Mel Brooks - Film Director, Timeline and Childhood

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Mel Brooks's Personal Details

Known as the king of farces and comic parodies, Mel Brooks is a famous American film director, comedian, actor, producer and composer

InformationDetail
BirthdayJune 28, 1926
NationalityAmerican
FamousFilm Director, Producer, Jewish Actors, Jewish Comedians, Film & Theater Personalities, Actors, Directors, Comedians, T V & Movie Producers
City/StateNew Yorkers
SpousesAnne Bancroft
SiblingsBernie, Irving, Lenny
Known asMelvin James Kaminsky
Childrens Eddie Brooks, Max Brooks, Nicky Brooks, Stephanie Brooks
Birth PlaceBrooklyn, New York, U. S.
ReligionJewish
Height165cm
GenderMale
FatherJames Kaminsky
MotherKate (née Brookman)
Net Worth$100 million as of Apr 21,2017
Sun SignCancer
Born inBrooklyn, New York, U. S.
Famous asAmerican Film Director, Comedian, Actor & Producer

// Famous Producer

Mel Brooks's photo

Who is Mel Brooks?

Melvin James Kaminsky, popularly known as ‘Mel Brooks’, is a famous American comedian, director, producer, screenwriter, actor, composer and lyricist. He was born in a Jewish household in New York. He served in the US military as a corporal for sometime but later started to play piano and perform stand-up comedy acts in Borscht Belt resorts. From there on his talent for comedy was recognized and he was hired to write for the comedy series ‘Your Show of the Shows’. Brooks did writing for many sitcoms during the early creative period of his life and once he was quite settled with Hollywood and fame, he ventured into directing movies, like: ‘The Producers’, ‘Young Frankenstein’, ‘The Twelve Chairs’, etc. He started his own production company under the name of ‘Brooksfilms’ and produced a number of non comedy films. He also produced, wrote and directed many Broadway musicals. He is one of the few artists in Hollywood who has received Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards. He recently received AFI Life Achievement Award and three of his films are ranked in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 comedy films of all-time.

// Famous Film Director

Childhood & Early Life

Mel Brooks was born in Brooklyn, New York, to James and Kate Kaminsky. He belonged to a Jewish household and had three older brothers Irving, Lenny and Bernie. His father died of a Kidney disease when Brooks was only 2.

Brooks used to get bullied by other boys when he was young as he was of a small built. He went to Abraham Lincoln High School and attended Eastern District High School and Brooklyn College. He learnt drums from Buddy Rich at school.

He went to the Army Specialized Training Program at the Virginia Military Institute and served in the US Army as a corporal at the time of World War II. He later returned to work at resorts in the Catskill Mountains for some time.

Career

After his stint in the World War II, Brooks played piano at the Borscht Belt resorts and started working as a stand-up comedian and did some comic radio work as well. He eventually became the master entertainer at the Grossinger’s.

In 1949, Brooks was hired by his friend Sid Caesar to write comic one-liners for the NBC series ‘The Admiral Broadway Revue’. The job paid him a sum of 50 US dollars per week. He was happy to be a comedy writer.

In 1950, Sid Caesar came up with his own variety comedy series called ‘Your Show of Shows’, which had Brooks as a writer along with Carl Reiner, Mel Tolkin, Neil Simon, etc. It was an instant hit and it ran for 4 years.

In 1954, Brooks wrote for another of Caesar’s shows called ‘Caesar’s Hour’ along with the same writing cast from ‘You Show of Shows’. It ran for 3 years and by the end of it Brooks wrote ‘Shinbone Alley’, his first Broadway musical.

In the late 1950s, Brook became good friends with his co-writer Carl Reiner and they both started working on various comedy routines. They created the ‘2000 Year Old Man’ and performed the routine in New York, where it became a cult success.

From 1960-1962, Brooks and Reiner expanded the ‘2000 Year Old Man’ and took it to Hollywood and began performing it on ‘The Steve Allen Show’. They release a comedy album ‘2000 Years with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks’.

In 1962, he wrote ‘All American’, a musical Broadway. Ray Bolger starred in the Broadway, which had lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse. The show ran for 80 performances and won two Tony Awards.

In 1963, Brooks wrote the script for an animated short film called ‘The Critic’ with an arty and obscure concept. The movie was directed by Ernest Pintoff. The movie won an Oscar in the category for Animated Short Film.

From 1965-1970, ‘Get Smart’, a comedy series created by Brooks and Buck Henry, ran on the American television. It was a comedy series based on a clumsy spy who is inspired by James Bond. It received 7 Emmys in total.

In 1968, he made his first directorial venture, ‘The Producers’. It was released as an art film because of its bizarre concept and satirical take on Hitler. It received an Oscar and was later turned into a musical, receiving 12 Tony Awards.

In 1970, Brooks made the movie ‘The Twelve Chairs’ loosely based on the Russian novel with the same title. The movie was shot in Yugoslavia on a budget of 1.5 million US dollars but it failed to gather any commercial success.

In 1972, Brooks signed a deal with Warner Brothers to re-write the script of what was then known as ‘Tex-X’. He was later hired as the director of the movie and it was called ‘Blazing Saddles’. It was the 2nd highest grossing film of that year.

In 1974, ‘Young Frankenstein’ came out. It starred Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, etc. and had Gene Hackman in an unforgettable cameo. It was the 3rd highest grossing film of that year and received 2 Oscar nominations.

In 1975, Brooks went back to the television and made a series called ‘When Things were Rotten’. It was a parody on the story of Robin Hood. It did not do very well and lasted only for 13 episodes.

In 1976, he released ‘Silent Movie’, an idea written and developed along with Ron Clark. It was a first full-length silent comedy in decades. It was not as successful as the last few movies by Brooks.

In 1977, Brooks made a parody on Alfred Hitchcock’s movies like Vertigo, Psycho, Suspicion, Dial M for Murder, etc., called ‘High Anxiety’. It was a joint written collaboration of Brooks, Ron Clark, Rudy De Luca and Barry Levinson.

In 1980, Brooks produced ‘The Elephant Man’. It was directed by David Lynch. It was produced under the name of the company called ‘Brooksfilms’, a production company that only produced non-comedy ventures.

In 1981, he wrote, produced and directed a movie called ‘History of the World Part I’, which was a parody on the history of mankind until the time of French Revolution. It received mixed reviews and was a moderate commercial hit.

In 1983, Brooks produced and starred in the remake of Ernst Lubitsch film ‘To Be or Not to Be’. It was directed by Alan Johnson. Brooks played the role of ‘Hitler’ in the movie; it was a satire on Germany during WW II.

From 1987-1989, Brooks directed a comedy science fiction ‘Spaceballs’. He also made a sitcom called ‘The Nutt House’ which was broadcast on NBC. The series only ran for 5-11 episodes and did not do very well commercially.

In 1990s, Brooks directed movies like: ‘Life Stinks’ which was a critical and commercial failure, ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’ which was loosely based on his sitcom ‘When Things Were Rotten’ and ‘Dracula: Dead and Loving It’.

In 2000s, he appeared on the TV in ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Mad About You’, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’, etc. He also did cameos in movies like: ‘It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie’, etc.

Alongside, he worked on musicals like ‘The Producers’, ‘Young Frankenstein’, etc. and appeared on the HBO special called ‘Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again’.

Awards & Achievements

Brooks received 3 Grammys for ‘The 2000 Year Old Man’, ‘The Producers’ and ‘Recording the Producers’. He received his first 4 Emmys for ‘Your Show of Shows’ and received 3 Emmy for the sitcom ‘Mad About You’.

He is the winner of 3 Tony Awards for ‘The Producers’ and a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award for ‘Young Frankenstein’. He received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010 and after a few years received the AFI Life Achievement Award.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1951, brooks got married to Florence Baum and the couple had three children together, Stephaine, Nicky and Eddie. Their marriage ended within 10 years.

He married actress Anne Bancroft in 1964 and remained married to her until her death in 2005. They had a son together, Max Brooks. Bancroft had been Brooks’ inspiration behind ‘The Producers’ and ‘Young Frankenstein’.

Trivia

Brooks wrote an adaptation of Oliver Goldsmith’s ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ but could not get anyone to finance his idea and thought at the time that his career was over.

At the age of 55, Brooks recorded a rap titled ‘It’s Good to Be the King’.

He received the Kennedy Center Honors 2009 for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Mel Brooks awards

YearNameAward

Academy Awards(Oscars)

1969Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the ScreenThe Producers (1967)

Primetime Emmy Awards

1999Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy SeriesMad About You (1992)
1998Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy SeriesMad About You (1992)
1997Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy SeriesMad About You (1992)
1967Outstanding Writing Achievement in VarietyThe Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special (1967)

Grammy Awards

2002Best Long Form Music VideoGreat Performances (1971)
1999Best Spoken Comedy AlbumWinner

Mel Brooks biography timelines

  • // 28th Jun 1926
    Mel Brooks was born in Brooklyn, New York, to James and Kate Kaminsky. He belonged to a Jewish household and had three older brothers Irving, Lenny and Bernie. His father died of a Kidney disease when Brooks was only 2.
  • // 1949
    In 1949, Brooks was hired by his friend Sid Caesar to write comic one-liners for the NBC series ‘The Admiral Broadway Revue’. The job paid him a sum of 50 US dollars per week. He was happy to be a comedy writer.
  • // 1950
    In 1950, Sid Caesar came up with his own variety comedy series called ‘Your Show of Shows’, which had Brooks as a writer along with Carl Reiner, Mel Tolkin, Neil Simon, etc. It was an instant hit and it ran for 4 years.
  • // 1950
    In the late 1950s, Brook became good friends with his co-writer Carl Reiner and they both started working on various comedy routines. They created the ‘2000 Year Old Man’ and performed the routine in New York, where it became a cult success.
  • // 1951 To 1961
    In 1951, brooks got married to Florence Baum and the couple had three children together, Stephaine, Nicky and Eddie. Their marriage ended within 10 years.
  • // 1954
    In 1954, Brooks wrote for another of Caesar’s shows called ‘Caesar’s Hour’ along with the same writing cast from ‘You Show of Shows’. It ran for 3 years and by the end of it Brooks wrote ‘Shinbone Alley’, his first Broadway musical.
  • // 1960 To 1962
    From 1960-1962, Brooks and Reiner expanded the ‘2000 Year Old Man’ and took it to Hollywood and began performing it on ‘The Steve Allen Show’. They release a comedy album ‘2000 Years with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks’.
  • // 1962
    In 1962, he wrote ‘All American’, a musical Broadway. Ray Bolger starred in the Broadway, which had lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse. The show ran for 80 performances and won two Tony Awards.
  • // 1963
    In 1963, Brooks wrote the script for an animated short film called ‘The Critic’ with an arty and obscure concept. The movie was directed by Ernest Pintoff. The movie won an Oscar in the category for Animated Short Film.
  • // 1964 To 2005
    He married actress Anne Bancroft in 1964 and remained married to her until her death in 2005. They had a son together, Max Brooks. Bancroft had been Brooks’ inspiration behind ‘The Producers’ and ‘Young Frankenstein’.
  • // 1965 To 1970
    From 1965-1970, ‘Get Smart’, a comedy series created by Brooks and Buck Henry, ran on the American television. It was a comedy series based on a clumsy spy who is inspired by James Bond. It received 7 Emmys in total.
  • // 1968
    In 1968, he made his first directorial venture, ‘The Producers’. It was released as an art film because of its bizarre concept and satirical take on Hitler. It received an Oscar and was later turned into a musical, receiving 12 Tony Awards.
  • // 1970
    In 1970, Brooks made the movie ‘The Twelve Chairs’ loosely based on the Russian novel with the same title. The movie was shot in Yugoslavia on a budget of 1.5 million US dollars but it failed to gather any commercial success.
  • // 1972
    In 1972, Brooks signed a deal with Warner Brothers to re-write the script of what was then known as ‘Tex-X’. He was later hired as the director of the movie and it was called ‘Blazing Saddles’. It was the 2nd highest grossing film of that year.
  • // 1974
    In 1974, ‘Young Frankenstein’ came out. It starred Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, etc. and had Gene Hackman in an unforgettable cameo. It was the 3rd highest grossing film of that year and received 2 Oscar nominations.
  • // 1975
    In 1975, Brooks went back to the television and made a series called ‘When Things were Rotten’. It was a parody on the story of Robin Hood. It did not do very well and lasted only for 13 episodes.
  • // 1976
    In 1976, he released ‘Silent Movie’, an idea written and developed along with Ron Clark. It was a first full-length silent comedy in decades. It was not as successful as the last few movies by Brooks.
  • // 1977
    In 1977, Brooks made a parody on Alfred Hitchcock’s movies like Vertigo, Psycho, Suspicion, Dial M for Murder, etc., called ‘High Anxiety’. It was a joint written collaboration of Brooks, Ron Clark, Rudy De Luca and Barry Levinson.
  • // 1980
    In 1980, Brooks produced ‘The Elephant Man’. It was directed by David Lynch. It was produced under the name of the company called ‘Brooksfilms’, a production company that only produced non-comedy ventures.
  • // 1981
    In 1981, he wrote, produced and directed a movie called ‘History of the World Part I’, which was a parody on the history of mankind until the time of French Revolution. It received mixed reviews and was a moderate commercial hit.
  • // 1983
    In 1983, Brooks produced and starred in the remake of Ernst Lubitsch film ‘To Be or Not to Be’. It was directed by Alan Johnson. Brooks played the role of ‘Hitler’ in the movie; it was a satire on Germany during WW II.
  • // 1987 To 1989
    From 1987-1989, Brooks directed a comedy science fiction ‘Spaceballs’. He also made a sitcom called ‘The Nutt House’ which was broadcast on NBC. The series only ran for 5-11 episodes and did not do very well commercially.
  • // 1990
    In 1990s, Brooks directed movies like: ‘Life Stinks’ which was a critical and commercial failure, ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’ which was loosely based on his sitcom ‘When Things Were Rotten’ and ‘Dracula: Dead and Loving It’.
  • // 2000
    In 2000s, he appeared on the TV in ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Mad About You’, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’, etc. He also did cameos in movies like: ‘It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie’, etc.
  • // 2009
    He received the Kennedy Center Honors 2009 for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.
  • // 2010
    He is the winner of 3 Tony Awards for ‘The Producers’ and a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award for ‘Young Frankenstein’. He received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010 and after a few years received the AFI Life Achievement Award.

// Famous T V & Movie Producers

Mel Brooks's FAQ

  • What is Mel Brooks birthday?

    Mel Brooks was born at 1926-06-28

  • Where is Mel Brooks's birth place?

    Mel Brooks was born in Brooklyn, New York, U. S.

  • What is Mel Brooks nationalities?

    Mel Brooks's nationalities is American

  • Who is Mel Brooks spouses?

    Mel Brooks's spouses is Anne Bancroft

  • Who is Mel Brooks siblings?

    Mel Brooks's siblings is Bernie, Irving, Lenny

  • Who is Mel Brooks childrens?

    Mel Brooks's childrens is Eddie Brooks, Max Brooks, Nicky Brooks, Stephanie Brooks

  • What is Mel Brooks's religion?

    Mel Brooks's religion is Jewish

  • How tall is Mel Brooks?

    Mel Brooks's height is 165

  • Who is Mel Brooks's father?

    Mel Brooks's father is James Kaminsky

  • Who is Mel Brooks's mother?

    Mel Brooks's mother is Kate (née Brookman)

  • What is Mel Brooks's sun sign?

    Mel Brooks is Cancer

  • How famous is Mel Brooks?

    Mel Brooks is famouse as American Film Director, Comedian, Actor & Producer