How 'The Graduate' star Anne Bancroft avoided being typecast as Mrs. Robinson

Anne Bancroft has smelled on the big screen as the wildly seductive and much older Mrs.

The Oscar-winning actress, who died in 2005 at age 73 from the Uuterine Cancer, is the subject of a recent book published by journalist Douglass K. Daniel titled “Anne Bancroft: A Life.”


Daniel interviewed numerous friends and colleagues who worked closely with the star over the years. And while her husband, Mel Brooks, and their son declined to participate, the two reportedly did not appear to be Daniel's reporting.

Bancroft, already a seasoned actress, by 1967, “The Graduate” in a then-unknown actor named Dustin Hoffman.

“As the producer of that film said in later years, they could get her at a price, meaning she was going to be expensive,” said Daniel Fox News. “She did not have the power power and salary, say Elizabeth Taylor.

“If you look at the list [of potential actresses] that was kicked around … you'll see him the youngest of the bunch.” who were in their 40s and even early 50s … Anne was only 35 when they filmed that movie, and she was playing easily 45. “

” The Graduate “tells the story of a disillusioned college graduate (Hoffman), who finds himself

 Anne Bancroft 9

As a starlet in Hollywood in the 1950s, Anne posed for publicity photos that emphasized her figure.

(Courtesy of JoAnne Italiano Perna)

Producer Lawrence Turman had a star-studded wish list of actresses he had believed to be on Mrs. Robinson Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner were just a few of the many actresses he considered.

Even Doris Day made the cut, but her husband and manager Martin Melcher allegedly thought the plot was too dirty for America's Sweetheart.

And there was no denying Bancroft's charisma.

“Her beauty was panned down by makeup and the way she filmed,” said Daniel. “She appeared in a little harsher, especially in her early scenes. But she was able to carry through … Robinson felt as you get to know the character.

“And that's the sort of thing Anne Bancroft easily excelled in … Most people from that era would tell you. [Mrs. Robinson] was hot, she was desirable and just the kind of fantasy a young man would have … “

Daniel added that despite his titillating scenes, Bancroft and Hoffman did not share much of an off-screen interaction. And being a sex symbol like Mrs. Robinson was not always easy.

 Anne Bancroft 14

On the set of the Broadway play “Two for the Seesaw,” Anne is in character as the Kooky Gittel Mosca.

(Courtesy of JoAnne Italiano Perna)

“The role definitely called [for nudity],” said Daniel “Anne said she was ready to do it, but when the day came, she just realized she could not. They got a body to take care of that So that was the case where it sounded good on paper, but when the day came, the idea of ​​standing there everybody – she could not quite bring it to do it. “

Bancroft was hardly 21 When she came to Hollywood from The Bronx with her first film contract and first appeared in 1952's “Do not Bother to Knock” opposite Marilyn Monroe.

“The Graduate” was a triumphant move for the actress.

“She got paid $ 200,000, which was good money,” said Daniel. “That's like $ 1.5 million today She got a leading role … and the movie did so well that reminded everybody what a good actress she was. “

Still, Mrs. Robinson was not always a blessing for Bancroft Daniel claimed that he was in danger of being typecast Both fans and critics also could not stop talking about the film over the years.

“She was not interested in playing Mrs. Robinson again in other movies, “explained Daniel “So she stayed away from those types of roles She also found that people always wanted to talk about Mrs. Robinson She got kind of tired over the years because she did a lot of good roles, but Mrs. Robinson hovered over everything because she did it so well and the movie was so popular. “

Actor Mel Brooks and Actor Mel Brooks wife, actress Anne Bancroft arrive for opening
night of the musical he created, “The Producers” May 29, 2003 in
Hollywood The Los Angeles engagement of the hit musical stars
Short and Jason Alexander REUTERS / Fred Prouser


Actor Mel Brooks and wife actress Anne Bancroft arrive for opening night of the musical he created, “The Producers” May 29, 2003 in Hollywood.

(Press24 News)

“One of the directors she worked with after she turned 60 she said she saw the movie for the first time,” said Daniel. “And she said, 'I thought I looked beautiful.' It was a time in her life when she looked the most attractive … and I think that she looked back at 'The Graduate' from that day on. “

One thing that did give Bancroft joy throughout her life was her relationship with Brooks The couple married in 1964 and the union lasted until his death.

“People told me their love was the real deal … [And] as much as we want to see them as a strange couple – she's a dramatized actress and he a comedy writer – they shared a love of laughter, “said Daniel “They were both also divorced … they were a little older, a little more mature when they met … and they both had a better understanding

“She had been dealing with cancer for a long time,” claimed Daniel. “She had her first brush with cancer around 1980 … She kept it very quiet. Some of their closest friends did not know about it … People are very careful about the illnesses being out there because there are people you know you're sick.

“You're scoring millions of dollars on a production … Keeping it quiet made sense from a professional view … [But] She dealt with cancer on and off over the years. “

 Anne Bancroft 4

Seventeen-year-old Anne Italiano on the rooftop of her family's apartment building on St. Raymond Avenue in the Bronx, circa 1948

(Courtesy of JoAnne Italiano Perna)

And Bancroft kept working. Her last credited role before her death was that of herself in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in 2004. [1 9659008] “One of her colleagues told me she was quick to anger, she was quick to laughter – she had her feelings very much on the surface, “said Daniel. “And that made her a great actress She responded to things emotionally, whether it was in her acting or in her life. And that made her very memorable to those who knew and loved her. “

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