Anne Bancroft came from an Italian family: Her father was a model tailor, her mother telephonist. She made her acting training at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. After several roles in television she 1952 he became her first film role in the temptation to 809 (Do not Bother to Knock), played a part in the even Marilyn Monroe. During filming, the production company 20th Century Fox to change their name called, because "Italiano" her or the film could be detrimental.
Ann's career began at the theater. In 1958, she played with Henry Fonda in the Broadway production Two for the Seesaw, for which they are distinguished with the Tony Award and in 1959 its next stage role in The Miracle Worker. The latter role brought her into Hollywood success, where she won her first 1962 Oscar as best actress. In the film she played and directed by Arthur Penn (screenwriter William Gibson), the teacher of the deaf and blind Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan Macy.
At the same time, they remained faithful to the theater, for example, in Brecht's Mother Courage (1963) and The Devils (1965). According to The Little Foxes and A Cry of Players (1967/68) but had for almost ten years, the soft stage, the film, until the play Golda (1977).
The play or the movie Miracle Worker was published in German under the headings of light in the dark or under different sun. Starting in 1964, more leading roles followed in films such as 7 Women (German seven women) and The Pumpkin Eater (German) The bedroom controversy in 1964 for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor Award and the 1964 Cannes Film Festival awarded. Among other things, she also played in Haven with Natasha Richardson and Kenneth Welsh.
In 1967, the worldwide popularity earned her the role of Mrs. Robinson in the film The Graduate (German one The Graduate) with Dustin Hoffman as a partner, for which she was awarded in 1968, the Golden Globe. Their only directing the film was Fatso (1980), but its success was only moderate.
1964 Anne Bancroft (married her second husband), the actor and director Mel Brooks, whom she had met on a talk show. From this connection 1972 Anne's son Max was born. With her husband, Mel Brooks, she starred in numerous films, including 1983 in the remake of Ernst Lubitsch's To be or not (To Be or Not to Be). Her comedic talent but they also demonstrated outside the film by Mel Brooks, for example in The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975) (German, the nerve bundles) at the side of her film partner Jack Lemmon.
The actress was also in the age to an estimated Actress strong and sometimes bizarre women's roles. So they played in 1995 under the direction of Jodie Foster in an all-star ensemble, the abundance of eccentric mother, Adele, Robert Downey Jr. and Holly Hunter in Home for the Holidays, which alongside her husband, Charles Durning, family life does not make it any easier. Also in Faith is everything! (2000), they embodied a strong mother, her son, a Jewish rabbi (Ben Stiller), the apparent "ménage à trois" with Jenna Elfman and Edward Norton first takes a very bad, but ultimately conciliatory response. One of their most impressive achievements was during the later years of her career, the role of a mother of a transvestite stars in The Cuckoo's Egg (1988), which can not comprehend that her son's homosexuality can be seen as something normal.
Anne Bancroft died at the age of 73 years in New York's Mount Sinai Hospital of uterine cancer.