Mel Brooks is considered to be on the short list of comedy legends, who has written, created, and performed in some of the most enduring classics for the stage and screen over the past seven decades.
But despite having such credits as The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Spaceballs and History of the World, Part I, Brooks takes most pride in his marriage to his late wife, Anne Bancroft.
And now, more than 15 years after her passing, the Brooklyn, New York native shares his sadness over her loss, along with his amazing journey to stardom in Hollywood and the Broadway stage, in his new memoir, All About Me!: My Remarkable Life In Show Business, as reported by People.
New book: Mel Brooks, 95, shares about the sadness over the loss of his beloved wife, Anne Bancroft, in his new memoir, All About Me!: My Remarkable Life In Show Business
In the memoir, the now 95-year-old gives readers an overview of his life and career, starting with his Depression-era upbringing in New York, which moves into such experiences as his stint in the U.S. Army during World War II, and his years as a teenage comedian in the Catskills.
He also offers insight into his break into show business, and breakthrough as a writer and a comic for Sid Caesar’s variety show, Your Show Of Shows (1950-1954), alongside the likes of Woody Allen, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart, and Caesar’s Hour (1954-1957).
But he wouldn’t reap all the rewards of success until his middle aged years when he partnered up with Carl Reiner on the comedy sketch, The 2000 Year Old Man, and he created and wrote the hit TV comedy series Get Smart (1965-1970).
During those early years, it would be love at first sight for Brooks when he first saw Bancroft rehearsing at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan in 1961, which led them to the wedding alter just three years later.
A life lived: The comedy legend gives readers an overview of his life and career in his new memoir
Brooks credits his beloved wife with helping provide the support, and thus the confidence, he needed to go on and write and create what would turn out to be his career gems in film and the stage.
‘Anne supported me for the first couple of years of our marriage. She always believed in me,’ he writes in All About Me!, as reported by People, while sharing about how he wouldn’t enjoy steady financial success until Get Smart in the mid 1960s.
Her positive influence and financial support through their early years together would help him find it within himself to create and direct his most memorable projects, beginning with the film The Producers (1967).
‘She always said, “Follow your heart. It will be a good adventure,”‘ Brooks explained in another excerpt from his memoir.
‘Love at first sight’: Brooks met Bancroft in 1961, and the two would go on to marry three years later; they are pictured together in 1963, a year before their marriage
Priceless support: Brooks credits his beloved wife with helping provide the support, and thus the confidence, he needed to go write and create what would turn out to be his career gems in film and the stage; they are pictured in a scene together in To Be Or Not To Be (1983)
And from the sounds and tone of his writing, Brooks did in fact follow his heart to stardom, resulting in him winning an Oscar, four Emmys, three Grammys and three Tonys.
The couple, who welcomed their son Max in 1972, were by each other’s side through all the triumphs and failures until her death from uterine cancer at age 73 in June 2005.
And it turns out, Brooks has found it hard to adjust to life without his beloved wife.
‘Living this life without her is not easy,’ he confesses in All Abut Me!.
His muse: Brooks confessed, ‘Living this life without her is not easy,’ in the memoir; Brooks and Bancroft are seen in 2005, five months before her passing from cancer in June 2005
But still, he also writes about all the great memories that they shared during their five decades together and how there were ‘a lot of great kisses and great spaghetti.’
All About Me!: My Remarkable Life In Show Business will be available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook and kindle beginning on November 30.
‘It was joyous and at times bittersweet writing this book and reliving the peaks and valleys of my incredible journey from Brooklyn to Hollywood to Broadway,’ Brooks said in a statement to the Associated Press.
‘I hope fans of comedy will get a kick out of the stories behind my work, and really enjoy taking this remarkable ride with me.’
All About Me!: My Remarkable Life In Show Business will be available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook and kindle beginning on November 30; the longtime couple are all smiles alongside their son Max in May 1988, Brooks had three other children with his first wife