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Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks is a renowned director, producer, writer and actor-the creator of such comedy film classics as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety and Silent Movie.

Brooks received three 2001 Tony Awards for The Producers: Best Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. In addition, he won two 2001 Grammy Awards: Best Musical Show Album for The Producers and Best Long Form Music Video for Recording The Producers- A Musical Romp with Mel Brooks, as well as the 2005 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Brooks entered television during its 'Golden Age,' beginning as a writer for Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows in 1951. In 1955 and 1957, he received Emmy Award nominations (with others) for Best Comedy Writing for Caesar's Hour, and in 1956, he was nominated (with others) for Best Writing for a Variety or Situation Comedy.

In 1952, he wrote sketches for Leonard Sillman's Broadway smash-hit revue New Faces of 1952, and in 1957, together with Joe Darion, he wrote the book for the Broadway musical Shinbone Alley, which starred Eartha Kitt. In 1962, he wrote the book for the Broadway musical All-American, starring Ray Bolger.

In the '60s, Brooks teamed up with Carl Reiner to write and perform The 2000 Year Old Man albums, which became immediate bestsellers. In 1960 and 1961, Brooks and Reiner received Grammy Award nominations for Best Spoken Word: Comedy for 2000 Years and for Best Comedy Performance for 2000 and One Years. In 1997, Brooks and Reiner teamed up again for The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000. Both a book and CD were released, the CD winning a Grammy Award in 1998 for Best Spoken Word: Comedy.

Brooks wrote and narrated The Critic, a short satire on avant-garde art films, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject in 1964. In the following year, he teamed up with Buck Henry and created Get Smart, the long running television show starring Don Adams as Agent 86. Brooks received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing Achievement in a Comedy-Variety in 1967 for The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special.

In 1968, he wrote and directed his first feature film, The Producers, starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He then went on to create a remarkable string of hit comedies: in 1970, he wrote, directed and acted in The Twelve Chairs; in 1974, he co-wrote, directed and acted in Blazing Saddles and was nominated, along with John Morris, for Best Title Song, Blazing Saddles; in 1974, he co-wrote and directed Young Frankenstein; in 1976, he co-wrote, directed and starred in Silent Movie; in 1977, he co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in High Anxiety; in 1981, he wrote, directed, produced and starred in History of the World, Part I; in 1983, he produced and starred in To Be or Not to Be; in 1987, he co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in the hit sci-fi spoof, Spaceballs; in 1991, he co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in Life Stinks; in 1993, he co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in Robin Hood: Men in Tights; in 1995, he co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in Dracula: Dead and Loving It.

For three successive seasons, 1997-1999, Brooks won Emmy Awards for his role as Uncle Phil on the hit comedy show, Mad About You.

His visionary film company, Brooksfilms Limited, founded in 1980, has produced some of America's most distinguished films. Among them are: David Lynch's The Elephant Man, David Cronenberg's The Fly, Graeme Clifford's Frances, Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year, and David Jones' 84 Charing Cross Road, for which Brooks' wife, Anne Bancroft, won the British Academy Award opposite Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Brooks is in an elite group with Helen Hayes, John Gielgud, Rita Moreno, Audrey Hepburn, Marvin Hamlisch and Mike Nichols as only one of seven artists/entertainers to earn all four major entertainment prizes-the Tony, the Emmy, the Grammy and the Oscar.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Mel Brooks Facts

Birth NameMelvin Kaminsky
OccupationActor, Director, Producer
BirthdayJune 28, 1926 (97)
BirthplaceBrooklyn, New York, USA
Height5' 4" (1m63)  How tall is Mel Brooks compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Hotel Transylvania 2
Robin Hood: Men In Tights
Little Rascals
The Mel Brooks Collection
Blazing Saddles
Young Frankenstein
History of the World Part I
Continue » Find more details on the Mel Brooks Movies page