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The Bronx, New York
Birth Sign
The Bronx, New York

Anne Bancroft was one of the most loved and recognized stage and cinema actors, best known for her role as Annie Sullivan in the critically acclaimed film ‘The Miracle Worker.’ Bancroft was the kind of lady that every woman aspires to be. She was stunning, educated, and accomplished. She was the ideal mix of beauty and intelligence. As a young kid, she fell in love with performing and decided to make it big as an actress. She had a strong idea of what she wanted to do with her life and enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She had the excellent pleasure of training with Lee Strasberg, a famous acting instructor, who helped her improve her natural abilities and enhance her acting approaches. She was born Anna Maria Louisa Italiano, but when she started doing television shows, she changed her name to Anne Marno. She soon moved on to films and was required to change her screen name once more. She starred in a number of films as Anne Bancroft, and is most known for her work in ‘The Miracle Worker,’ for which she earned an Academy Award. She was also active in theatre and has received multiple awards for her stage appearances in addition to her film career.

Childhood and Adolescence

Anna Maria was born in New York to first-generation Italian parents. Mildred Italiano worked as a telephone operator, while Michael Italiano worked as a clothing pattern maker. She was one of two sisters. She showed an early interest in acting and began taking dance and acting courses when she was four years old. She graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in 1948. She then studied acting and drama at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She also attended the University of California’s American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women.

Career of Anne

She went by the stage name Anne Marno and participated in a number of TV shows. She was also attempting to break into the film industry, and in 1952 she was cast in the film ‘Don’t Bother to Knock.’ She renamed herself Anne Bancroft while auditioning for films. She did earn film jobs during the next four years, but her career seemed to be stagnating. She went to theatre after being dissatisfied with the types of parts she was being offered. In the play ‘Two for the Seesaw,’ directed by Arthur Penn, she made her Broadway debut as Gittel Mosca, a lovelorn woman in love with a married man. Her contribution was much valued.

In 1960, she portrayed Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller’s blind teacher, in the drama “The Miracle Worker.” In 1962, she reprised her part in the film adaptation of the same play. In 1963, she returned to Broadway in the drama “Mother Courage and Her Children.” The play, written by German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht, is widely regarded as one of the best of the twentieth century. In the 1965 Broadway show ‘The Devils,’ she played a nun who gets fascinated with a priest. The play was performed 63 times.

She starred as an exquisite older woman in the 1967 comedy drama ‘The Graduate,’ in which she seduced a young college graduate who eventually fell in love with the seductress’s daughter. She acted in the 1977 drama film ‘The Turning Point,’ which focused on the world of dance in New York City, after a succession of forgettable roles in the early 1970s. The film was a great hit and received multiple Academy Award nominations. Her husband Mel Brooks produced the 1983 comedy drama ‘To Be or Not to Be,’ in which she played Anna Bronski. It was a remake of the same-named 1942 film. ’84 Charing Cross Road,’ a British-American drama directed by David Jones, starring her in 1987. It was based on James-Roose Evans’ play.

She continued to act in films into the 1990s, but she was much more active on television. In 1992, she portrayed Kate Jerome in the television movie ‘Broadway Bound.’ She starred alongside Diane Lane, Donald Sutherland, and Cicely Tyson in Ken Cameron’s two-part television film ‘Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tell All’ in 1994. She continued to appear in television and films into the late 1990s, despite developing health issues. In fact, she continued to work until the very end.

Major Projects of Anne

In the biographical picture ‘The Miracle Worker,’ she is best recognized for her depiction of Annie Sullivan, an English teacher who is sent to instruct the young Helen Keller. The film was an instant hit with critics and earned her a slew of prizes.

Achievements & Awards

Her depiction of Annie Sullivan in ‘The Miracle Worker’ earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 1962. For the same role, she received a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress and a National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress.

Personal History and Legacy

In 1953, she married Martin May. The couple split in 1957 after only a few years of marriage. In 1961, she met comedian Mel Brooks and began a relationship with him. In 1964, the couple married and were blessed with a son a few years later. Until Bancroft’s death, they remained blissfully married. She died in 2005 after suffering from uterine cancer in her later years.

Estimated Net Worth

Anne Bancroft net worth: Anne Bancroft has a net worth of $20 million as an American actress. Anne Bancroft was born in September 1931 in The Bronx, New York City, and died in June 2005. She studied method acting with Lee Strasberg and has been on stage, screen, and television.