Alfre Woodard is an American actress and political activist. Woodard has been named accomplished actors of her generation, she has been nominated once for an Academy Award and Grammy Award and 18 times for an Emmy Award and has won a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. Woodard began her acting career in theater. After her breakthrough role in the Off-Broadway play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, she made her film debut in Remember My Name. In 1983, she won major critical praise and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Cross Creek. In the same year, Woodard won her first Primetime Emmy Award for her performance in the NBC drama series Hill Street Blues. In the 1980s, Woodard had leading Emmy Award-nominated performances in a number of made for television movies, another Emmy-winning role as a woman dying of leukemia in the pilot episode of L. A. Law, she starred as Dr. Roxanne Turner in the NBC medical drama St. Elsewhere, for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1986, for Guest Actress in 1988.
In the 1990s, Woodard starred in films such as Grand Canyon and Souls, How to Make an American Quilt, Primal Fear and Star Trek: First Contact. She drew critical praise for her performances in the independent dramas Passion Fish, for which she won an Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as Down in the Delta. For her lead role in the HBO film Miss Evers' Boys, Woodard won Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Awards, several another awards. In years she has appeared in several blockbusters, like K-PAX, The Core, The Forgotten, starred in independent films, won her fourth Emmy Award for The Practice in 2003. From 2005 to 2006, Woodard starred as Betty Applewhite in the ABC comedy-drama series Desperate Housewives, starred in several short-lived series, she appeared in the films The Family That Preys, 12 Years a Slave and Annabelle, has worked as a political activist and producer. Woodard is a founder of Artists for a New South Africa, an organization devoted to advancing democracy and equality in that country.
She is a board member of AMPAS. Woodard was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Constance, a homemaker, Marion H. Woodard, an entrepreneur and interior designer, she is the youngest of three children. She was a cheerleader in high school. Woodard attended Bishop Kelley High School, a private Catholic school in Tulsa and graduated from there in 1970, she studied drama at Boston University. Woodard made her professional theater debut in 1974 on Washington, D. C.'s Arena Stage. In 1976, she moved to California, she said, "When I came to L. A. people told me there were no film roles for black actors... I'm not a fool. I know that, but I was always confident that I knew my craft." Her breakthrough role was in the Off-Broadway play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf in 1977. The next year, Woodard made her film debut in Remember My Name, a thriller written and directed by Alan Rudolph. In the same year, she had a leading role in The Trial of the Moke, a Great Performances television movie co-starring Samuel L. Jackson.
In 1980, Woodard had a role in the ensemble comedy film. She appeared in the NBC miniseries The Sophisticated Gents, had a regular role alongside Catherine Hicks and Tim Matheson in the short-lived comedy-drama Tucker's Witch. In 1983, Woodard starred opposite Mary Steenburgen in the biography drama film Cross Creek directed by Martin Ritt. For her performance in the film, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 1983, Woodard won her first Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category for her three-episode arc as Doris Robson in the NBC critically acclaimed serial drama, Hill Street Blues, her next television role was on the short-lived NBC sitcom Sara starring Geena Davis. In the next few years, Woodard received critical acclaim for her lead performances in a number of made for television movies, she was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for her roles in the films Words by Heart, Unnatural Causes, A Mother's Courage: The Mary Thomas Story.
In 1986, Woodard starred opposite Farrah Fawcett in the drama film Extremities based on a 1982 Off-Broadway play of the same name by William Mastrosimone. She won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her performance as a woman dying of leukemia in the pilot episode of the NBC drama series, L. A. Law. From 1985 to 1986, she was regular cast member of the NBC medical drama, St. Elsewhere, She played the role of Dr. Roxanne Turner, a strong doctor and the love interest of the Denzel Washington character, she left the show after a single season, but guest-starred in 1988. Woodard was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1986, for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 1988, for St. Elsewhere. In 1998, Woodard reprised the role for a sixth-season episode of Homicide: Life on the Street entitled "Mercy", she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her guest performance in the show. In 1987, Woodard played the role of South African Activist Winnie Mandela in the HBO film Mandela.
She spent several weeks listening to tapes of Winnie to match her accent. She did not win an Emmy
3rd Screen Actors Guild Awards
The 3rd Screen Actors Guild Awards, honoring the best achievements in film and television performances for the year 1996, took place on February 22, 1997. The ceremony was held at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles and was televised live by NBC; the nominees were announced on January 23, 1997. Winners are highlighted in boldface. Angela Lansbury It was presented a memorial to the SAG's members who died during last year: The 3rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. is an American actor and filmmaker. He gained prominence for his portrayal of the taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma in the television series Taxi, which won him a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award, he plays Frank Reynolds on the FX and FXX sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He is known for his film roles in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Terms of Endearment Throw Momma from the Train, The War of the Roses, Batman Returns, Get Shorty, Mars Attacks!, L. A. Confidential, Man on the Moon, Wiener-Dog and most his Dumbo, he is known for his voiceovers in such films as Space Jam and The Lorax. DeVito and Michael Shamberg founded Jersey Films. Soon afterwards, Stacey Sher became an equal partner; the production company is known for films such as Pulp Fiction, Garden State, Freedom Writers. DeVito owned Jersey Television, which produced the Comedy Central series Reno 911!. DeVito and wife Rhea Perlman starred together in his 1996 film Matilda, based on Roald Dahl's children's novel.
DeVito was one of the producers nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture for Erin Brockovich. DeVito's short stature is the result of multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, a rare genetic disorder that affects bone growth. DeVito was born in Neptune Township, New Jersey, the son of Daniel DeVito Sr. a small business owner, Julia DeVito. He grew up with his parents and two older sisters, he is of Italian descent. He was raised in New Jersey. DeVito was raised as a Catholic; when he was 14, he persuaded his father to send him to boarding school to "keep him out of trouble", graduated from Oratory Preparatory School in Summit, New Jersey in 1962. He trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where he graduated in 1966. In his early theater days, he performed with the Colonnades Theater Lab at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, and, along with his future wife Rhea Perlman, appeared in plays produced by the Westbeth Playwrights Feminist Collective. DeVito played Martini in the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, reprising his role from the 1971 off-Broadway play of the same title.
He gained fame in 1978 playing Louie De Palma, the short but domineering dispatcher for the fictional Sunshine Cab Company, on the hit TV show Taxi. When Taxi ended, DeVito began a successful film career, first appearing as Vernon Dalhart in the 1983 hit Terms of Endearment. In 1986, DeVito starred in Ruthless People with Bette Midler and Judge Reinhold, in 1987 he made his feature-directing debut with the dark comedy Throw Momma from the Train, in which he starred with Billy Crystal and Anne Ramsey, he reunited with Douglas and Turner two years in The War of the Roses, which he directed and in which he co-starred. DeVito's work during this time included Other People's Money with Gregory Peck. Although a comic actor, DeVito expanded into dramatic roles with The Rainmaker. A. Confidential. DeVito has an interest in documentaries. In 2006 he began a partnership with Morgan Freeman's company ClickStar, for whom he hosts the documentary channel Jersey Docs, he was interviewed in the documentary Revenge of the Electric Car about his interest in and ownership of electric vehicles.
In April 2012, DeVito made his West End acting debut in a revival of the Neil Simon play The Sunshine Boys as Willie Clark, alongside Richard Griffiths. It previewed at the Savoy Theatre in London from 27 April 2012, opened on 17 May, played a limited 12-week season until 28 July. DeVito made his Broadway debut in a Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the Arthur Miller play The Price as Gregory Solomon, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award; the production began preview performances at the American Airlines Theatre on February 16, 2017 and opened on March 16 for a limited run through May 7. DeVito has become a major television producer. Through Jersey Films, he has produced many films, including Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, Erin Brockovich and Garden State. In 1999, he produced and co-starred in Man on the Moon, a film about the unusual life of his former Taxi co-star Andy Kaufman, played in the film by Jim Carrey. DeVito produced the Comedy Central series Reno 911! and the film spin-off Reno 911!: Miami.
DeVito made his directorial debut in 1984 with The Ratings Game. He directed and starred in Throw Momma from the Train, The War of the Roses, Matilda, Death to Smoochy and Duplex; the War of the Roses was a commercial and critical success, as was the film adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda. He directed the TV movie Queen B in 2005. In 1977, DeVito played the role of John'John John the Apple' D
Gary Alan Sinise is an American actor and musician. Among other awards, he has won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been nominated for an Academy Award. Sinise is known for several memorable roles; these include George Milton in Of Mice and Men, Lieutenant Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump, Harry S. Truman in Truman, Ken Mattingly in Apollo 13, Detective Jimmy Shaker in Ransom, Detective Mac Taylor in the CBS series CSI: NY, George C. Wallace in the television film George Wallace. From 2016 to 2017, Sinise starred as Special Agent Jack Garrett in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. Sinise was born in Blue Island, son of Robert L. Sinise, a film editor, his wife Mylles Sinise, his paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, Sinise's great-grandfather Vito Sinisi having immigrated from Ripacandida, in the Italian region of Basilicata. Sinise attended Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn and graduated from Highland Park High School in Highland Park, followed by Illinois State University.
In 1974, Sinise and two friends, Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry, founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Since Steppenwolf has showcased the talents of notable actors such as Joan Allen, Kevin Anderson, Gary Cole, Ethan Hawke, Glenne Headly, John Mahoney, John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, Martha Plimpton, Jim True-Frost, most William Petersen. Sinise honed his acting and directing skills at Steppenwolf, received a Joseph Jefferson Award for his direction of Lyle Kessler's play Orphans; that took him from Chicago to New York City, to London's West End, where he worked on more than thirty of the company's productions. In 1982, Sinise's career began to take off when he directed and starred in Steppenwolf's production of True West. In 1983, he earned an Obie Award for his direction, a year appeared with John Malkovich in the PBS' American Playhouse production of the play. In 1988, Sinise directed Miles from Home, a film starring Richard Gere, about two brothers' fight against the foreclosure of the family farm.
Sinise collaborated with fellow actor Tom Hanks three times, including Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, The Green Mile. Other noteworthy films in which Sinise has appeared include Of Mice and Men, Reindeer Games, Snake Eyes, Mission to Mars, The Stand and Impostor, he narrated the audiobooks for John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley. In 2004, he began his first regular television series, in the crime drama CSI: New York, in which he plays Detective Mac Taylor, he was credited as a producer from season two wrote the storyline of an episode. Several episodes have allowed Sinise to demonstrate his musical prowess, including a season-two episode where Mac Taylor plays the bass guitar in a jazz club with musicians Kimo and Carol Williams and Danny Gottlieb, members of the Lt. Dan Band, which Sinise and Kimo Williams co-founded in 2003; the band is named for Sinise's character in Forrest Gump. Apart from his television and movie work, Sinise is the host in the video for the Epcot ride Mission: SPACE, at Walt Disney World, Florida, a model for Baume & Mercier watches.
He co-founded Operation Iraqi Children. Sinise said, "Iraq is in the news every day, most of it is bad, but there are some positive stories. And how our soldiers are rebuilding schools and helping kids is one of them."Sinise was the narrator for the Discovery Channel's miniseries When We Left Earth in 2008. He was awarded the Presidential Citizen Medal by George W. Bush for work he did supporting the U. S. military and humanitarian work supporting Iraqi children. He narrated Army and Army Reserve Army Strong recruitment ads in late 2008, he is the national spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. Sinise is the executive producer—along with David Scantling—of the Iraq War documentary Brothers at War; the film features an American military family and the experiences of three brothers: Jake Rademacher, Isaac Rademacher, Joseph Rademacher. In November 2009, Sinise narrated the acclaimed World War II in HD on the History Channel. In 2010, he narrated the World War II documentary Missions That Changed The War on the Military Channel.
In late 2002, he started the Cadillac commercials starting with the 2002–2003 Season's Best commercial and has been with the Break Through campaign since it started the campaign in the 2002 Super Bowl with Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" ended in late 2006. In 2009, Sinise lent his voice talents in the Thomas Nelson audio Bible production known as The Word of Promise, playing the character of David. On April 17, 2017, Sinise received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in the television industry, located at 6664 Hollywood Boulevard. On Oct 30, 2017, Sinise was selected as Grand Marshal of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 2018. Sinise is a supporter of various veterans' organizations and through the Lt. Dan Band, he performs on USO tours at military bases around the world, volunteered for the National Vietnam Veterans Arts Museum now called the National Veterans Art Museum. On June 8, 2011, he put on a space suit to become one of the few people to fly in a U-2 spy plane up to 70,000 feet.
Sinise is on the Advisory Council of Hope For The Warriors, a national nonprofit dedicated to provide a full cycle of nonmedical care to combat-wounded service members, their families, families of the fallen from each military branch. In December 2011, Sinise was the narrator at the Candelight Processional at Disneyland. I
Rene Marie Russo is an American actress and former model. Russo began her career as a fashion model in the 1970s, appearing on several magazine covers such as Vogue and Cosmopolitan, she made her film debut in the 1989 comedy film Major League, rose to international prominence in a number of thrillers and action films throughout the 1990s, including Lethal Weapon 3, In the Line of Fire, Get Shorty, Lethal Weapon 4, The Thomas Crown Affair. After headlining the family comedy Yours and Ours, Russo took a six-year break from acting, she returned to the screen as Frigga, the mother of the titular hero, in the superhero films Thor and Thor: The Dark World. In 2014, Russo starred in the acclaimed crime thriller Nightcrawler, for which she won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, she has since appeared in The Intern, Just Getting Started, Velvet Buzzsaw. Russo was born in Burbank, the daughter of Shirley, a factory worker and barmaid, Nino Russo, a sculptor and car mechanic who left the family when Russo was two.
Her father was of Italian descent, while her mother had Italian and English ancestry. Russo grew up with her mother and her sister and attended Burroughs High School, where her classmates included director Ron Howard, she had to wear a full-torso brace. Her tall height earned her the nickname "Jolly Green Giant" from her classmates. In a 2019 interview with Financial Times, she indeed described herself as a "geek", admitted that the bullying she endured during high school made her drop out in the tenth grade. Growing up, Russo did not have any "ambitions", remarking that she "was too busy just trying to survive, along with my sister and my mom —money was tight, my mom worked two jobs", she began taking a variety of part-time jobs to help her family, including working in an eyeglass factory and as a movie theater cashier. She got scouted for modelling and went to New York City, which she described as a "scary place compared to where I grew up". After being spotted at a 1972 Rolling Stones concert by John Crosby, an agent from International Creative Management, Russo began her career as a model.
With Crosby's encouragement, Russo applied to, was signed by, Ford Modeling Agency. She became one of the top models of the 1970s and early 1980s, appearing on magazine covers for Vogue and Cosmopolitan, as well as advertisements for perfume and cosmetics. Vogue in a 2016 article, wrote: "In the ’70s, Russo stood for a sexiness, both accessible and aspirational: She could vamp it up with the best of them, posing for Francesco Scavullo in decadent furs, or swathed in Versace for Richard Avedon, but Russo wasn’t your average pinup; the poise she brought to her images made her the first choice for editorial shoots that demanded models with tenacity, whether she was bound for the boardroom in a power suit or posing on a beach with Tony Spinelli". As she entered her 30s, demand for her as a model began to dwindle, she did a few more commercials and turned her back on modeling for a period of time. She studied theater and acting, began appearing in theater roles at small theaters in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California.
At one point, she took acting lessons from veteran actor Allan Rich, whom she credits with introducing her to the craft of acting. Russo made her debut in a television series in 1987, with a supporting role in the short-lived ABC production Sable, based on the comic book, Jon Sable: Freelance by Mike Grell, she made her feature film debut as the girlfriend of a former baseball star turned drunk who had spent the last few years playing in the Mexican League in Major League, a comedy written and directed by David S. Ward; the film made US$49.8 million in North America. In 1990, Russo appeared in the fantasy comedy film Mr. Destiny, with James Belushi, playing the wife in what would be an alternate reality of an ordinary guy's life. In 1991, she had her first leading film role in One Good Cop, as the wife of a New York City Police Department detective. In 1992, Russo achieved breakout success with her role as internal affairs detective Lorna Cole, opposite Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, in the action film Lethal Weapon 3.
The film made US$320 million worldwide, becoming the fifth highest-grossing film of 1992 and the highest-grossing film in the Lethal Weapon film series. Her other 1992 film release was the science fiction film Freejack, which despite an overall negative response, earned Russo a nomination for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. Throughout the 1990s, Russo took on major roles in a number of commercially and critically successful films. In 1993, she starred with Clint Eastwood in the thriller film In the Line of Fire, directed by Wolfgang Petersen, playing a federal agent involved with the sole active-duty Secret Service agent remaining from the detail guarding John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, at the time of his assassination in 1963; the film made US$176.9 million globally, received three Academy Awards nominations. In 1995, Petersen cast her as a medical doctor, who uncovers a newly discovered Ebola-like virus which came to the United States from Africa in an infected monkey, in the medical disaster film Outbreak, with Dustin Hoffman.
The film grossed over US$189 million worldwide. She starred as a B movie actress, opposite John Travolta, in the crime comedy Get Shorty, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Upon its release, Get Shorty opened atop at
Eugene Allen Hackman is a retired American actor and novelist. In a career that spanned nearly five decades, Hackman was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning Best Actor in The French Connection and Best Supporting Actor in Unforgiven, he won one SAG Award and two BAFTAs. He first came to fame in 1967 with his performance as Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde, when he received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, his major subsequent films include: I Never Sang for My Father, when he received his second Best Supporting Actor nomination. His film roles during the 1990s featured: Unforgiven. Hackman's final film appearance to date was the romantic comedy film Welcome to Mooseport in 2004, co-starring comedian Ray Romano. Hackman was born in San Bernardino, the son of Eugene Ezra Hackman and Anna Lyda Elizabeth, he has Richard. He has Pennsylvania Dutch and Scottish ancestry, his family moved finally settling in Danville, where they lived in the house of his English-born maternal grandmother, Beatrice.
Hackman's father operated the printing press for a local paper. His parents divorced in 1943 and his father subsequently left the family. Hackman decided. Hackman lived in Storm Lake and spent his sophomore year at Storm Lake High School, he lied about his age to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. He served four and a half years as a field radio operator, he was stationed in China. When the Communist Revolution conquered the mainland in 1949, Hackman was assigned to Hawaii and Japan. Following his discharge in 1951, he had several jobs, his mother died in 1962 as a result of a fire. In 1956 he began pursuing an acting career, it was there that he forged a friendship with Dustin Hoffman. Seen as outsiders by their classmates, they were voted "The Least Likely To Succeed.". Furthermore, Hackman got the all time lowest score at the Pasadena Playhouse at the time. Determined to prove them wrong, Hackman moved to New York City. A 2004 article in Vanity Fair described how Hackman and Robert Duvall were all struggling California born actors and close friends, sharing apartments in various two-person combinations while living in New York City in the 1960s.
To support himself between acting jobs, he was working as a uniformed doorman at a Howard Johnson restaurant in New York when, as bad luck would have it, he ran into a despised Pasadena Playhouse instructor who once told him he was not good enough to be an actor. Reinforcing "The Least Likely To Succeed" vote, the man said to him, "See, Hackman, I told you you wouldn't amount to anything." From on, Hackman was determined to become the finest actor he could. The three former roommates have since earned 19 Academy Award nominations for acting, with five wins. Hackman got various bit roles, for example on the TV series Route 66 in 1963, began performing in several Off-Broadway plays. In 1964 he had an offer to co-star in the play Any Wednesday with actress Sandy Dennis; this opened the door to film work. His first role was with Warren Beatty in the leading role. In 1967 he appeared in an episode of the television series The Invaders entitled The Spores. Another supporting role, Buck Barrow in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde, earned him an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor.
In 1968 he appeared in an episode of I Spy, in the role of "Hunter", in the episode "Happy Birthday... Everybody". In 1968 he starred in the CBS Playhouse episode "My Father and My Mother" and the dystopian television film Shadow on the Land. In 1969 he played a ski coach in an astronaut in Marooned; that year, he played a member of a barnstorming skydiving team that entertained at county fairs, a movie which inspired many to pursue skydiving and has a cult-like status amongst skydivers as a result: The Gypsy Moths. He nearly accepted the role of Mike Brady for the TV series, The Brady Bunch, but was advised by his agent to decline in exchange for a more promising role, which he did. In 1971 he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award again, this time for 1970's I Never Sang for My Father, working alongside Melvyn Douglas and Estelle Parsons; the next year, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as New York City Detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle in The French Connection, marking his graduation to leading man status.
He followed this with leading roles in the disaster film The Poseidon Adventure and Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, nominated for several Oscars. That same year, Hackman appeared in what became one of his most famous comedic roles as The Blindman in Young Frankenstein, he appeared as one of Teddy Roosevelt's former Rough Riders in the Western horse-race saga Bite the Bullet, as well as in that year's sequel French Connection II. In 1975 he appeared in Night Moves, receiving a BAFTA n
Anna Maria Louisa Italiano, known professionally as Anne Bancroft, was an American actress, director and singer associated with the method acting school, having studied under Lee Strasberg. Respected for her acting prowess and versatility, Bancroft was acknowledged for her work in film and television, she won one Academy Award, three BAFTA Awards, two Golden Globes, two Tony Awards, two Emmy Awards, several other awards and nominations. After her film debut in Don't Bother to Knock and a string of supporting film roles during the 1950s, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her lead role in The Miracle Worker as the teacher of teenage Helen Keller, reprising her role in the Broadway stage play, winning a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. On Broadway in 1965, she played a medieval nun obsessed with a priest in John Whiting's play The Devils, based on the Aldous Huxley novel The Devils of Loudun, she was best known as the seductress, Mrs. Robinson, in The Graduate, a role that she said had come to overshadow her other work.
Bancroft continued in lead roles until the late 1980s. In 1987, she starred with Anthony Hopkins in 84 Charing Cross Road, she appeared in several movies directed or produced by her second husband, comedian Mel Brooks, including the award-winning drama The Elephant Man, as well as comedies To Be or Not to Be and Dracula: Dead and Loving It. She received an Emmy Award nomination for 2001's Haven, a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, she died two years in 2005, after battling cancer. Bancroft was born Anna Maria Louisa Italiano in the Bronx, New York, the middle of three daughters of Mildred, a telephone operator, Michael G. Italiano, a dress pattern maker. Bancroft's parents were both children of Italian immigrants. In an interview, she stated her family was from Muro Lucano, in the province of Potenza, she was brought up Roman Catholic. She was raised in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx moving to 1580 Zerega Ave. and graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in 1948.
She attended HB Studio, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Actors Studio and the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women at the University of California, Los Angeles. After appearing in a number of live television dramas under the name Anne Marno, she was told to change her surname, as it was "too ethnic for movies". In 1958, Bancroft made her Broadway debut as lovelorn, Bronx-accented Gittel Mosca opposite Henry Fonda in William Gibson's two-character play Two for the Seesaw, directed by Arthur Penn. For Gittel, she won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, she won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play in 1960, again with playwright Gibson and director Penn, when she played Annie Sullivan, the young woman who teaches the child Helen Keller to communicate in The Miracle Worker. She appeared in the 1962 film version of the play and won the 1962 Academy Award for Best Actress, with Patty Duke repeating her own success as Keller alongside Bancroft.
She had returned to Broadway to star in Mother Courage and Her Children, so Joan Crawford accepted Bancroft's Oscar on her behalf, presented the award to her in New York. Bancroft is one of ten actors to have won both a Tony Award for the same role. Bancroft co-starred as a medieval nun obsessed with a priest in the 1965 Broadway production of John Whiting's play The Devils. Produced by Alexander H. Cohen and directed by Michael Cacoyannis, it ran for 63 performances. Bancroft received a second Academy Award nomination in 1965 for her performance in the 1964 film The Pumpkin Eater. Bancroft was known during this period for her role as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, for which she received a third Academy Award nomination. In the film, she played an unhappily married woman who seduces the son of her husband's business partner, the much younger recent college graduate played by Dustin Hoffman. In the movie, Hoffman's character dates and falls in love with her daughter. Bancroft was ambivalent about her appearance in The Graduate.
Despite her character becoming an archetype of the "older woman" role, Bancroft was only six years older than Hoffman. A CBS television special, Annie: the Women in the Life of a Man, won Bancroft an Emmy Award for her singing and acting. Bancroft is one of few entertainers to win an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony award, she followed that success with a second television special and The Hoods, telecast on ABC and featured her husband Mel Brooks as a guest star. She made an uncredited cameo in the film Blazing Saddles, directed by Brooks, she received a fourth Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in 1977 for her performance in The Turning Point opposite Shirley MacLaine, a fifth nomination for Best Actress in 1985 for her performance in Agnes of God opposite Jane Fonda. Bancroft made her debut as a screenwriter and director in Fatso, in which she starred with Dom DeLuise. Bancroft was the original choice to play Joan Crawford in the film Mommie Dearest, but backed out, was replaced by Faye Dunaway.
She was a front-runner for the role of Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment, but declined so she could act in the remake of To Be or Not to Be