Best photos ( Mel Brooks )

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Birth information

28 June 1926 Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Given Name

Melvin James Kaminsky

How tall is Mel Brooks?

1.65 m

Who is(are) his/her spouse(s)?

Anne Bancroft
Florence Baum

Life Story of Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to television.

He was a writer for, Your Show of Shows (1950) Caesar's Hour (1954) and wrote the Broadway show Shinbone Alley. He also worked in the creation of The 2000 Year Old Man (1975) and Get Smart (1965) before embarking on a highly successful film career in writing, acting, producing and directing.

Brooks is famous for the spoofs of different film genres that he made such as Blazing Saddles (1974), History of the World: Part I (1981), Silent Movie (1976), Young Frankenstein (1974), Robin Hood - Helden in Strumpfhosen (1993), High Anxiety (1977), Dracula - Tot aber glücklich (1995), and Spaceballs (1987).

Significant features of Mel Brooks

Has frequently cast himself, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman, Rudy De Luca, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Dom DeLuise, Ron Carey, Marty Feldman and Kenneth Mars.
Almost always uses music by John Morris
Frequently uses the line: "We have...

Publications and Magazines about Mel Brooks

Robert Alan Crick The Big Screen Comedies of Mel Brooks. 2002
James Robert Parish It's Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks. 2007
James Robert Parish It's Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks. 2007

What movies did Mel Brooks play or participate?

Producers Filmography
Blazing Samurai (2021) , Sam (2015) , Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen (2015) , Mel Brooks Strikes Back! (2012) , Spaceballs: The Animated Series (2009) , The Producers (2005) , Dracula - Tot aber glücklich (1995) , Robin Hood - Helden in Strumpfhosen (1993) , Scary - Horrortrip in den Wahnsinn (1992) , Life Stinks (1991) , The Nutt House (1989) , Spaceballs (1987) , 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) , Solarbabies (1986) , The Fly (1986) , The Doctor and the Devils (1985) , To Be or Not...

Birth information

28 June 1926 Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Given Name

Melvin James Kaminsky

How tall is Mel Brooks?

1.65 m

Who is(are) his/her spouse(s)?

Anne Bancroft
Florence Baum

Life Story of Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to television.

He was a writer for, Your Show of Shows (1950) Caesar's Hour (1954) and wrote the Broadway show Shinbone Alley. He also worked in the creation of The 2000 Year Old Man (1975) and Get Smart (1965) before embarking on a highly successful film career in writing, acting, producing and directing.

Brooks is famous for the spoofs of different film genres that he made such as Blazing Saddles (1974), History of the World: Part I (1981), Silent Movie (1976), Young Frankenstein (1974), Robin Hood - Helden in Strumpfhosen (1993), High Anxiety (1977), Dracula - Tot aber glücklich (1995), and Spaceballs (1987).

Significant features of Mel Brooks

Has frequently cast himself, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman, Rudy De Luca, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Dom DeLuise, Ron Carey, Marty Feldman and Kenneth Mars.
Almost always uses music by John Morris
Frequently uses the line: "We have...

Publications and Magazines about Mel Brooks

Robert Alan Crick The Big Screen Comedies of Mel Brooks. 2002
James Robert Parish It's Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks. 2007
James Robert Parish It's Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks. 2007

What movies did Mel Brooks play or participate?

Producers Filmography
Blazing Samurai (2021) , Sam (2015) , Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen (2015) , Mel Brooks Strikes Back! (2012) , Spaceballs: The Animated Series (2009) , The Producers (2005) , Dracula - Tot aber glücklich (1995) , Robin Hood - Helden in Strumpfhosen (1993) , Scary - Horrortrip in den Wahnsinn (1992) , Life Stinks (1991) , The Nutt House (1989) , Spaceballs (1987) , 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) , Solarbabies (1986) , The Fly (1986) , The Doctor and the Devils (1985) , To Be or Not...

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Mel Brooks in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987)

His stage name is an adaptation of his mother's maiden name, Brookman.

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Mel Brooks, Rick Moranis, and George Wyner in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987)

His film The Producers (1967) was the inspiration for the title of the album "Achtung Baby" (1991) by the rock band U2.

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Mel Brooks and Leslie Bevis in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987)

He produced and wrote the music, lyrics, and book for the Broadway musical "The Producers" (2001), the musical version of his earlier movie The Producers (1967). The Broadway hit musical then lead to the musical movie The Producers (2005).

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Mel Brooks in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987)

One of the few people to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony. He won an Oscar for the screenplay of The Producers (1967); three Emmys in a row (1997-1999) for his guest appearance as Uncle Phil in Mad About You (1992); three Tonys for "The Producers" - Best Musical, Original Music Score and Book (musical); and three Grammys - Best Spoken Comedy Album for "The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000" (1998, with Carl Reiner) and two for "The Producers" (2001): Best Musical Show Album (as composer/lyricist) and Best Long Form Music Video (as artist).

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Mel Brooks and Bill Pullman in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987)

Son Eddie Brooks manages a band called "Early Edison".

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Mel Brooks and Bill Pullman in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987)

Named one of E!'s "Top 20 entertainers of 2001".

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Mel Brooks in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987)

Called his late wife Anne Bancroft his Obi-Wan Kenobi since she encouraged him to turn his movie The Producers (1967) into a Broadway musical.

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Mel Brooks in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987)

Named one of People Magazine's "25 Most Intriguing People of 2001".

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Mel Brooks in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987)

At the opening of the Broadway version of "The Producers", he was asked by a reporter if he was nervous about the play's reception, since it cost $40 million to produce. Brooks joked, "If it flops, I'll take the other sixty million and fly to Rio." He did not have to worry, since the play was both a critical and financial success.

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35 th
Mel Brooks and Ezio Greggio in Svitati (1999)

He and Anne Bancroft met on the set of a TV talk show, and Mel later paid a woman who worked on the show to tell him which restaurant Bancroft was going to eat at that night so he could "accidentally" bump into her again and strike up a conversation.

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34 th
Mel Brooks and Ezio Greggio in Svitati (1999)

He and Bancroft married at New York's Municipal Building, where a passer-by served as their witness.

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Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, etc.

Children from his first marriage: Stefanie Brooks (born 1956), Nicky Brooks (born 1957) and Eddie Brooks (born 1959). Has one son with Anne Bancroft: Max Brooks (born 1972).

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Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, Marty Feldman, etc.

In 1966, he was about to co-star in a movie called "Easy Come, Easy Go" with Jan Berry and Dean Torrence in the leading roles. What would have been his on-screen debut, was canceled due to a car wreck during shooting, in which Berry suffered a severe brain damage and paralysis. On the casting list was also British comedy star Terry-Thomas.

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31 th
Mel Brooks in Mel Brooks letzte Verrücktheit - Silent Movie (1976)

Has performed a rap song for the soundtrack of History of the World: Part I (1981) called "It's Good to Be the King". It was a surprisingly successful hip-hop/dance hit in 1981. He followed it up with "Hitler Rap" for To Be or Not to Be (1983). The song was not as successful. But the lyric "Don't be stupid, be a smarty/Come and join the Nazi Party" was originally used in the original movie version of The Producers (1967), then later reused in Brooks' Broadway version of "The Producers".

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30 th
Mel Brooks and Marty Feldman in Mel Brooks letzte Verrücktheit - Silent Movie (1976)

The 1944 edition of the Eastern District High School (Brooklyn, N.Y.) yearbook featured the future Mel Brooks (born Melvin Kaminsky) stating that his goal was to become President of the United States; forty-three years later, in 1987, his ambition was to be fulfilled, if only in fiction and in part -- in the movie Spaceballs (1987), he portrayed Spaceball leader "President Skroob" (an anagram of "Brooks").

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29 th
Mel Brooks and Bernadette Peters in Mel Brooks letzte Verrücktheit - Silent Movie (19

His favorite song is "Yankee Doodle Dandy" by George M. Cohan.

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28 th
Mel Brooks and Bernadette Peters in Mel Brooks letzte Verrücktheit - Silent Movie (19

Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy", by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 63-66. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387

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27 th
Paul Newman, Mel Brooks, etc.

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985." Pages 162-167. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.

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Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, Marty Feldman, etc.

Is close friends with Italian television star Ezio Greggio, whose movies he inspired. Brooks is often a guest on Greggio's shows, and offered Greggio a small role in his movie Dracula - Tot aber glücklich (1995), due to this friendship.

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25 th
Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, etc.

In 2001, he won three Tony Awards for "The Producers": as a co-producer of the Best Musical winner; as Best Book (Musical), with collaborator Thomas Meehan; and as Best Original Musical Score, both lyrics and music.

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24 th
Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, etc.

Has one grandson: Henry Michael Brooks (Max's son) (born April 2005).

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Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, etc.

In the original film version of The Producers (1967), Brooks' voice can be heard singing the line "Don't be stupid/Be a schmarty/Come and join the Nazi Party" during the "Springtime for Hitler" number. For the Broadway musical version, he repeats this task, with the live actor lip-synching to a recording of Brooks.

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22 th
Mel Brooks, James Caan, Dom DeLuise, etc.

Has cited his favorite films as Bicycle Thieves (1948) and La Grande Illusion (1937).

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Mel Brooks, James Caan, Dom DeLuise, etc.

Though Blazing Saddles (1974) and Young Frankenstein (1974) are often cited as his best and most popular films as a director, his biggest video sales are Spaceballs (1987) and Robin Hood - Helden in Strumpfhosen (1993).

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Mel Brooks, Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, etc.

His parents, Kate (Brookman) and Aharon Mordechai/Max Kaminsky, were Jewish emigrants. His father was born in Tilsit, then in Prussia, now in Russia, with ancestors who also lived in Belarus. His mother was born in Kiev, then in the Russian Empire, now in Ukraine. Mel is an avid fan of Russian literature, occasionally making references to works and writers in his films.

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19 th
Mel Brooks in Mel Brooks letzte Verrücktheit - Silent Movie (1976)

His running "walk this way" gag is also the inspiration for the song "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith. The gag was copied from William Powell's ad-lib in After the Thin Man (1936).

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Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, etc.

Would much rather write than direct.

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Mel Brooks, Cleavon Little, and Harvey Korman in Der wilde wilde Westen (1974)

He, Anne Bancroft and their son Max Brooks have all won Emmy Awards.

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Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, and Cleavon Little in Der wilde wilde Westen (1974)

Has directed two performers to Oscar nominations: Gene Wilder (for The Producers (1967)) and Madeline Kahn (for Blazing Saddles (1974)).

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15 th
Mel Brooks in Das Leben Stinkt (1991)

Godfather of Alan Yentob's children.

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14 th
Mel Brooks and Lesley Ann Warren in Das Leben Stinkt (1991)

He attended film director Alfred Hitchcock's funeral.

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13 th
Mel Brooks in Das Leben Stinkt (1991)

In an NPR interview, he mentioned that he attended Virginia Military Institute and thus, in reference to the 1938 film's setting, was a "Brother Rat".

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12 th
Mel Brooks in Das Leben Stinkt (1991)

Was considered for the role of Dr. Sam Loomis in the horror film Halloween (1978), which went to Donald Pleasence.

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Mel Brooks, Howard Morris, and Teddy Wilson in Das Leben Stinkt (1991)

Is one of the five winners of the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors. Other 2009 winners were Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Dave Brubeck and Grace Bumbry.

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Mel Brooks, Michael Ensign, and Stuart Pankin in Das Leben Stinkt (1991)

Has directed three of the American Film Institute's 100 Funniest Movies: Blazing Saddles (1974) at #6, The Producers (1967) at #11 and Young Frankenstein (1974) at #13.

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Mel Brooks and Lesley Ann Warren in Das Leben Stinkt (1991)

His father died when Mel was age two and his impoverished childhood has been called 'Dickensian'.

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Mel Brooks and Lesley Ann Warren in Das Leben Stinkt (1991)

Worked as a stand-up comedy "tummeler" in Catskill Mountains resorts before joining Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows (1950) immortal writing staff in the 1950s, which featured Neil Simon. It's also where he met performer Carl Reiner. This legendary Caesar show was the basis for the comedy classic, My Favorite Year (1982).

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Mel Brooks in Das Leben Stinkt (1991)

Often ate dinner at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Santa Monica, California, with his wife Anne Bancroft.

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Mel Brooks and Lesley Ann Warren in Das Leben Stinkt (1991)

Was presented, by Martin Scorsese, the 41st Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California on June 6, 2013.

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Mel Brooks, Stuart Pankin, and Robert Ridgely in Das Leben Stinkt (1991)

Grew up at 365 South Third Street in Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York City.

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Mel Brooks in Mel Brooks - Die verrückte Geschichte der Welt (1981)

Produced the stage musical adaptation of his movie Young Frankenstein (1974). The musical opened on Halloween night, October 31, 2007, at the St. James Theatre on Broadway after a summer try-out at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. [April 2007]

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3 rd
Mel Brooks, Mike Cottrell, Rusty Goffe, etc.

Best friends with Carl Reiner. Both of them widowers, they hang out and watch movies together every night.

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2 nd
Mel Brooks, Harvey Korman, etc.

His musical, "Young Frankenstein" at the Drury Lane Productions in Chicago, Illinois was nominated for a 2014 Joseph Jefferson Equity Award for Large Musical Production.

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1 st
Mel Brooks, Gregory Hines, Ron Carey, etc.

He has two roles in common with both Peter Cushing and Dennis Price: (1) Cushing played Victor Frankenstein in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957). The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Evil of Frankenstein (1964), Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969), One More Time (1970) and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974), Price played him in Die Nacht der offenen Särge (1972) and The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein (1973) and Brooks played him in Young Frankenstein (1974) and (2) Cushing played Professor Van Helsing in Horror of Dracula (1958), The Brides of Dracula (1960), Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974), Price played him in Son of Dracula (1973) and Brooks played him in Dracula - Tot aber glücklich (1995).

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