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Common misspelling: Mell Brooks, Mel Broks


Given Name

Date of Birth

Birth Place

Melvin Kaminsky

June 28, 1926

Brooklyn, New York

Table of Contents

Biography News Websites Discography Filmography Books Posters Other Items


The following biography is from Wikipedia.org “The Free Encyclopedia.”


Mel Brooks (born June 28, 1926 as Melvin Kaminsky) is an Academy Award-winning American actor, writer, director, and producer best known as a creator of broad film farces and comedy parodies, or as he says, "spoofs."






Early life

Born Melvin Kaminsky in Brooklyn, New York to Russian-Jewish parents Maximillian Kaminsky and Kate "Kittie" Brookman. Brooks's grandfather, Abraham Kominsky, was a herring dealer who immigrated in 1893. He and his wife Bertha raised their ten children on Henry St. on the Lower East Side in New York City. Brooks's father, Max, was their second child.


When Brooks was only two and a half years old, his father died of a kidney disease at age 34. A year later, in 1930, Kittie Kaminsky and her sons Irving, Leonard, Bernard and Melvin were living at 365 S. 3rd St. in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.


Brooks graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School before serving in the US Army during World War II as an engineer, stationed in North Africa.




He started out in show business as a stand-up comic before becoming a comedy writer for television, working on Your Show of Shows. In 1961, with Carl Reiner, he created the persona of the 2000 Year Old Man, a collection of ad-libbed comedy routines made into a series of comedy records. With Buck Henry, he created the successful TV series Get Smart. In 1975, Brooks created When Things Were Rotten, a Robin Hood parody that lasted only 13 episodes; nearly 20 years later, Brooks mounted another Robin Hood parody with Robin Hood: Men in Tights.


He later moved into film, working as an actor, director, writer and producer. Among his most popular films have been Young Frankenstein (co-written with Gene Wilder) and Blazing Saddles (co-written with Richard Pryor), both of which were released in 1974. Brooks developed a repertory company of sorts for his film work: performers with three or more Brooks films to their credit include Gene Wilder, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, Ron Carey and Andréas Voutsinas. Dom Deluise has appeared in six of Brooks' 12 films; only one person has more appearances than Deluise and that is Brooks himself.


In 1980 Brooks became interested in producing the film The Elephant Man (directed by David Lynch). Knowing that anyone seeing the poster with 'Mel Brooks presents The Elephant Man' would go along expecting a comedy, he set up the company Brooksfilms to produce the film. Brooksfilms has since produced a number of non-comedy films, including David Cronenberg's The Fly, Frances, and 84 Charing Cross Road, starring Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft, as well as comedies, including Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year.


Brooks' most recent success has been a transfer of his film The Producers to the Broadway stage. Brooks also had a vocal role in the 2005 animated film Robots. He is currently working on an animated series sequel to his 1987 hit Spaceballs, a parody of the Star Wars and Star Trek series, expected to premiere in 2007.


Brooks is one of a selected group who have received an Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy. In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, he was voted #50 of the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders. Three of Brooks' films are on the American Film Institute's list of funniest American films: Blazing Saddles (#6), The Producers (#11), and Young Frankenstein (#13).


Brooks and wife Anne Bancroft worked together on three films: Silent Movie (1976), his remake of To Be or Not to Be (1983), and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995 ). Years later, they appeared as themselves in the fourth season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm, spoofing the finale of The Producers. It is reported that Bancroft encouraged Brooks to take The Producers to Broadway where it became an enormous success, as the show broke the Tony record with 12 wins, a record that had previously been held for 37 years by Hello, Dolly! at 10 wins. Such success has translated to a big screen version of the Broadway adaptation/remake with actors Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane reprising their stage roles, in addition to new cast members Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell. As of early April 2006, Brooks had begun composing the score to a Broadway musical adaptation of Young Frankenstein, which he says is "perhaps the best movie [he] ever made." No deadline has been set for the work's completion, but after it is finished Brooks will begin fundraising and production. [1]



Personal life

Brooks was married to Florence Baum from 1951 to 1961. Their marriage ended in divorce. Mel and Florence had three children, Stefanie, Nicky, and Eddie. More famously, he was married to the actress Anne Bancroft from 1964 until her death on June 6, 2005. They met on rehearsal for the Perry Como variety show in 1961 and married three years later, August 5th. They had one son, Maximillian, in 1972.





As writer/director

The Producers (1968) Academy Award, best original screenplay)

The Twelve Chairs (1970) (also actor)

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Blazing Saddles (1974) (also actor)

Silent Movie (1976) (also actor)

High Anxiety (1978) (also actor)

History of the World, Part I (1981) (also actor/producer)

Spaceballs (1987) (also actor/producer)

Life Stinks (1991) (also actor/producer)

Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) (also actor/producer)

Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995) (also actor/producer)

The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (voice, Santa Claus)



The Producers (2001) (composer, lyricist, co-book-writer, producer; Tony Award for Best Musical, Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical,Tony Award for Best Original Score)

All-American (1962) (book-writer)

Shinbone Alley (1957) (co-book-writer)

Leonard Sillman's New Faces of 1952 (1952) (sketches for a revue)


Other works

Your Show of Shows (TV) (1950 - 1954) (writer)

Get Smart (TV) (1965 - 1970) (co-creator, writer)

Robots (2005) (voice)

The Producers (2005) (writer, producer)

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 4 (actor)

Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks (2003-present) (voice of Wiley the Sheep)

To Be or Not to Be (1983) (actor)

The Fly (1986) (producer) (horror)

The Fly II (1989) (producer) (horror)

"The Elephant Man (film)" (1980) (executive producer)


Selected quotes

"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."


"If God wanted us to fly, He would have given us tickets."


"Humor is just another defense against the universe."



12 Chairs

Chorus: "Hope for the best. Expect the worst. / Life is a play. We're unrehearsed."


The Producers

Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel): "That's it, baby, when you've got it, flaunt it, flaunt it!"

Stormtrooper Mel (Mel Brooks): "Don't be stupid, be a smarty / Come and join the Nazi Party!"

LSD as Adolf Hitler (Dick Shawn): "Heil Baby!"

Lead Tenor Stormtrooper (John Barrowman): "Springtime, for Hitler, and Germany / Winter, for Poland and France!"

Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel): ":How could this happen? I was so careful. I picked the wrong play, the wrong director, the wrong cast. Where did I go right?"

Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder): "Actors are not animals! They're human beings!"

Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel): "They are? Have you ever eaten with one?"


Blazing Saddles

Jim "The Waco Kid" (Gene Wilder): "My name is Jim, most people call me... Jim."

Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little): "Mornin', ma'am! And isn't it a lovely mornin'?"

Old Woman: "Up yours, nigger!"

Jim "The Waco Kid" (Gene Wilder) [consoling Bart afterwards]: "What did you expect? 'Welcome, sonny'? 'Make yourself at home'? 'Marry my daughter'? You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers... these are people of the land... the common clay of the New West. You know – morons."

Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little):"Excuse me while I whip this out."


Young Frankenstein

Igor (Marty Feldman): "My grandfather used to work for your grandfather. Of course the rates have gone up."

Igor (Marty Feldman) (limping off): "Walk this way" - and Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) limps off after him.

Dr. Frankenstein: (Gene Wilder): "Igor, would you give me a hand with the bags?"

Igor: (Marty Feldman): "[doing a Groucho Marx] Certainly, you take the blonde and I'll take the one in the turban."

Igor: (Marty Feldman): "Sed-a..."

Inga: (Teri Garr): "Sed-a..."

Igor: (Marty Feldman): "Dirty word! He said a dirty word!"


History of the World, Part I

Josephus (Gregory Hines): "I'm Josephus, and I'm the main course over at the Colosseum!"

Count de Monet (Harvey Korman) [consistently mispronounced as "money"]: "Bearnaise, do we have any of those delicious raisins left?"

Bearnaise (Andréas Voutsinas) : "You ate yours. These are mine."

Count de Monet: "Au contraire, they are mine! I paid for them! Hand them over!"

Bearnaise [sotto voce, mimicking]: "'I paid for them! They're mine!'" [Blows a raspberry]

Count de Monet: "Don't get saucy with me, Bearnaise."

Count de Monet: "It is said that the people are revolting"

King Louis XVI (Mel Brooks): "You said it. They stink on ice."

Impoverished Paris Street Merchant (Jack Carter): "Rats, rats for sale. Get your rats. Good for rat stew, rat soup, or the ever-popular ratatouille."

Other Street Merchant:"Nothing, I have absolutely nothing for sale!"

King Louis XVI [prior to his arrest]: "It's good to be the king. (Also used in Robin Hood- Men In Tights)"

Tomás de Torquemada: "It's better to lose your skullcap than your skull."

Moses (Mel Brooks): "God has given us these fifteen- (after dropping one of the tablets) ten-ten commandments!"



Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis): "I see your schwartz is as big as mine."

Radar Officer (Michael Winslow): "I've lost the sweeps, the bleeps, and the creeps!" [Explains via vocal sound effects]

Dark Helmet [aside to Colonel Sandurz]: "That's not all he's lost."

Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis): "What? You went over my helmet?"

President Skroob (Mel Brooks): "What the hell, it works on Star Trek!"

Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis): "What's the matter Colonel Sandurz... chicken?!"

Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis): "I knew it, I'm surrounded by assholes."


Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Ahchoo (Dave Chappelle): "Man, white men can't jump!!"

King Richard (Patrick Stewart): "From this day forward, all toilets in this kingdom shall be known as...'John's'!"

Little John: "Let's face it - you've got to be a man to wear tights!"

Man In Front of Castle: "Hey Abbot!"





The above biography has been copied in part or in whole from an article on Wikipedia.org "The Free Encyclopedia."  It has been modified under the GNU Free Document License Section 5 in the following manner: (1) All links within the article have been removed, including text links such as "[#]"; (2) The "[Edit]" text and link have been removed [if you would like to update the article, you may do so from the original page]; (3) the table of Contents links and text have been removed; and (4) all of the sections of the original article have not been copied. All of the above text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Document License.

URL of Original Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Brooks

Date Article Copied: October 2006

We will try to replace this article with an original biography in the near future, but we hope this will be of help to our visitors in the mean time.

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