- 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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Ironically, Bancroft was only about six years older than Hoffman when the film was made. She was widely praised for her work on the film and earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance.
Winning her first Emmy Award in 1970, Bancroft starred in Annie, The Women in the Life of a Man, which also featured her husband Mel Brooks. She took some time off from acting after the birth of their son, Max, in 1972. Showing her range as a performer, she returned to the big screen in the Neil Simon comedy, The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975), with Jack Lemmon, and in the historical drama, The Hindenburg (1975), with George C. Scott. Starring an aging ballerina, Bancroft starred opposite Shirley MacLaine in the drama The Turning Point (1977). That same year, she played the first female prime minister of Israel, Golda Meir, on Broadway in Golda, which reunited her with director Arthur Penn. Bancroft received a Tony Award nomination for her portrait of this famed world leader.
In addition to co-starring on the film, Bancroft directed the 1980 comedy Fatso featuring Dom DeLuise. The rest of the decade was filled with memorable comedic and dramatic performances by Bancroft. In To Be or Not To Be (1983), she and her real-life husband played a husband-wife acting team in this underrated World War II comedy. Taking on much darker material, she played the mother superior in Agnes of God (1985), which led to her final Academy Award nomination. Bancroft went on to play the mother in the suicide drama ‘Night, Mother (1986) with Sissy Spacek.
In the 1990s, Bancroft took on a lot of supporting roles in films and on television. For her television work, she received several Emmy Award nominations for her work and won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Deep In My Heart in 1999. In the television movie, she played a woman who has a daughter as a result of being raped. On the big screen, Bancroft appeared as Ms. Dinsmoor in the modern adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ classic, Great Expectations (1998), with Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Continuing to work, Bancroft appeared on television in Haven (2001). Based on a true story, she played Ruth Gruber, an American woman who helped hundreds of Jewish people escape Nazi Germany. Bancroft received an Emmy Award nomination for her work. Her last completed performance was in the television adaptation of the Tennessee Williams’ play The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, which earned her a final Emmy Award nomination.
While filming Spanglish with Adam Sandler, Bancroft was forced to drop out of the project because of illness. She died of uterine cancer on June 6, 2005, at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. She was survived by her husband, their son, Max, and their grandson.
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