Remembering actress Anne Bancroft

The acclaimed actress was born on September 17, 1931

Remembering actress Anne Bancroft

Most remembered as Mrs. Robinson, film and stage actress Anne Bancroft would have turned 91 today. Born Anna Maria Louisa Italiano on September 17, 1931, in the Bronx, New York, she wanted to be an actor at an early age. But it was only at her mother’s insistence that she abandoned her plans to be a laboratory technician and enrolled in New York’s Academy of Dramatic Arts. She won both a Tony and an Oscar for her role as Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller’s teacher, in “The Miracle Worker” but she’s best known for seducing Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate”. Bancroft, who was 73, when she passed in 2005 was married to actor and producer Mel Brooks for almost 50 years and appeared in three of his movies. It was she who suggested he make a musical of his film the producers. Despite her disappointment at the focus on The Graduate, she nevertheless valued her performance. “Film critics said I gave a voice to the fear we all have,” she said in 2003, “that we’ll reach a certain point in our lives, look around and realize that all the things we said we’d do and become will never come to be and that we’re ordinary.”

By Ken Warren, 2017/18

Look back at one of Anne Bancroft’s most memorable scenes in “The Graduate” 1967

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