Mel Brooks


Director
Mel Brooks

About

Also Known As
Melvin Kaminsky, Melvin Brooks
Birth Place
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Born
June 28, 1926

Biography

A true legend in the entertainment industry, Mel Brooks was an Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony-winning creator and performer of some of the biggest comedy hits on television, in film, and on Broadway. He got his start penning gags for Sid Caesar on the legendary "Your Show of Shows" (NBC, 1950-54) before developing his own series, "Get Smart" (NBC/CBS, 1965-1970). He soon graduated to...

Family & Companions

Florence Baum
Wife
Married in 1950; divorced.
Anne Bancroft
Wife
Actor. Married on August 5, 1964; second wife; acted with Brooks in "To Be or Not to Be" (1983).

Notes

With his 2001 Tony wins for the book and score for "The Producers", Brooks joined the elite club of Helen Hayes, John Gielgud, Rita Moreno, Audrey Hepburn, Richard Rodgers and Marvin Hamlisch as one of the few individuals to earn all four of the major entertainment prizes (Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy) in competition. Later that year, Mike Nichols joined the group when he earned an Emmy for "Wit".

Biography

A true legend in the entertainment industry, Mel Brooks was an Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony-winning creator and performer of some of the biggest comedy hits on television, in film, and on Broadway. He got his start penning gags for Sid Caesar on the legendary "Your Show of Shows" (NBC, 1950-54) before developing his own series, "Get Smart" (NBC/CBS, 1965-1970). He soon graduated to directing films and turned out a string of uproarious and bawdy parodies of Hollywood genres, including "Young Frankenstein" (1974), "Blazing Saddles" (1974), and "High Anxiety" (1977) - all considered classics by anyone's standards. His first theatrical feature, "The Producers" (1968), later served as the basis for a hit Broadway musical, which earned Brooks and his cast and crew a record 12 Tony Awards in 2001. With the success of the big screen adaptation of "Get Smart" (2008), more than 40 years after the premiere of the original series, it was clear that the mad mind of Mel Brooks still packed a timeless comedic punch.

Born Melvin Kaminsky in Brooklyn, New York on June 28, 1926, Brooks discovered his ability to make others laugh in the same manner as so many other comedians - by performing for his parents, Maximilian and Kate, and his brothers Leonard, Irving and Bernard. After serving as a combat engineer in Europe and North Africa with the Army during World War II, Brooks sharpened his chops as an emcee and musician at the Catskills resort Grossinger's, where he also changed his name to Brooks (a variant on his mother's maiden name, Brookman) to avoid confusion with trumpeter Max Kaminsky. The experience helped to solidify some of the recurring themes and elements in Brooks' comedy - broad humor with a distinctly Jewish flavor, driven by larger-than-life portrayals, absurd wordplay, parodies of well-known celebrities and popular culture; all of it shot through with a vein of burlesque-style shtick. In 1951, Brooks married Florence Baum, with whom he had three children. The couple split in 1961.

Brooks' career as a writer began with "The Admiral Broadway Revue" (NBC/Dumont, 1949), a Broadway-style variety program that brought together the formidable comedy team of Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. Brooks followed the duo to their next variety series, "Your Show of Shows" (NBC, 1950-54), where he joined such budding comic talents as Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Mel Tolkin, and Carl Reiner, and its follow-up, "Caesar's Hour" (NBC, 1954-57), where he was joined by a young Woody Allen. Brooks also contributed sketch material to the revue "New Faces of 1952," which ran on Broadway in that year. He also displayed a talent for penning musical theater - Brooks co-wrote the book for "Shinbone Alley" (1957), based on the New York Tribune columns by Don Marquis about a lovelorn cat and a philosophical cockroach (an animated film based on the musical was released in 1971), and contributed most of the book for the 1962 musical "All American." During this period, Brooks also met and wooed actress Ann Bancroft, who was the toast of Broadway at the time for her performance in the Broadway play "The Miracle Worker." The couple married in 1964 and had one son, Max, who later achieved fame as a writer for "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) and several horror-related fiction and non-fiction books.

While exploring these venues, Brooks also developed a comic character called "The 2,000 Year Old Man," which grew out of a painful bout of gout that left Brooks feeling not unlike his ancient character. Brooks and Carl Reiner improvised and recorded an "interview" with the character at a party, which lead to several TV appearances and helped establish Brooks' reputation as one of the quickest wits in American comedy. Brooks' first foray into film won an Academy Award - "The Critic" (1963), an animated short written by Brooks and directed by Ernest Pintoff, spoofed the unfathomable nature of certain experimental films by showing a stream of abstract images, under which the voice of an elderly audience member (Brooks) can be heard complaining. He then returned to television to create "Get Smart" with Buck Henry. The series, which revolved around the misadventures of bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart (Don Adams), offered both a refreshing alternative to the glut of spy entertainment in the mid-60s and a hilarious showcase for Brooks' humor.

Brooks made his debut as a writer-director with "The Producers" (1968), a broad farce about two failed Broadway producers (Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder) who deliberately set out to make the worst production possible in order to take advantage of a bookkeeping loophole. Unfortunately, the result, a pro-Nazi musical called "Springtime for Hitler," becomes a smash hit. The film received numerous negative reviews upon its release, and was virtually abandoned by Embassy Pictures until Peter Sellers placed a full-page ad in Variety that sang the film's praises. His support was echoed by the Academy and Writers Guild voters, who awarded Brooks an Oscar and WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay.

He returned two years later with "The Twelve Chairs" (1970), a slapstick adaptation of a 1928 Russian novel about a nobleman (Ron Moody) and a con man (Frank Langella) who embark on a slapstick search for the twelve chairs that hide a family fortune. The film was perhaps best noted for the first collaboration between Brooks and comic actor Dom DeLuise, who appeared in six of Brooks' 12 features. A four year break - during which Brooks lent his voice to an animated character on "The Electric Company" (PBS, 1971-77) and voiced a curious infant boy on Marlo Thomas' groundbreaking 1972 Free To Be You and Me LP (he also appeared in the 1974 TV special of the same name) - preceded his first blockbuster, "Blazing Saddles" (1974), which simultaneously tweaked the Western genre and trod thoroughly on pre-conceived notions of cinematic good taste. Andrew Bergman (1979) and Richard Pryor were among the writers tapped by Brooks to work on the script; Pryor was also originally considered for the role of heroic sheriff Black Bart, but studio concern over his reputation and drug habits forced Brooks to cast Cleavon Little in his stead. Critics were again split over the film during its release, with many negative reviews focusing on the rampant racial jokes and explosive bodily function humor. But audiences turned out in droves, and the film received three Oscar nominations (Best Supporting Actress for Madeline Kahn as the Marlene Dietrich-esque Lili Shtupp, Best Film Editing, and Best Song for the title song, sung with gusto by Frankie Laine) as well as a Writers Guild Award for Best Comedy. In 2006, it was selected by the National Film Registry for preservation.

That same year, Brooks turned his satiric eye on the Universal horror films of the 1930s with "Young Frankenstein" (1974), which told the story of Frankenstein relative Frederich (Gene Wilder, who also co-wrote the script), who returns to his grandfather's castle to bring another monster (Peter Boyle) to life with the assistance of hunchback Igor (pronounced "Eye-gor," and played by Marty Feldman). Shot in black-and-white and featuring numerous period camera effects and props from the 1931 "Frankenstein," the film was perhaps Brooks' most successful blend of raunch and absurdism, and featured one of the most indelible comic moments of the late 20th century - the sight of Dr. Frankenstein displaying his monster's abilities by leading him in a tone-deaf version of "Puttin' On the Ritz." Another audience favorite, the film took home two Golden Globes (for Madeline Kahn as Frederich's fiancée, who falls for the monster's prowess; and Cloris Leachman as castle keeper Frau Blucher, whose name inspires audible terror in horses), a Writers Guild Award for Brooks and Wilder, and two Academy Award nominations.

Brooks himself took the lead in his next film, the ambitious "Silent Movie" (1976), which paid tribute to Golden Age comedies by featuring just one audible line (spoken, ironically enough, by mime Marcel Marceau), and sending Brooks (as movie director Marty Funn) and his cohorts (Feldman and DeLuise) on a slapstick romp to complete the first silent film in decades. Top '70s stars Burt Reynolds, Paul Newman, James Caan, Liza Minelli, and Anne Bancroft got to exhibit their silly sides with cameos in the film, but the picture did not fare as well as its predecessors. Brooks - who was named the 6th most popular film actor in a Hollywood exhibitors' poll, despite having starred in only two films - returned briefly to television with "When Things Were Rotten" (ABC, 1975), a comic spoof on the Robin Hood legend with "Get Smart" vets Dick Gautier and Bernie Kopell as Robin and Alan-a-Dale, respectively. The show was rife with Brooks' rapid fire, culture-skewering humor, but failed to find an audience, and disappeared after only half a season. Brooks would later revive the idea for his 1993 comedy, "Robin Hood: Men in Tights."

Brooks and his comic troupe reconvened in 1977 for "High Anxiety," a spot-on spoof and tribute to the films of Alfred Hitchcock (who reportedly loved the film). Brooks was top-billed as a psychologist (who suffers from the title malady) who must clear his name when a series of murders takes place after he takes control of the Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous. Film buffs enjoyed Brooks' numerous references to classic scenes from Hitchcock films - which, in true Brooks' fashion, were often turned upside down for comic relief; most notably the jungle gym attack from "The Birds," 1963, which ends with Brooks covered in fake guano - but the picture was another middling success.

In 1980, Brooks began Brooksfilms, a production company he launched to finance David Lynch's film version of "The Elephant Man" (1980). The film was a huge success and netted several Oscar nominations and other film awards, and Brooksfilms soon oversaw the production of several eclectic dramas, including "Frances" (1982), "84 Charing Cross Road" (1987) and David Cronenberg's remake of "The Fly" (1986), as well as Brooks' own comedies in the '80s and '90s and Richard Benjamin's "My Favorite Year" (1982), which paid tribute to "Your Show of Shows." Brooks returned to spoofs in 1981 with "History of the World, Part I," an all-out assault on good taste that also managed to wreak havoc on civilization from prehistoric times to the French Revolution. The film was a moderate success and featured several inspired moments - most notably a musical number set during the Spanish Inquisition and a faux trailer for the sci-fi epic "Jews in Space" - but suffered from too much crassness and too few moments of genuine humor. Incredibly, Brooks scored a Top 100 Billboard hit with a hip-hop song inspired by the film's oft-quoted catch phrase, "It's Good to Be the King."

Brooks co-wrote, produced and starred with Bancroft as Polish actors who must impersonate Nazis in order to flee the country in "To Be or Not to Be" (1983), a remake of the 1942 Ernst Lubitsch comedy (perversely, this film also yielded a chart hit, "To Be Or Not To Be (Hitler Rap)," which reached #12 in 1984). He then returned to parody terrain for "Spaceballs" (1987), a moderately amusing poke at "Star Wars" (1977) and other science fiction epics. It too underperformed during its theatrical run, but enjoyed a decent second life as a cult favorite on home video and cable. In 2005, Brooks announced that the film would serve as the basis for an animated series; the show was eventually slated for broadcast in 2007, with Brooks serving as writer and vocal talent.

After lending his distinct voice to a talking toilet in "Look Who's Talking Too" (1990), Brooks wrote, directed and starred in "Life Stinks" (1991), his first abject flop. It was followed by two more underperformers, "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" (1993) and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" (1995), which made most viewers long for "Young Frankenstein." Brooks stepped away from filmmaking for a few years to make frequent guest appearances in movies and television shows. He won three consecutive Emmys for his turn as Uncle Phil on "Mad About You" (NBC, 1992-99) between 1997 and 1999. He was also a welcome guest on numerous talk shows, where he proved that in person, his comic timing and knack for outrageousness had not dimmed over the decades. In 2001, Brooks unveiled a Broadway musical based on his first feature, "The Producers;" the show, which starred Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, was a colossal hit that broke box office records ($3.5 million in ticket sales on a single day) and earned 12 Tony Awards - the most for any Broadway show since "Hello, Dolly!" Brooks also took home two Grammys for the show's album and for a long form video, "Recording The Producers - A Musical Romp with Mel Brooks," both in 2002.

A feature based on the Broadway play and starring Lane and Broderick was released in 2005, but the presence of the original stars and Will Ferrell as the mad Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind could not summon the same sort of audience response. "The Producers" also served as a major story line for the fourth season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO, 2000- ) when the series' star, Larry David, was cast in a Los Angeles production of the play. Brooks and Bancroft appeared in the season finale, which would serve as her final screen appearance; she passed away from uterine cancer in 2005. After "The Producers," Brooks showed no signs of slowing down. A second musical based on one of his films - this time, "Young Frankenstein" - opened to rave reviews in the fall of 2007, as well as a big screen version of "Get Smart" with Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart in the summer of 2008. In late 2009, Brooks, along with Bruce Springsteen and Robert De Niro, was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)
Director
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Director
Life Stinks (1991)
Director
Spaceballs (1987)
Director
An Audience with Mel Brooks (1983)
Director
History of the World Part I (1981)
Director
High Anxiety (1977)
Director
Silent Movie (1976)
Director
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Director
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Director
The Twelve Chairs (1970)
Director
The Producers (1968)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Toy Story 4 (2019)
Voice
The Great Buster: A Celebration (2018)
Himself
Blazing Samurai (2018)
Voice
Hotel Transylvania 3 (2018)
Voice
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017)
Self
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017)
Himself
Leap! (2017)
Voice
Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
Voice
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)
Voice
Robots (2005)
Voice
The Producers (2005)
It's a Very Muppet Christmas Movie (2002)
Voice
Screw Loose (2000)
AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (1998)
American Dreamers (1996)
Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)
The Little Rascals (1994)
The Silence Of The Hams (1994)
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Life Stinks (1991)
Look Who's Talking Too (1990)
Voice
Spaceballs (1987)
Sunset People (1984)
Himself
An Audience with Mel Brooks (1983)
To Be or Not to Be (1983)
History of the World Part I (1981)
The Muppet Movie (1979)
High Anxiety (1977)
Silent Movie (1976)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Free To Be...You And Me (1974)
The Twelve Chairs (1970)
Tikon
Putney Swope (1969)
Mr. Forget It

Writer (Feature Film)

Get Smart's Bruce and Lloyd: Out of Control (2008)
Source Material
Get Smart (2008)
Source Material
The Producers (2005)
Screenplay (Adaptation)
Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)
Screenplay
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Screenplay
Life Stinks (1991)
Screenplay
Life Stinks (1991)
From Story
Spaceballs (1987)
Screenplay
History of the World Part I (1981)
Screenplay
The Nude Bomb (1980)
Characters As Source Material
High Anxiety (1977)
Screenplay
Silent Movie (1976)
Screenplay
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Screenplay
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Screenplay
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Story By
The Twelve Chairs (1970)
Screenwriter
The Producers (1968)
Screenwriter
New Faces (1954)
Sketches mostly by

Producer (Feature Film)

Blazing Samurai (2018)
Executive Producer
The Producers (2005)
Producer
Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)
Producer
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Producer
The Vagrant (1992)
Executive Producer
Life Stinks (1991)
Producer
Spaceballs (1987)
Producer
Solarbabies (1986)
Executive Producer
The Fly (1986)
Executive Producer
84 Charing Cross Road (1986)
Executive Producer
The Doctor and the Devils (1985)
Executive Producer
To Be or Not to Be (1983)
Producer
History of the World Part I (1981)
Producer
High Anxiety (1977)
Producer

Music (Feature Film)

The 15:17 to Paris (2018)
Song
The Producers (2005)
Music Lyrics
The Producers (2005)
Original Music
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Music
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Theme Lyrics
Spaceballs (1987)
Song
To Be or Not to Be (1983)
Song
To Be or Not to Be (1983)
Song Performer
History of the World Part I (1981)
Song Performer
History of the World Part I (1981)
Song
High Anxiety (1977)
Song Performer
High Anxiety (1977)
Song
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Song
The Producers (1968)
Composer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

The Great Buster: A Celebration (2018)
Other
Get Smart (2008)
Consultant
Get Smart, Again! (1989)
Other
Sunset People (1984)
Other

Cast (Special)

Night at the Movies, A: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009)
100 Years of Hope and Humor (2003)
Mark Twain Prize -- Celebrating the Humor of Carl Reiner (2001)
Performer
Recording "The Producers": A Musical Romp With Mel Brooks (2001)
Hail Sid Caesar!: The Golden Age of Comedy (2001)
Artists and Entertainers (2001)
The First Ten Awards: Tony 2001 (2001)
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs (2000)
Intimate Portrait: Madeline Kahn (2000)
Neil Simon: The People's Playwright (1999)
The Television Academy Hall of Fame (1999)
Performer
50th Emmy Awards (1998)
Presenter
M-A-S-H, Tootsie & God: A Tribute to Larry Gelbart (1998)
I Am Your Child (1997)
1997 Emmy Awards (1997)
Presenter
Caesar's Writers (1996)
Carl Reiner: Still Laughing (1995)
Frankenstein: The True Story (1994)
Sid Caesar: Television's Comedy Genius (1994)
Hal Roach: Hollywood's King of Laughter (1994)
More of the Best of the Hollywood Palace (1993)
The 5th Annual American Comedy Awards (1991)
Performer
Dom DeLuise and Friends (1983)
The 2,000 Year Old Man (1975)
2,000-Year-Old-Man
Annie and the Hoods (1974)
Marlo Thomas and Friends in Free to Be... You and Me (1974)
The All-Star Comedy Show (1962)
Guest

Writer (Special)

The 2,000 Year Old Man (1975)
Writer
Zero Hour (1967)
Writer
Tiptoe Through TV (1960)
Writer
The Man in the Moon (1960)
Writer
Accent On Love (1959)
Writer
The Sid Caesar Special (1959)
Writer
Marriage -- Handle With Care (1959)
Writer

Music (Special)

Recording "The Producers": A Musical Romp With Mel Brooks (2001)
Theme Lyrics
Recording "The Producers": A Musical Romp With Mel Brooks (2001)
Music

Special Thanks (Special)

The 2,000 Year Old Man (1975)
Writer
Zero Hour (1967)
Writer
Tiptoe Through TV (1960)
Writer
The Man in the Moon (1960)
Writer
Accent On Love (1959)
Writer
The Sid Caesar Special (1959)
Writer
Marriage -- Handle With Care (1959)
Writer

Cast (Short)

Excavating the 2000 Year Old Man (2012)
Himself

Life Events

1949

Worked as sketch writer for Sid Caesar, collaborating on television shows Like "Your Show of Shows" (NBC, 1950-1954)

1954

Made film writing debut with "New Faces" (sketches)

1957

Co-wrote the book for the Broadway musical "Shinbone Alley"

1960

Earned a Grammy nomination with Carl Reiner for Best Spoken Word Comedy for <i>2,000 Years</i>

1961

Nominated for Best Comedy Performance Grammy for <i>2,000 and One Years</i>

1962

Wrote the book for the Broadway musical "All-American"

1963

Created and narrated first film, the cartoon "The Critic"; won Academy Award for Best Short Subject

1963

Nominated for Grammy Award for Best Comedy Performance for <i>At the Cannes Film Festival</i>

1965

With Buck Henry, created the Emmy Award-winning "Get Smart" (NBC, CBS)

1967

Won Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing Achievement in a Variety Comedy for "The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special" (CBS)

1968

First film as director and screenwriter, "The Producers"; also composed song "Springtime for Hitler"; won Academy Award for Best Originaly Screenplay

1970

Wrote, directed and starred in the comedy "The Twelve Chairs"

1974

Wrote and directed the horror movie spoof "Young Frankenstein"; earned Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay

1974

Played Governor Lepetomane and Indian Chief in the Western movie parody "Blazing Saddles"; also co-wrote and directed

1977

First film as producer, "High Anxiety"; also acted in and directed

1979

Formed production company Brooksfilms Ltd.

1979

Made a cameo in "The Muppet Movie"

1980

Served as uncredited executive producer of "The Elephant Man," a heart-wrenching drama about a man with physical deformities; film was nominated for Best Picture Academy Award

1981

Played various roles, including Moses and King Louis XVI in "History of the World, Part I"; also directed, wrote, and produced

1982

Executive produced the film "My Favorite Year," loosely inspired by the behind-the-scenes action at "Your Show of Shows"

1982

Served as uncredited executive producer on the Frances Farmer biopic "Frances"

1986

Served as executive producer on a successful remake of the 1958 sci-fi flick "The Fly" and the less-than-stellar fantasy "Solarbabies"

1987

Played President Skroob and Yogurt in the "Star Wars" spoof "Spaceballs"; also co-wrote, directed, and produced

1989

Served as uncredited executive producer on "The Fly II"

1991

Starred in, directed, and wrote the unpopular comedy "Life Stinks"

1992

Executive produced the misfire "The Vagrant"

1993

Made rare TV sitcom appearance on NBC's "Frasier"

1993

Featured as Rabbi Tuckman in "Robin Hood: Men in Tights"; also directed, produced and co-wrote

1994

Played Mr. Welling in the big-screen version of "The Little Rascals"

1995

Played himself on an episode of the Fox animated series "The Simpsons"

1995

Featured as vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing in "Dracula: Dead and Loving It"; also directed, wrote and produced

1996

Played recurring role of Paul's Uncle Phil on the hit NBC sitcom "Mad About You"; won three Emmy Awards for appearances

1997

With Carl Reiner, wrote the book <i>The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000</i>

1999

With Reiner won Grammy for Spoken Comedy Album for the recording of <i>The 2000 Year Old Man in 2000</i>

2000

Adapted his Oscar-winning screenplay "The Producers" for the stage; earned critical kudos and a record 15 Tony Award nominations

2005

Once again brought "The Producers" back to the big screen, originally a 1968 movie, which was adapted into a Tony award winning stage musical, starring Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane; film earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture and a Grammy nomination for Best Song for "There's Nothing Like a Show on Broadway"

2005

Voiced master inventor Bigweld in the animated feature "Robots"

2007

Adapted his 1987 sci-fi spoof "Spaceballs" into "Spaceballs: The Animated Series" (G4 TV), wrote, directed and voiced two characters, President Skroob and Yogurt

2007

Adapted his 1974 film "Young Frankenstein" into a Broadway musical

2008

Credited for creating characters in the feature remake of "Get Smart," starring Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99

2012

Announced as recipient of AFI Lifetime Achievement Award

2015

Voiced Vlad in "Hotel Transylvania 2"

2018

Returned to Transylvania in "Hotel Translyvania 3: Summer Vacation"

Photo Collections

To Be or Not To Be - Movie Poster
To Be or Not To Be - Movie Poster
The Producers - Movie Posters
Here two different styles of the American one-sheet movie poster for Mel Brooks' The Producers (1967). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Young Frankenstein (1974) - Give Me A Hand With The Bags Showing up for just her second scene almost 90 minutes into the feature, Madeline Kahn as American fiancè Elizabeth appears still to have Frederick (co-writer and title character Gene Wilder) under her thumb, his Transylvanian aides (Terri Garr as Inga, Marty Feldman as Igor) keeping up in their own way, in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, 1974.
Young Frankenstein (1974) - Not On The Lips! Entirely without introduction, seeing off professor Frederick (Gene Wilder, title character and co-writer with director Mel Brooks), headed to Transylvania to claim his inheritance, at a steamy American train station, Madeline Kahn as fiancè Elizabeth, who has a couple hangups, in the celebrated satire Young Frankenstein, 1974.
Young Frankenstein (1974) - A Temporary Companion Actually borrowing from Bride Of Frankenstein, 1935, director Mel Brooks’ escaped monster (Peter Boyle) drops in on the altogether uncredited lonely blind monk played by Gene Hackman, in Young Frankenstein, from a screenplay by Brooks and star Gene Wilder.
Young Frankenstein (1974) - What Hump? Arrived in Transylvania to claim his inheritance, professor Victor Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) explains his pronunciation to Igor (Marty Feldman), who has his own, and meets his unexpected personal assistant Inge (Teri Garr) for a hayride, in Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein, 1974.
High Anxiety (1977) - Dedicated To The Master Writer, director and star Mel Brooks establishes from the start that his film is meant as a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, then gets busy on the airplane, then accosted after landing at LAX by a guy in a trenchcoat (Bob Ridgely), in High Anxiety, 1977.
High Anxiety (1977) - A Mr. MacGuffin Called More waves of Hitchcock from writer-director Mel Brooks, as rattled shrink Thorndyke, arriving at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco with Brophy (Ron Carey), dealing with Jack Riley at the desk, co-writer Barry Levinson carrying bags, and an agorophobic episode, in the comic tributeHigh Anxiety, 1977.
High Anxiety (1977) - You're The Cocker's Daughter? Preparing to address the psychiatric association, afflicted Dr. Thorndyke (writer-director Mel Brooks) is interrupted by the first appearance of Madeline Kahn as Victoria Brisbane, daughter of a wealthy patient, in Brooks' Hitchcock send-up, High Anxiety, 1977.
Silent Movie (1976) - Burt Reynolds Promised that they'll get the backing for their silent movie if they can sign big stars, Funn, Eggs and Bell (director Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman, Dom DeLuise) aim high and, in probably not the predictable outcome, actually reach Burt Reynolds, in Silent Movie, 1976.
My Favorite Year (1982) - If I Were Truly Plastered Inebriated guest Alan Swan (Peter O'Toole) arrives as TV star King Kaiser (Joseph Bologna) and staff are sampling clips of his old movies, writer Benji (Mark Linn-Baker) mediating, in Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year, 1982.
Elephant Man, The (1980) - I Am The Owner Having failed in his first attempt to see the freak-show exhibit, doctor Treves (Anthony Hopkins) returns to the corner of 1884 London where Bytes (Freddie Jones) keeps his meal ticket, John (really Joseph) Merrick (John Hurt), in David Lynch's celebrated The Elephant Man, 1980.
Blazing Saddles (1974) - Where Would I Find Such A Man? Crooked Attorney General “Hedley Lamarr” (Harvey Korman) needs an idea to deliver an incompetent new sheriff to Rock Ridge, so he snags Bart (Cleavon Little) from the medieval hangman, then visits the governor (writer-director Mel Brooks), who’s easily led, in Blazing Saddles, 1974.
Blazing Saddles (1974) - In My Dwessing Woom Wrapping up her Dietrich-roasting anachronistic saloon number (an original by writer-director Mel Brooks), Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn) has been hired to seduce the resourceful new sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little), now running with “The Waco Kid,” rude business, in Blazing Saddles, 1974.

Trailer

Promo

Family

Stephanie Brooks
Daughter
Born in 1951; mother, Florence Baum.
Nicholas Brooks
Son
Born in 1952; mother, Florence Baum.
Edward Brooks
Son
Born in 1953; mother, Florence Baum.
Maximilian Brooks
Son
Born in 1972; mother, Anne Bancroft.

Companions

Florence Baum
Wife
Married in 1950; divorced.
Anne Bancroft
Wife
Actor. Married on August 5, 1964; second wife; acted with Brooks in "To Be or Not to Be" (1983).

Bibliography

Notes

With his 2001 Tony wins for the book and score for "The Producers", Brooks joined the elite club of Helen Hayes, John Gielgud, Rita Moreno, Audrey Hepburn, Richard Rodgers and Marvin Hamlisch as one of the few individuals to earn all four of the major entertainment prizes (Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy) in competition. Later that year, Mike Nichols joined the group when he earned an Emmy for "Wit".