Anne Bancroft

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For the American explorer, see Ann Bancroft.
Anne Bancroft
Anne Bancroft in 1955
Bancroft in 1955
Born Anna Maria Louisa Italiano
(1931-09-17)September 17, 1931
The Bronx, New York City, U.S.
Died June 6, 2005(2005-06-06) (aged 73)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Cause of death
Uterine cancer
Occupation Actress
Years active 1951–2005
Religion Catholic
Spouse(s)

Martin May (m. 1953; div. 1957)

Mel Brooks (m. 1964–2005); her death
Children Max Brooks (born 1972)
Parents Michael G. Italiano (1905-2001) and Mildred (née DiNapoli) Italiano (1908-2010)

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.[1] 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.[2][3]

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 at the age of 73 in 2005. She was survived by her mother, sisters, husband and son.

Early life[edit]

Bancroft was born Anna Maria Louisa Italiano in The Bronx, New York, the middle of three daughters of Mildred (née DiNapoli; 1908–2010), a telephone operator, and Michael G. Italiano (1905–2001), a dress pattern maker.[4][5]

Bancroft's parents were both children of Italian immigrants. She was brought up Catholic.[6] She 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]

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. She 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. Bancroft is one of the few actors to have won an Academy Award and a Tony Award for the same role. Bancroft co-starred as a medieval nun obsessed with a priest (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 63 performances.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] At the time of her star's installation (1960),[10] 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.[11]

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 "Max" 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!"[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

Bancroft in 1997

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 Anne) 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]

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

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1952 Don't Bother to Knock Lyn Lesley
1953 Tonight We Sing Emma Hurok
1953 Treasure of the Golden Condor Marie, Comtesse de St. Malo
1953 Kid from Left Field, TheThe Kid from Left Field Marian Foley
1954 Gorilla at Large Laverne Miller
1954 Demetrius and the Gladiators Paula
1954[14] Raid, TheThe Raid Katy Bishop
1955 New York Confidential Katherine (Kathy) Lupo
1955 Life in the Balance, AA Life in the Balance María Ibinia
1955 Naked Street, TheThe Naked Street Rosalie Regalzyk
1955 Last Frontier, TheThe Last Frontier Corinna Marston
1956 Walk the Proud Land Tianay
1957 Nightfall Marie Gardner
1957 Restless Breed, TheThe Restless Breed Angelita
1957 Girl in Black Stockings, TheThe Girl in Black Stockings Beth Dixon
1962 Miracle Worker, TheThe Miracle Worker Annie Sullivan Academy Award for Best Actress
BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress
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
Nominated — Laurel Award for Top Female Dramatic Performance
1964 Pumpkin Eater, TheThe Pumpkin Eater Jo Armitage BAFTA 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
1965 Slender Thread, TheThe Slender Thread Inga Dyson
1966 7 Women Dr. D.R. Cartwright
1967 Graduate, TheThe Graduate Mrs. Robinson Golden 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
1972 Young Winston Jennie, Lady Randolph Churchill Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1974 Blazing Saddles Extra in Church Congregation uncredited
1975 Prisoner of Second Avenue, TheThe Prisoner of Second Avenue Edna Edison Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1975 Hindenburg, TheThe Hindenburg Ursula, The Countess
1975 Urban Living: Funny and Formidable Herself short
1976 Lipstick Carla Bondi
1976 Silent Movie Herself
1977 Turning Point, TheThe Turning Point Emma Jacklin National 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
1980 Fatso Antoinette Also director and writer
Nominated — Taormina International Film Festival Golden Charybdis Award
1980 Elephant Man, TheThe Elephant Man Madge Kendal
1983 To Be or Not to Be Anna Bronski Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1984 Garbo Talks Estelle Rolfe Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1985 Agnes of God Mother Miriam Ruth Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1986 'night, Mother Thelma Cates Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1987 84 Charing Cross Road Helene Hanff BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1988 Torch Song Trilogy Ma Beckoff
1989 Bert Rigby, You're a Fool Meredith Perlestein Nominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress
1992 Honeymoon in Vegas Bea Singer
1992 Love Potion No. 9 Madame Ruth
1993 Point of No Return Amanda
1993 Malice Mrs. Kennsinger
1993 Mr. Jones Dr. Catherine Holland
1995 How to Make an American Quilt Glady Joe Cleary Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1995 Home for the Holidays Adele Larson
1995 Dracula: Dead and Loving It Madame Ouspenskaya (Gypsy Woman)
1996 Sunchaser, TheThe Sunchaser Dr. Renata Baumbauer
1997 G.I. Jane Sen. Lillian DeHaven
1997 Critical Care Nun
1998 Great Expectations Ms. Dinsmoor
1998 Mark Twain's America in 3D Narrator documentary
1998 Antz Queen voice
2000 Keeping the Faith Ruth Schram
2000 Up at the Villa Princess San Ferdinando
2001 Heartbreakers Gloria Vogal/Barbara
2001 In Search of Peace Golda Meir (voice) documentary
2008 Delgo Sedessa voice

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1951 Suspense TV series, one episode: "Night Break", as Anne Marno.
1951 The Ford Theatre Hour TV series, three episodes, as Anna Marno.
1950-51 Studio One in Hollywood Maria Cassini TV series, three episodes, as Anne Marno.
1951 The Adventures of Ellery Queen TV series, one episode: "The Chinese Mummer Mystery", as Anne Marno.
1951 Danger TV series, two episodes: "The Killer Scarf" and "Murderer's Face", as Anne Marno.
1951 The Web TV series, one episode: "The Customs of the Country" as Ann Marno.
1951 Lights Out Helen TV series, one episode: "The Deal", as Anne Marno.
1953 Omnibus TV series, one episode: "The Capital of the World"
1953 Kraft Theatre TV series, one episode: "To Live in Peace"
1954-1957 Lux Video Theatre Lolita/Sally/Kendal Browning/Ann Sommers/Herself TV series, five episodes
1956-57 Climax! Audrey/Elena TV series, two episodes: "Fear Is the Hunter" (Audrey) and "The Mad Bomber" (Elena)
1957 Playhouse 90 Isobel Waring/Julie Bickford TV series, two episodes: "So Soon to Die" (Isobel Waring) and "Invitation to a Gunfighter" (Julie Bickford)
1957 The Alcoa Hour Alegre/Giselle TV series, two episodes: "Key Largo" (Alegre) and "Hostages to Fortune" (Giselle)
1958 The Frank Sinatra Show Carol Welles TV series, one episode: "A Time to Cry"
1960 Person to Person Herself TV series documentary, Episode 7.35
1960 Gala Adlai on Broadway Herself: Performer TV Movie
1962 Password All-Stars Herself TV series, one episode: "Anne Bancroft vs. Robert Goulet"
1962-1964 What's My Line? Herself: Mystery Guest TV series, three episodes
1964 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Faye Benet Garret TV series, one episode: "Out on the Outskirts of Town"
1967 ABC Stage 67 Virginia TV series, one episode: "I'm Getting Married"
1969 The Kraft Music Hall Herself TV series, Episode 2.23
1970 Arthur Penn, 1922-: Themes and Variants TV documentary
1970 This Is Tom Jones Herself TV series documentary, Episode 3.1
1970 Annie: The Women in the Life of a Man Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety or Musical Program – Variety and Popular Music
1974 Annie and the Hoods Herself: Hostess TV Movie
1977 Jesus of Nazareth Mary Magdalene Miniseries; Parts 1 and 2
1978 The Stars Salute Israel at 30 Herself TV Movie
1978 Lørdagshjørnet Herself TV series, one episode: "Mel Brooks", also archive footage[15]
1978 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Herself TV series, one episode: "Mickey's 50"
1978 Mickey's 50 Herself documentary
1979 The Muppets Go Hollywood Herself TV Movie, uncredited
1980 Shogun Narrator of US home video version (voice) TV movie
1982 Marco Polo Marco's mother Miniseries
1982 Women I Love: Beautiful But Funny Herself TV Movie
1983 An Audience with Mel Brooks Herself TV special
1990 Freddie and Max Maxine (Max) Chandler TV series, six episodes
1992 Broadway Bound Kate Jerome TV movie
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1992 Mrs. Cage Lillian Cage Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1994 Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All Lucy Marsden (age 99–100) TV movie
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1994 Great Performances Mrs. Fanning TV series, one episode: "Paddy Chayefsky's 'The Mother'"
1994 Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons Dr. Zweig Voice role, one episode: "Fear of Flying"
1996 Homecoming Abigail Tillerman TV Movie
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
1998 The Secret World of 'Antz '​ Herself TV documentary
1998 Living with Cancer: A Message of Hope Narrator TV documentary
1999 Deep in My Heart Geraldine 'Gerry' Eileen Cummins TV movie
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1999 AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Dustin Hoffman Herself TV special documentary
2000 The Rosie O'Donnell Show Herself
2000 The Living Edens Narrator TV series documentary, one episode: "Anamalai: India's Elephant Mountain"
2001 Exhale with Candice Bergen Herself TV series, one episode
2001 Haven Mama Gruber Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
2003 Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, TheThe Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone Contessa TV 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
2004 Curb Your Enthusiasm Herself TV series, one episode: "Opening Night"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strasberg, Lee. Strasberg at the Actors Studio: Tape-recorded Sessions, Theatre Communications Group (1965) back cover
  2. ^ 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..." 
  3. ^ 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." 
  4. ^ Anne Bancroft profile, filmreference.com; accessed September 29, 2014.
  5. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths ITALIANO, MICHAEL G.". The New York Times. April 13, 2001. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  6. ^ "Mel Brooks – Director, Actor, Writer and Producer". h2g2 (BBC). Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  7. ^ "The Devils" profile, IBDb.com; accessed September 29, 2014.
  8. ^ Annie: the Women in the Life of a Man
  9. ^ Hollywood Walk of Fame
  10. ^ "Anne Bancroft". walkoffame.com. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
  11. ^ "On Stage, and Off". New York Times. December 6, 1991. 
  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". Associated Press. 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]