Mel Brooks


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Brooks, Mel,

1927–, American film director, writer, actor, and producer, b. New York City as Melvin Kaminsky. His earliest work was in television, notably as a gag writer for Sid CaesarCaesar, Sid
(Isaac Sidney Caesar), 1922–2014, American comedian, one of the stars of the "golden age of live television," b. Yonkers, N.Y. While performing in a World War II military show he met the producer Max Liebman who, impressed with Caesar's comic abilities, later
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's "Your Show of Shows" (1950–54). He also scored a hit with a 1964 comedy recording, in which he played an irascible, Yiddish-accented 2,000-year-old man. Turning to film, he wrote and directed The Producers (1968), a comic masterpiece of uproarious bad taste. His other hit comedies are usually wild parodies that mix satire with slapstick; they include Blazing Saddles (1974), a spoof of Western movies; Young Frankenstein (1975), a Brooksian take on the horror genre, and High Anxiety (1977), a comic version of Alfred HitchcockHitchcock, Sir Alfred,
1899–1980, English-American film director, writer, and producer, b. London. Hitchcock began his career as a director in 1925 and became prominent with The 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1938).
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's spine-tinglers. Among his later movies, which have been less successful with the public, are To Be or Not To Be (1983), Life Stinks (1991), and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). Brooks turned to the stage in 2001, adapting his first film hit, The Producers, into a smash hit, Tony-winning Broadway musical (film, 2005).

Bibliography

See biography by J. R. Parish (2007); N. Smurthwaite and P. Gelder, Mel Brooks and the Spoof Movie (1982); M. Yakowar, In Method Madness: The Comic Art of Mel Brooks (1982); N. Sinyard, The Films of Mel Brooks (1987).

References in periodicals archive ?
He states, "Finding out precisely when Mel Brooks had appeared on shows on Today or Larry King Live proved difficult enough but what about all those lesser-known shows (224)?
Mel Brooks, now 85, has been breathing new life into an old monster for nearly 40 years.
On The Producers it's a lot harder because most people don't come to the show as Mel Brooks fans, they come because they're tourists who have heard it's a good musical.
Any actor worth their salt wants to do a Mel Brooks show.
She was also married to the great Mel Brooks, who must be in a place he hoped he would never be.
Bancroft, wife of film-maker Mel Brooks, was immortalised in the scene with Dustin Hoffman in which he asked: 'Mrs Robinson, you're trying to seduce me .
Bancroft died in New York of uterine cancer, a representative for her husband, film producer Mel Brooks, said.
The 56-year-old Oscar-winning American actor (below) was set to star in the eagerly-awaited Mel Brooks musical when it opens in London next month.
The Producers: Mel Brooks directed and wrote the screenplay (for which he won an Oscar) of this sparky satire.
Well, there have been no arguments coming from the theater district, where The Producers is convulsing audiences with the no-holds-barred humor of Mel Brooks and the canny direction of Susan Stroman.