Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks (born Melvin James Kaminsky;[1] June 28, 1926) is an American actor, comedian and filmmaker. With a career spanning over seven decades, he is known as a writer and director of a variety of successful broad farces and parodies.[2] He began his career as a comic and a writer for Sid Caesar's variety show Your Show of Shows (1950–1954) alongside Woody Allen, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart.[3] With Carl Reiner, he created the comic character The 2000 Year Old Man. He wrote, with Buck Henry, the hit television comedy series Get Smart (1965–1970).

Mel Brooks
Brooks receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010
Born
Melvin James Kaminsky[1]

(1926-06-28) June 28, 1926 (age 96)
Alma materVirginia Military Institute
Occupation
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • filmmaker
Years active1947–present
WorksFull list
Spouses
  • Florence Baum
    (m. 1953; div. 1962)
  • (m. 1964; died 2005)
Children4, including Max
AwardsFull list

In middle age, Brooks became one of the most successful film directors of the 1970s, with many of his films being among the top 10 moneymakers of their respective years of release. His best-known films include The Producers (1967), The Twelve Chairs (1970), Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), Silent Movie (1976), High Anxiety (1977), History of the World, Part I (1981), Spaceballs (1987), and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993).[4] A musical adaptation of his first film, The Producers, ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2007 and was itself remade into a musical film in 2005.

In 2001, having previously won an Emmy, a Grammy and an Oscar, he joined a small list of EGOT winners with his Tony Award wins for The Producers. He received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2009, a Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 2010, the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award in June 2013, a British Film Institute Fellowship in March 2015, a National Medal of Arts in September 2016, and a BAFTA Fellowship in February 2017. Three of his films ranked in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 comedy films of the past 100 years (1900–2000), all of which ranked in the top 15 of the list: Blazing Saddles at number 6, The Producers at number 11, and Young Frankenstein at number 13.[5]

Brooks was married to actress Anne Bancroft from 1964 until her death in 2005. Their son Max Brooks is an actor and author, known for his novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (2006). In 2021, Mel Brooks published a memoir titled All About Me![6]


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