17 september, 1931
Anne Bancroft was born on September 17, 1931 in the Bronx, New York, the daughter of Michael Italiano (1906-2001) and Mildred DiNapoli (1908-2010). She made her cinema debut in Don't Bother to Knock (1952) in 1952 and over the next five years appeared in a lot of undistinguished movies as a supporting actress (like, for example, Gorilla at Large (1954) and The Girl in Black Stockings (1957)). By 1957, she had grown dissatisfied with the state of her career, left Hollywood and spent the next five years on Broadway. She returned to the screen in 1962 with her portrayal of Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker (1962), for which she won an Oscar. Bancroft went on to give acclaimed performances in The Pumpkin Eater (1964), The Slender Thread (1965), Young Winston (1972), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975), The Elephant Man (1980), To Be or Not to Be (1983), 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) and other movies, but her most famous role would be as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967). Her status as the "older woman" in the film is iconic, although in real life Bancroft was just 36 and less than six years older than co-star Dustin Hoffman, who played a character seduced by a woman more than twice his age. Bancroft would later express her frustration over the fact that the film overshadowed her other work. Though usually a very selective actress, Bancroft increased her output in the 1990s with character roles in such films as Love Potion No. 9 (1992), Point of No Return (1993), Home for the Holidays (1995), G.I. Jane (1997), Great Expectations (1998) and Keeping the Faith (2000). She also started to make some TV films, including Deep in My Heart (1999) (TV), for which she won an Emmy. Sadly, on June 6, 2005, Bancroft passed away at the age of 73 from uterine cancer. Her death surprised many, as she had not revealed any information of her illness to the public. Among her survivors was her husband of forty years (Mel Brooks), and her only child (Max Brooks) who was born in 1972. Her final film, the animated feature Delgo (2008), was released posthumously in 2008 and dedicated to her memory.