Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Anne Bancroft – 1931-2005

Anne Bancroft — aka Mrs. Robinson as well as Mrs. Mel Brooks — has died. Here’s the obituary notice from the New York Times.

I remember her from The Graduate (1967), of course — my first R-rated movie — and also in The Miracle Worker (1962) and The Slender Thread (1965). She had the most amazing presence in those films, and to this day I think that she was about the only actor who could take my breath away with her steely gaze as she confronted Dustin Hoffman and then seduced him. The dining room scene with Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker is still one of the most heart-stopping scenes in film.

And yet she could play a complete goof, too, which isn’t surprising for the woman who married Mel Brooks. She also had fun poking fun at herself and her persona in Brooks’ re-make of the Jack Benny / Carole Lombard classic To Be or Not To Be (1983). She was an amazing talent, and I hold her and her family in the Light.