Mel Brooks Still Misses Late Wife Anne Bancroft 16 Years After Death: ‘Not Easy’

by Chris Haney
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In a new memoir from legendary actor and director Mel Brooks, he opens up about his long Hollywood career. However, as iconic of a career as he’s had, Brooks is most proud of his marriage to his late wife and actress Anne Bancroft.

Brooks has all the accolades anyone in the entertainment industry could ever want from his decades in Tinseltown. He’s written and directed tons of popular comedies. They include The ProducersBlazing SaddlesYoung Frankenstein, and Spaceballs just to name a few. Additionally, Brooks has won an Oscar, four Emmys, three Grammys, and three Tonys.

Yet none of his famous movies or awards can compare to his relationship with his wife. The 95-year-old will release All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business later his month on Nov. 30. In the new memoir, Mel Brooks talks about growing up in Brooklyn, his Hollywood career, and the love of his life Anne Bancroft.

“She always said, ‘Follow your heart. It will be a good adventure. What an adventure life turned out to be!” Brooks said to PEOPLE in a recent interview.

Mel Brooks Admits Life Hasn’t Been Easy Without His Wife

When Mel Brooks first laid eyes on his wife in 1961, he fell in love immediately. The couple met while Bancroft rehearsed at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. Just a few years later in 1964, the happy couple tied the knot at City Hall in Lower Manhattan. The pair also shared a son, Max, together who Bancroft gave birth to in 1972.

Success didn’t come overnight for Brooks though. In fact, he didn’t truly make it in Hollywood until the mid-1960s with the comedy series Get Smart. Yet Bancroft always stood by her husband, and always believed in his talent.

“Anne supported me for the first couple of years of our marriage. She always believed in me,” Brooks shared.

Sadly, his wife passed away 16 years ago in 2005 from uterine cancer at age 73. Although life hasn’t been easy for Brooks since then, to this day he cherishes his time with Bancroft.

“Living this life without her is not easy,” Mel Brooks admitted before adding, “There were a lot of great kisses and great spaghetti.”

The Famed Director Will Be Honored With Major Career Achievement Award Next Year

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association recently revealed that the iconic filmmaker Mel Brooks will receive the LAFCA Career Achievement Award. The organization’s other top awards will be announced next month on Dec. 12, and all winners will be honored in early 2022.

“Mel Brooks is a national treasure and a comedy filmmaking legend,” LAFCA president Claudia Puig said in a statement. “Most of our members could probably quote whole swathes of his screenplays. He not only has made us laugh uproariously, he has broken comic barriers and paved the way for and influenced generations of filmmakers after him.”

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