65 Facts About Mel Brooks


Mel Brooks was born on Melvin James Kaminsky; June 28, 1926 and is an American actor, comedian and filmmaker.

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Mel Brooks began his career as a comic and a writer for Sid Caesar's variety show Your Show of Shows alongside Woody Allen, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart.

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In middle age, Mel Brooks became one of the most successful film directors of the 1970s, with many of his films being among the top 10 moneymakers of the year they were released.

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Mel Brooks 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.

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Mel Brooks was married to actress Anne Bancroft from 1964 until her death in 2005.

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Mel Brooks was born on a tenement kitchen table, on June 28, 1926, in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York City, to Kate and Max Kaminsky, and grew up in Williamsburg.

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Mel Brooks's father died of tuberculosis of the kidney at 34 when Brooks was two years old.

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Mel Brooks has said of his father's death, "There's an outrage there.

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Mel Brooks was a small, sickly boy who often was bullied and teased by his classmates because of his size.

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When Mel Brooks was 14 he gained employment as a pool-side tummler at the Butler Lodge, a second-rate Borscht Belt hotel, where he met 18-year-old Sid Caesar.

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Mel Brooks was taught by Buddy Rich how to play the drums, and started to earn money as a musician when he was 14.

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Mel Brooks graduated from Eastern District High School in January 1944 and intended to follow his older brother and enroll in Brooklyn College to study psychology.

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In early 1944, in his senior year at Eastern District High School, Mel Brooks was recruited to take the Army General Classification Test, a Stanford–Binet-type IQ test.

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Mel Brooks was then sent back to Fort Dix for overseas assignment.

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Mel Brooks says he boarded the SS Sea Owl at the Brooklyn Navy Yard around 15 February 1945.

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Mel Brooks was tasked with land mine location, defusing was done by a specialist.

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Mel Brooks has stated that when he heard Germans singing over loudspeakers, Mel Brooks responded by singing into a bullhorn, Toot, Toot, Tootsie by Jewish Al Jolson.

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Mel Brooks spent time in the stockade after taking an anti-Semitic heckler's helmet off and smashing him in the head with his mess kit.

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Mel Brooks's unit constructed the first Bailey bridge over the Roer River, later building bridges over the Rhine River.

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In June 1946, Mel Brooks was honorably discharged from the Army as a corporal.

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Mel Brooks began acting in summer stock in Red Bank, New Jersey, and did some radio work.

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Mel Brooks eventually worked his way up to the comically aggressive job of tummler at Grossinger's, one of the Borscht Belt's most famous resorts.

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Mel Brooks found more rewarding work behind the scenes, becoming a comedy writer for television.

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In October 1959, for a Random House book launch of Moss Harts autobiography, Act One, at Mamma Leone's, Mel Tolkin and Mel Brooks performed, and it was later recalled by Kenneth Tynan.

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Kenneth Tynan saw the comedy duo perform at a party in 1959 and wrote that Mel Brooks "was the most original comic improvisor I had ever seen".

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At one point, when Mel Brooks had financial and career struggles, the record sales from the 2000 Year Old Man were his chief source of income.

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Mel Brooks adapted the 2000 Year Old Man character to create the 2500-Year-Old Brewmaster for Ballantine Beer in the 1960s.

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Mel Brooks was involved in the creation of the Broadway musical All American which debuted on Broadway in 1962.

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Mel Brooks wrote the play with lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse.

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Mel Brooks supplied running commentary as the baffled moviegoer trying to make sense of the obscure visuals.

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Mel Brooks said, "I was sick of looking at all those nice sensible situation comedies.

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For several years, Mel Brooks toyed with a bizarre and unconventional idea about a musical comedy of Adolf Hitler.

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Mel Brooks explored the idea as a novel and a play before finally writing a script.

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Mel Brooks eventually found two producers to fund it, Joseph E Levine and Sidney Glazier, and made his first feature film, The Producers.

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Mel Brooks finally found an independent distributor who released it as an art film, a specialized attraction.

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At the 41st Academy Awards, Mel Brooks won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the film over fellow writers Stanley Kubrick and John Cassavetes.

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Mel Brooks later adapted it into a musical, which was hugely successful on Broadway and received an unprecedented 12 Tony awards.

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Mel Brooks makes a cameo appearance as an alcoholic ex-serf who "yearns for the regular beatings of yesteryear".

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Mel Brooks then wrote an adaptation of Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer, but was unable to sell the idea to any studio and believed that his career was over.

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Mel Brooks has said that the film "has to do with love more than anything else.

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When Gene Wilder replaced Gig Young as the Waco Kid, he did so only when Mel Brooks agreed that his next film would be a script that Wilder had been working on: a spoof of the Universal series of Frankenstein films from several decades earlier.

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In 1975, at the height of his movie career, Mel Brooks tried TV again with When Things Were Rotten, a Robin Hood parody that lasted only 13 episodes.

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Mel Brooks followed up his two hit films with an audacious idea: the first feature-length silent comedy in four decades.

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Mel Brooks sought to purchase the rights to 84 Charing Cross Road for his wife, Anne Bancroft, for many years.

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In 1981, Mel Brooks joked that the only genres that he hadn't spoofed were historical epics and Biblical spectacles.

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Mel Brooks'story of the World Part I was a tongue-in-cheek look at human culture from the Dawn of Man to the French Revolution.

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Mel Brooks produced and starred in a remake of Ernst Lubitsch's 1942 film To Be or Not to Be.

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Second movie Mel Brooks directed in the 1980s was Spaceballs, a parody of science fiction, mainly Star Wars.

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In 1989, Mel Brooks made another attempt at television success with the sitcom The Nutt House, featuring Mel Brooks regulars Harvey Korman and Cloris Leachman.

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Life Stinks was a financial and critical failure, but is notable as the only film Mel Brooks directed that is neither a parody nor a film about other films or theater.

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In early April 2006, Mel Brooks began composing the score to a Broadway musical adaptation of Young Frankenstein, which he says is "perhaps the best movie [he] ever made".

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Mel Brooks returned, to voice Dracula's father, Vlad, in Hotel Transylvania 2 and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018).

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On October 18, 2021, it was announced that Mel Brooks would write and produce History of the World Part II, a follow-up TV series to his 1981 movie.

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Mel Brooks met Florence Baum, a dancer in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, on Broadway.

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Mel Brooks married actress Anne Bancroft in 1964, and they remained together until her death in 2005.

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Mel Brooks endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, in his first-ever public endorsement of a political candidate.

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Mel Brooks is one of the few people who have received an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy.

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Mel Brooks won his first Grammy for Best Spoken Comedy Album in 1999 for his recording of The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000 with Carl Reiner.

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Mel Brooks won his first of four Emmy awards in 1967 for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Variety for a Sid Caesar special, and won Emmys in 1997, 1998, and 1999 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role of Uncle Phil on Mad About You.

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Mel Brooks won his Academy Award for Original Screenplay in 1968 for The Producers.

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Mel Brooks won his three Tony awards in 2001 for his work on the musical, The Producers for Best Musical, Best Original Musical Score, and Best Book of a Musical.

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Mel Brooks won a Hugo Award and Nebula Award for Young Frankenstein.

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On December 5, 2009, Brooks was one of five recipients of the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

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Mel Brooks was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 23, 2010, with a motion pictures star located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.

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In 2014 Mel Brooks was honored in a handprint and footprint ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre.

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