Actress, Stage, Screen, Television. Her career spanned half a century. Anne Bancroft was a prolific award winner for her excellent acting. Nominated for an Academy Award four times, she won once then was a two time winner of both Tony and Emmy Awards. However, her role as 'Mrs. Robinson' in the "Graduate" was her defining performance resulting in great fame and recognition. She toiled to the very end furnishing the voice for "Delgo" currently in post production. She was born Anna Maria Louisa in the Bronx to native New Yorkers and working parents, Michael and Mildred (DiNapoli) Italiano, he a patternmaker-she a Macy's Executive Switchboard Operator. She had two sisters, Joanne (older) and Phyllis (Younger). From age four, she began taking singing and dancing lessons and found a ready audience with visiting aunts, uncles and cousins at frequent family get-togethers. Sometimes she performed on the streets, to the amusement of construction workers as they ate their lunch. She was a natural and frequently performed in school plays. Upon graduation from high school, Anna pursued her goal as her supportive parents paid the tuition for schooling at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. Success came quickly in New York where live television drama was flourishing. She appeared in 50 shows in two years under the name Anne Marno. A 1951 screen test for 20th Century Fox resulted in a contract. Handed a book of names and urged to select a new moniker, she became Anne Bancroft. Her beginnings in Hollywood were unimpressive and after a few "B" pictures headed for Broadway, winning her first Tony, with no stage experience, opposite Henry Fonda in "Two for the Seesaw." After a first marriage ended in an unhappy divorce, she met her match in director-producer Mel Brooks while rehearsing a musical number for the Perry Como television show. They were married at New York City Hall and had to snag a passerby to serve as their witness. With the birth of a son, Anne decided to be a stay at home mom resulting in a long period of inactivity from the theatre. Their marriage would last until her death. She appeared in three of Brooks' comedies: "Silent Movie" "To Be or Not to Be" (remake) and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It." In mid-career, Anne attended the Actors Studio to sharpen her acting skills and then further studied at the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women at UCLA which culminated in her as writer-director of the film, "Fatso," and for good measure starred in the project. Two years prior to her passing, she returned to Broadway for the first time after an absence of twenty years appearing in "Occupant." Creeping cancer finally caught up with her and after being taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, passed away at age 73. Her final resting place was Kensico Cemetery, a short distance from her father Michael Italiano. Her mother Mildred still survives and resides in Yonkers. Anne's final ceremony was private as only family members witnessed a brief Catholic committal service prior to interment. Anne Bancroft's incredible career...Nominated Best Actress in a Leading Role: "Agnes of God" "The Turning Point" "The Pumpkin Eater" and the winner of the coveted Oscar prize, Best Actress in a Leading Role "The Miracle Worker." A few more movies..."Don't Bother to Knock" (first movie) "The Kid from Left Field" "Demetrius and the Gladiators" "The Last Frontier" Young Winston" "The Hindenburg" "The Elephant Man" "G.I. Jane" "The Sunchaser and "Up at the Villa." Her television work..."I'm Getting Married" "Jesus of Nazareth" (miniseries) "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All" "Deep in My Heart" "Haven" and a Emmy for "Annie" and another for "Deep in My Heart." Her Stage appearances...Tony award for best supporting actress "Two for the Seesaw," Tony Award for best actress in a play "The Miracle Worker," "Mother Courage and Her Children" "The Devils" "The Little Foxes" "A Cry of Players" and "Golda." In an ultimate tribute to Anne Bancroft, the lights of Broadway were dimmed in salute to her many outstanding performances in the theatre district.
Bio by: Donald Greyfield
Beloved Wife, Mother
Grandmother, Sister and Daughter