The one from Brooklyn debuted in the world of show business in the fifties, but it was in the sixties when his name became extremely popular among lovers of the seventh art. In 1968 he won the Oscar for Best Screenplay for his work on The producers (he would repeat nomination in 1975 for hot saddles) and his name became synonymous with success, but when asked about his best moment in life, Brooks does not hesitate for a second: “On February 5, 1961, when I met Anne Bancroft”. Bancroft, a five-time Oscar nominee who ultimately won for The Miracle of Anna Sullivan and one of the most legendary actresses of her generation, she met Brooks during the break of one of his plays on Broadway. “I wanted to marry her instantly, when I saw her in that white dress. I had to follow her everywhere for a while, but in the end it worked (laughs). The bad thing is that at that time I didn’t have a dollar, so she always invited me to dinner. Anne was wonderful, we never stopped talking like we had just met and she was my biggest support when my career hadn’t kicked off yet”. The mythical protagonist of The graduate he died in 2005, of cancer: “I have said it many times, it has not been easy to live without her… nor without her kisses, nor without her spaghetti.”
Brooks, who has dozens of credits as a screenwriter and producer, has repeatedly confessed that nothing has given him as much joy as being an actor, and when asked about the subject asks permission to tell a “long, maybe very long” story. on the first time he felt he could make a living as a comedian: “I was working as a busboy at one of the summer hotels in the mountains near New York City. My job was mainly clearing tables and bringing guests extra sour cream, but I was also busy being the general understudy. If any of the hotel entertainment cast got sick, I was supposed to jump in and take their place. As it happened, one of the actors set to play the prosecutor in a murder mystery called ‘Uncle Harry’ broke his ankle and was unable to perform. He was an emergency, and even though they thought he was too young for the part, I convinced them to let me do it because he knew all the lines. So they put me in a gray wig, drew lines on my face to make me look old, and crowned me with a big fake beard (laughs). Like I said, I knew my lines, but I had no idea how to deal with what happened during my first appearance on stage. Everything was going well until my character offered the show’s lead, Uncle Harry, a glass of water. Unfortunately, he slipped out of my hand and broke on stage! Everything stopped! The audience gasped! The band gasped! The director of the play gasped, but twice as much as the others! To do? To do? So I decided to tell the truth to the public. I went down to the stage lights and took off my wig and plucked out my beard and was like, ‘Sorry! I’m only 14 years old! I’ve never done this before!’ The audience erupted in a great laugh. I knew then that he wasn’t the best actor in the world, but he certainly had the makings of a great comedian. Or not?”.
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Mel Brooks: “At the age of 14 I knew that I was not the best actor in the world, but I had the makings of a great comedian”