mother he was marrying an Italian girl, she said: "Bring her over. I'll be in the kitchen - with my head in the oven".
[of her Mrs. Robinson role in The Graduate (1967)] Film critics said I gave a voice to the fear we all have: that we'll reach a point in our lives, look around and realize that all the things we said we'd do and become will never come to be - and that we're ordinary.
[from 1984] The only reason I'm still not doing "Daughter of Gorilla at Large" is because my personal life had become a shambles. Every picture I did was worse than the last one and every man I was in love with was worse than the last one. I was terribly immature. I was going steadily downhill in terms of self-respect and dignity.
[on John Ford] Marvelous but loony, tearing out pages of the script everywhere.
[1962] When I arrived in town, the movie industry was looking for sexpot glamor girls. I didn't qualify. Nor was I ever offered a top-flight movie. But there isn't any bitterness on my part. I wasn't as good an actress then as I am now.
[on being married to Mel Brooks] When he comes home at night and I hear his key in the lock I say to myself, 'Oh good! The party's about to begin.
I can sit with anybody in a room for an hour, and by the time they leave, automatically I will know the way they talk and the way they move. That's my special art.
When I was in radio, I was Anna St. Raymond; when I was in television, I was Anne Marno; and then in movies I was Anne Bancroft -- if I ever go into burlesque, I've got one picked out: Ruby Pepper.
[Driving to Mexico City for a film] When I was in Mexico on location we had this long drive from the bottom of a mountain all the way to Mexico City. I used to get pretty bored on these drives, so I was shouting out the window, 'Hello, you people - Here I am! You lucky people you!' So then five guys in this car followed us all the way to the hotel! That's the only funny thing that happened to me back then, only it wasn't in Hollywood - it was Mexico. Nothing funny happens in Hollywood.
[on her days as a contract player at Fox] I was seduced by every script. I thought every picture was the best, and that I was Greta Garbo. It was the ability to accept these terrible lies that kept me going.

Salary (4)

Tonight We Sing (1953) $500 a week
Treasure of the Golden Condor (1953) $500 a week
The Kid from Left Field (1953) $500 a week
Freddie and Max (1990) £250,000

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page