Actress Anne Bancroft Dies at 73

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In summary, actress Anne Bancroft, best known for her role as Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate," has passed away at the age of 73. She was also known for her Oscar-winning performance as Helen Keller's teacher in "The Miracle Worker." Bancroft was a highly acclaimed actress, receiving awards and nominations for her work on Broadway and in film. She was praised for her talent and versatility, and will be remembered as a beloved and powerful presence in the entertainment industry.
  • #1
Actress Anne Bancroft Dies
'Mrs. Robinson' of 'The Graduate'
Wednesday, June 8, 2005 Posted: 7:52 AM EDT (1152 GMT)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Anne Bancroft, who won the 1962 best actress Oscar as the teacher of a young Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker" but achieved greater fame as the seductive Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate," has died. She was 73.

She died of uterine cancer on Monday at Mount Sinai Hospital, John Barlow, a spokesman for her husband, Mel Brooks, said Tuesday.

Bancroft was awarded the Tony for creating the role on Broadway of poor-sighted Annie Sullivan, the teacher of the deaf and blind Keller. She repeated her portrayal in the film version.

Yet despite her Academy Award and four other nominations, "The Graduate" overshadowed her other achievements.

Dustin Hoffman delivered the famous line when he realized his girlfriend's mother was coming on to him at her house: "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?"

Bancroft complained to a 2003 interviewer: "I am quite surprised that with all my work, and some of it is very, very good, that nobody talks about 'The Miracle Worker.' We're talking about Mrs. Robinson. I understand the world. ... I'm just a little dismayed that people aren't beyond it yet."

Mike Nichols, who directed her in "The Graduate," said she was a masterful actress.

"Her combination of brains, humor, frankness and sense were unlike any other artist," Nichols said in a statement released by a publicist. "Her beauty was constantly shifting with her roles, and because she was a consummate actress she changed radically for every part."

Oscar-Winning Actress Anne Bancroft Dies at 73

By Matt Schudel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 8, 2005; Page B06

Anne Bancroft, the versatile actress who won an Academy Award for portraying Helen Keller's teacher in "The Miracle Worker," but who may be best remembered as the sultry suburban housewife who seduced Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate," died June 6 of uterine cancer at a New York hospital. She was 73.

In a career spanning more than 50 years, Ms. Bancroft won every major acting award -- the Oscar, Tony and Emmy -- and played such a range of roles that she defied typecasting. She performed opposite such stars as Anthony Hopkins, Sean Penn, Shirley MacLaine and two generations of Fondas, Henry and Jane, and was considered as formidable an acting talent as any of them.

"She was the most wonderfully rich, malleable, interesting, independent actress I ever worked with," Arthur Penn, who directed Ms. Bancroft in the stage and film versions of "The Miracle Worker," said several years ago. "She can play anything."

Besides her Academy Award for "The Miracle Worker" (1962), a role she originated on Broadway in 1959, Ms. Bancroft received Oscar nominations for "The Pumpkin Eater" (1964), "The Graduate" (1967), "The Turning Point" (1977) and "Agnes of God" (1985).

She received a Tony Award in 1958 for her first staring role on Broadway, playing opposite Henry Fonda in "Two for the Seesaw." The following year, she won her second Tony for the role of Annie Sullivan in "The Miracle Worker," in which she was the teacher working with the blind and deaf Helen Keller, played by 12-year-old Patty Duke.

"She and I spent a moment in time that can never be re-created," a tearful Duke said yesterday from her home in California. "By her example, she was a teacher to me. What she gave me in those times has taken me through my whole life."
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  • #2
Here's To You, Mrs. Robinson

I saw this column by J. P. Devine, a freelance writer, in the Sunday edition of the Kennebec Journal:

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson

This morning the rain stopped and the sun came out. Everything was green and fresh, and you could see for miles. We tend to take all of this for granted -- the clean air, the grass and sun, the peace. I came 3,000 miles for that, for the peace.

I was feeling good about all of this until my daughter called from Los Angeles to say that Anna Maria Louisa Italiano had died at 73.

So last night I saw her on an old "Charlie Rose" show. Anna Maria Louisa had that same smile that made you think maybe she was in love with you. She said to Rose: "Sometimes, you have to take a step back, and decide what you're looking for." Rose asked her what it was she had been looking for. She said, "Peace ... just peace."

You knew her as Anne Bancroft, American actress, movie star. Actually, you knew her as Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate." She was brilliant in everything she did, but Mrs. Robinson stuck.

I knew her long ago as Annie with the crazy, curly hair and the smile that made you think that maybe she was in love with you.
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  • #3
Wasen't she something wonderful? I just adored her. Sad to hear she's gone.
  • #4
I saw her in a movie (whose name I can't recall just now) where she played a crusty, tough recluse whom the townspeople considered looney. Her grandkids show up out of nowhere after being abandoned by their mother and slowly insinuate themselves into her life. Her performance was extremely impressive.
I also saw her as a senator or congresswoman in another film recently, and was equally impressed. She had a very powerful presence.
  • #5
She was the Senator in GI Jane.
  • #6
Here's to you mrs robinson...

Related to Actress Anne Bancroft Dies at 73

1. Who was Anne Bancroft and what were her notable achievements?

Anne Bancroft was an American actress who rose to fame in the 1950s and had a successful career spanning several decades. She is best known for her roles in films such as "The Miracle Worker", "The Graduate", and "The Turning Point". She won an Academy Award, multiple Golden Globe Awards, and several other prestigious awards throughout her career.

2. How did Anne Bancroft die and at what age?

Anne Bancroft passed away on June 6th, 2005 at the age of 73. She died from uterine cancer, which she had been battling for several years.

3. What impact did Anne Bancroft have on the film industry?

Anne Bancroft was a highly respected and talented actress who paved the way for other women in the film industry. She was known for her strong and complex female characters, and her performances were always praised for their depth and realism. She also worked behind the scenes as a director and producer, further showcasing her talent and influence in the industry.

4. What were some of Anne Bancroft's most memorable roles?

Some of Anne Bancroft's most memorable roles include her portrayal of Annie Sullivan in "The Miracle Worker", Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate", and Emma Jacklin in "The Turning Point". She also had notable roles in films such as "The Elephant Man", "Agnes of God", and "84 Charing Cross Road".

5. How is Anne Bancroft remembered today?

Anne Bancroft is remembered as a talented and influential actress who left a lasting impact on the film industry. She is often celebrated for her bold and powerful performances, and her legacy continues to inspire aspiring actors and actresses today. She is also remembered for her philanthropy and advocacy work, particularly for women's rights and cancer research.

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