Birthday: 28th June
Mel Brooks is an American actor, comedian, and director. He is known as a creator of broad film farces and comedic parodies. Brooks began his career as a comic and a writer for Sid Caesar's variety show Your Show of Shows (1950–1954) alongside Woody Allen, Neil Simon, and Larry Gelbart. Together with Carl Reiner, he created the comic character The 2000 Year Old Man. He wrote, with Buck Henry, the hit television comedy series Get Smart, which ran from 1965 to 1970.
In middle age, Brooks became one of the most successful film directors of the 1970s, with many of his films being among the top 10 moneymakers of the year they were released. His best-known films include The Producers (1968), The Twelve Chairs (1970), Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), Silent Movie (1976), High Anxiety (1977), Spaceballs (1987), and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). A musical adaptation of his first film, The Producers, ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2007 and was remade into a musical film in 2005.
In 2001, having previously won an Emmy, a Grammy and an Oscar, he joined a small list of EGOT winners with his Tony Award wins for The Producers.
Brooks was married to actress Anne Bancroft from 1964 until her death in 2005. Their son Max Brooks is an actor and author, known for his novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (2006).
ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS: 3 WINS: 1
1975 - Best Adapted Screenplay: YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
1975 - Best Song: BLAZING SADDLES - 'Blazing Saddles'
1969 - WINNER: Best Original Screenplay: THE PRODUCERS
BAFTA AWARD NOMINATIONS: 1
1975 - Best Original Screenplay: BLAZING SADDLES
GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATIONS: 4
2006 - Best Original Song: THE PRODUCERS - 'There's Nothing Like a Show on Broadway'
1978 - Best Leading Actor: HIGH ANXIETY
1977 - Best Leading Actor: SILENT MOVIE
1969 - Best Original Screenplay: THE PRODUCERS
How do you rate Mel Brooks' movies?
WATCH MEL BROOKS THIS WEEK
Imagine: Mel Brooks - Unwrapped
Thursday 24th June, BBC4, 9:00pm
This chat and documentary looks into the work of the king of comedy himself.
FILM: Blazing Saddles (1974) (Age 12A)
Thursday 24th June, BBC4, 10:10pm
Brooks hilarious Western spoof is on TV this week, with Brooks appearing in a fun role as the Mayor.
FILM: The Producers (1967)
Friday 25th June, BBC1, 10:35pm
Brooks' biggest hit, spawned a sequel and a successful Broadway musical.
FILM: Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
Brooks provides the vocals for the vampire Grandpa in this family comedy animated sequel.
ON AMAZON PRIME...
FILM: The Producers (2005) (Age 12A)
The remake of the Producers is equally based on the Broadway musical, with lots of input from Brooks himself who wrote a lot of the songs.
What's your favourite Mel Brooks movie / performance?
Make sure you are booked in for this week's DRAMA CLASSES