- NAME: Anne Bancroft
- OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Theater Actress, Television Actress
- BIRTH DATE: September 17, 1931
- DEATH DATE: June 06, 2005
- EDUCATION: Christopher Columbus High School, Bronx, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Actors Studio, University of California, Los Angeles
- PLACE OF BIRTH: The Bronx, New York, New York
- PLACE OF DEATH: New York City, New York
- Originally: Anna Maria Louisa Italiano
Best Known For
Anne Bancroft was an Oscar Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress famous for her roles in The Miracle Worker and The Graduate. She was married to comedian and film director Mel Brooks.
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Anne Bancroft was born on September 17, 1931, in New York City. After studying acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts,
she made her film debut opposite Marilyn Monroe in 1952's Don’t Bother to Knock. Bancroft's most famous film roles were as the teacher of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker and as seductress Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate. She was married to comedian and film director Mel Brooks for over 40 years. Bancroft died in 2005.
Actress Anna Maria Louisa Italiano was born on September 17, 1931, in New York, New York. An award-winning actress for her work on film, stage, and television, Anne Bancroft is best remembered for her role as the dedicated teacher in The Miracle Worker and as the mature seductress in The Graduate. She grew up in the Bronx and studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1948.
Initially, Bancroft found work on television in the early 1950s. She appeared on such shows as Studio One and used the stage name Anne Marno. In 1952, she got a film contract with 20th Century Fox and the head of the studio, Darryl F. Zanuck, renamed Anne Bancroft. She made her film debut opposite Marilyn Monroe in 1952’s Don’t Bother to Knock. Over the next few years, Bancroft appeared in several other, largely forgettable films, which failed to advance her career.
Returning to New York in the late 1950s, Bancroft found success on the Broadway stage. She co-starred with Henry Fonda in William Gibson’s Two for the Seesaw, which was directed by Arthur Penn. Her portrayal of a bohemian dancer netted her a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play in 1958. Again showing her talent for transformation, Bancroft tackled another challenging role in The Miracle Worker the next year. Again working with Penn, she played Annie Sullivan, a teacher of the blind, who tries to help Helen Keller (played by Patty Duke), a young blind and deaf girl, learn to communicate. Bancroft won another Tony Award for her convincing performance as the devoted and determined educator.
Reprising their roles, Bancroft and Duke starred in the 1962 film adaptation of The Miracle Worker. They each won an Academy Award for their performances—Bancroft in the Best Actress category and Duke in Best Supporting Actress category. Bancroft’s next major film role had her as a woman trapped in a loveless marriage in The Pumpkin Eater (1964), which brought her an Academy Award nomination. Around this time, she married the multitalented Mel Brooks, known as a comedic actor, director, and writer. The two formed one of Hollywood’s greatest love stories and remained devoted to each other throughout her life. Bancroft had been previously married to Martin May in the 1950s, but their union ended in divorce.
In 1967, Bancroft took on her signature role of Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate. Playing an elegant, but bitter and manipulative wife and mother, her character seduced her daughter’s boyfriend, Benjamin, played by Dustin Hoffman.
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