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Anne Bancroft
September 17, 1931 - June 7, 2005

Anne Bancroft Dies at Age 73

Anne Bancroft, best known for her role as the alluring Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, sadly passed away at 73 years old after battling cancer for many years. The cunning and beautiful actress was a true Hollywood star who received four Academy Award nominations and earned an Oscar® in 1962 for her role as Helen Keller’s teacher Anne Sullivan in The Miracle Worker.

Anne Bancroft was born Anna Maria Louise Italiano on Sept. 17, 1931. A true Italian, Anne grew up in the Bronx with her immigrant parents. At the age of nine, her dreams of becoming an actress became quite apparent to her family when she wrote “I want to be an actress” on the back fence of her flat. Her father was not very thrilled with this notion, asking her, “Who are we to dream these dreams?” Anne’s mother, however, encouraged her daughter to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Soon enough, Anne made her way to Holllywood as Anna Marno and appeared in many 1950s classics such as Don’t Bother to Knock, Demetrius and the Gladiators and Gorilla at Large. She also worked onstage in New York, becoming quite well known for her performance opposite Henry Fonda in the 1958 production, Two for the Seesaw, for which she won a Tony.

It was during an onstage rehearsal for one of her shows when Anne was singing “Married I Can Always Get” that she met her future husband Mel Brooks. Brooks, the famously funny and talented comedian/director/producer, was immediately taken with Anne and the couple married in 1964. They have one son, Maximilian.

Anne appeared in three of Brooks’ comedies: Silent Movie, To Be or Not to Be and Dracula: Dead and Loving It. She also led Brooks to much success when she suggested he make a stage musical of his movie The Producers.

Though Anne Bancroft will be dearly missed by her loved ones, the entertainment industry and her fans, we may all be comforted by the fact that she lived a very successful and fulfilling life. Anne herself stated it best when she said, “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."

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