Thursday, September 17, 2009

Birthday Girl: Miracle Worker

Seen here looking uncharacteristically starlet-demure, Anne Bancroft more usually seemed quite comfortable being Larger than Life. She was that rare performer who could handle with equal ease the kind of anarchic comedy that she bought into as Mrs. Mel Brooks and took to quite different heights in The Graduate, high drama on the order of Agnes of God, and material like the childhood and raising of Helen Keller that in other, less capable hands could have dripped treacle and cheap inspiration.

I still think it's a shame she was cheated of her last act, as a grande dame of stage and screen on the order of Jessica Tandy, Sylvia Sidney, or Ruth Gordon; you can be sure she had some great old ladies in her, but now we'll never know.


  1. Thank you for this!

    I have never seen Anne looking so young and lovely. She's got some Natalie Wood and some Jane Russell going on, and I rather enjoy it.

  2. She was wonderful in some little-seen film (1963 or 1964) where she was a suicidal crisis line caller and Sidney Poitier was the man on the other end of the phone. She wandered thru the Seattle World's Fairgrounds during parts of the movie. I also thought she was fabulous as the aging diva ballerina opposite Shirley MacLaine in The Turning Point.

  3. prepare, i'm about to go on & on.....

    there are some celebrities that connect with you in a way that others don't. it's odd, weird, whatever. with me, anne was one of those. i felt unusually awful when she died. it broke my heart. and speaking of heartbreaking, get a load of her tombstone. if this don't make you cry, i don't know what would.

    "84 charing cross road" & "garbo talks"....i'll watch & rewatch and watch again. a fantasy i'd always had was to have dinner at the brooks home. how great would that have been?