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Anne Bancroft 1931-2005
 


Country : Bronx, NY
Profession : Actress
Date of birth : 1931-09-17
Date of death : 2005-06-06
Cause of Death : Cancer

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AnneBancroft

Early life

Bancroft was born Anna Maria Louisa Italiano in the Bronx, New York, the daughter of Mildred (née DiNapoli), a telephone operator, and Michael Italiano, a dress pattern maker. Her parents were both children of Italian immigrants.

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 UCLA. 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 in 1952.

Career

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 she appeared opposite Henry Fonda in the Broadway production of Two for the Seesaw, for which she won a Tony Award, and another in 1962 for The Miracle Worker. She took the latter role back to Hollywood, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1962. Bancroft had returned to Broadway to star in Mother Courage and her Children. Joan Crawford accepted on her behalf, and later presented the award to her in New York.

A highly acclaimed television special, Annie: the Women in the Life of a Man, won her an Emmy award for her singing and acting. Bancroft is one of a very select few entertainers to win an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony award.

Other major film roles were in The Pumpkin Eater, 7 Women, and what is unquestionably her best-known role as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, an unhappily married woman who seduces the much-younger recent college graduate played by Dustin Hoffman. Although Bancroft is now identified as Mrs. Robinson, she was not the first choice for the role; Patricia Neal (who had recently suffered a stroke), Doris Day and Jeanne Moreau all turned it down; Moreau had played a similar role in the French film The Lovers a decade earlier. Bancroft was ambivalent about her appearance in The Graduate; she stated in several interviews that the role overshadowed all of her other work.

In 1980, she made her debut as a screenwriter and director in Fatso, in which she starred along with Dom DeLuise. Bancroft was also the original choice to play Joan Crawford in the 1981 movie Mommie Dearest, but backed out at the 11th hour, and was replaced by Faye Dunaway. She was also a front-runner for the role of Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment, but declined in order to act in the remake of To Be or Not to Be (1983).

Bancroft received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6368 Hollywood Boulevard for her film work.

Marriage and family

From July 1, 1953, to February 13, 1957, she was married to Martin May. The marriage produced no children.

In 1961, Bancroft met Mel Brooks in a rehearsal for the Perry Como variety show. Brooks bribed a studio employee to find out where she was having dinner so he could meet her again. Once Bancroft met Brooks, she went to her therapist and told him they had to conclude the therapy as fast as possible because she had met the man she was going to marry.

They married on August 5, 1964, at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau near New York City Hall and were together until her death. They had one son, Maximillian, in 1972. They were seen three times on the screen together: once dancing a tango in Brooks's 1976 Silent Movie, in Brooks's 1983 remake of To Be or Not to Be, and in the episode entitled "Opening Night" of the HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm. Brooks produced the 1980 film The Elephant Man, in which Bancroft acted. He also was executive-producer for the 1987 film 84 Charing Cross Road 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!'

Death

Bancroft died of uterine cancer on June 6, 2005 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.[2] Her death came as a surprise to even some of Bancroft's friends; she was intensely private and had not released details of her illness.

Bancroft was survived by Brooks, their son, a grandson, her mother and two sisters. She is interred at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York, near her father, Michael Italiano. A white marble monument with a weeping angel adorns her grave.

Work

Theater roles

Year

Production

Notes

1958

Two for the Seesaw

Tony Award

1959

The Miracle Worker

Tony Award

1963

Mother Courage and Her Children

1965

The Devils

1967

The Little Foxes

1968

A Cry of Players

1977

Golda

1981

Duet for One

2002

Occupant

Filmography

Year

Film

Role

Other notes

1952

Don't Bother to Knock

Lyn Lesley

1953

Tonight We Sing

Emma Hurok

Treasure of the Golden Condor

Marie, Comtesse de St. Malo

The Kid from Left Field

Marian Foley

1954

Gorilla at Large

Laverne Miller

Demetrius and the Gladiators

Paula

The Raid

Katie Bishop

1955

New York Confidential

Kathy Lupo

A Life in the Balance

María Ibinia

The Naked Street

Rosalie Regalzyk

The Last Frontier

Corinna Marston

1956

Walk the Proud Land

Tianay

1957

Nightfall

Marie Gardner

The Restless Breed

Angelita

The Girl in Black Stockings

Beth Dixon

1962

The Miracle Worker

Annie Sullivan

Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated Golden Globe Best Actress

1964

The Pumpkin Eater

Jo Armitage Oscar

Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress
Golden Globe Best Actress
Cannes Film Festival - Best Actress

1965

The Slender Thread

Inga Dyson

1966

7 Women

Dr. D.R. Cartwright

1967

The Graduate

Mrs. Robinson

Golden Globe Best Actress
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress

1972

Young Winston

Lady Jennie Churchill

1974

Blazing Saddles

Extra in Church Congregation

uncredited

1975

The Prisoner of Second Avenue

Edna Edison

The Hindenburg

Ursula, The Countess

1976

Lipstick

Carla Bondi

Silent Movie

Herself

1977

Jesus Of Nazareth

Mary Magdalene

The Turning Point

Emma Jacklin

Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated Golden Globe Best Actress

1980

Fatso

Antoinette

also director and writer

The Elephant Man

Mrs. Kendal

1983

To Be or Not to Be

Anna Bronski

Nominated - Golden Globe Best Actress

1984

Garbo Talks

Estelle Rolfe

Nominated - Golden Globe Best Actress

1985

Agnes of God

Mother Miriam Ruth

Golden Globe Best Actress
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress

1986

'night, Mother

Thelma Cates

Nominated Golden Globe Best Actress

1987

84 Charing Cross Road

Helene Hanff

1988

Torch Song Trilogy

Ma Beckoff

1989

Bert Rigby, You're a Fool

Meredith Perlestein

1992

Honeymoon in Vegas

Bea Singer

Love Potion No. 9

Madame Ruth

1993

Point of No Return

Amanda

Malice

Mrs. Kennsinger

Mr. Jones

Dr. Catherine Holland

1995

How to Make an American Quilt

Glady Joe Cleary

Home for the Holidays

Adele Larson

Dracula: Dead and Loving It

Madame Ouspenskaya (Gypsy Woman)

1996

The Sunchaser

Dr. Renata Baumbauer

1997

G.I. Jane

Sen. Lillian DeHaven

Critical Care

Nun

1998

Great Expectations

Ms. Dinsmoor

Mark Twain's America in 3D

Narrator

Antz

Queen

voice

2000

Keeping the Faith

Ruth Schram

Up at the Villa

Princess San Ferdinando

2001

Heartbreakers

Gloria Vogal/Barbara

In Search of Peace

Golda Meir

voice

2008

Delgo

Sedessa

Voice

Television roles

Year

Show

Role

Other notes

1967

ABC Stage 67 - I'm Getting Married

Virginia

1970

Annie: The Women in the Life of a Man

Emmy Award

1974

Annie and the Hoods

1977

Jesus of Nazareth

Mary Magdalene

Miniseries

1982

Marco Polo

Marco's mother

Miniseries

1990

Freddie and Max

Maxine (Max) Chandler

Six episodes

1992

Broadway Bound

Kate Jerome

Nominated - Emmy Award

Mrs. Cage

Lillian Cage

Nominated - Emmy Award

1994

Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All

Lucy Marsden (age 99-100)

Nominated - Emmy Award

Great Performances - The Mother

Mrs. Fanning

The Simpsons

Dr. Zweig (voice)

episode "Fear of Flying"

1996

Homecoming

Abigail Tillerman

1999

Deep in My Heart

Gerry Eileen Cummins

Emmy Award

2001

Haven

Mama Gruber

Nominated - Emmy Award

2003

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone

Contessa

Nominated - Emmy Award

2004

Curb Your Enthusiasm

 

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