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Anne Bancroft (September 17, 1931 - June 6, 2005) was an iconic Academy Award, Golden Globe, Tony, and Emmy-winning American actress.
Bancroft was a contract player in the early days of her career just as the studio contract system was ending. She left Hollywood and returned to New York due to the quality of roles she was being offered.
In 1958 she appeared opposite Henry Fonda in the Broadway production of Two for the Seesaw, for which she won a Tony Award, and another in 1960 for The Miracle Worker. She took the latter role back to Hollywood, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1962.
A highly acclaimed television special, "Annie: the Women in the Life of a Man" won her an Emmy award for her clowning, singing and acting. Bancroft is one of a very select few entertainers to win an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony award.
Other major film roles were in The Pumpkin Eater, 7 Women, and, in what may be her most well-known role, as Mrs. Robinson opposite Dustin Hoffman in the film The Graduate. Ironically, Bancroft, then only 36 years old, played opposite a 30-year-old Hoffman. Although Bancroft is now iconically identified as Mrs. Robinson, she was not the first choice for the role; Patricia Neal (who had concerns owing to her then recent stroke), Doris Day and Jeanne Moreau turned it down. Bancroft was ambivalent about her appearance in The Graduate; she stated in several interviews that the role overshadowed all of her other work.
In 1980, she made her debut as a screenwriter and director in Fatso, in which she starred along with Dom DeLuise. Bancroft was also the original choice to play Joan Crawford in the 1981 movie Mommie Dearest, but backed out at the 11th hour, and was replaced by Faye Dunaway. She was also a front-runner for the role of Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment, but declined in order to partake in the remake of To Be or Not to Be (1983).
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