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Anne Bancroft, R.I.P.

Actress Anne Bancroft passed away this week. She was 73.

Whatever I saw her in, be it her-Oscar winning turn as Annie Sullivan in "The Miracle Worker" (reprising her Tony-winning stage role) or as Harvey Fierstein's Ma in "Torch Song Trilogy," she was wonderful.

I liked the NY Times obituary, despite its sword swipe at "Demetrius and the Gladiators," in which Anne Bancroft starred in a minor role. I took notice of her in that role too. That's how memorable she was.

Her husband Mel Brooks survives her; she will be missed.

Comments welcome.

Comments

Was there ever an actress with such a range? Contrast her roles in The Graduate and The Miracle Worker--same person!? THAT'S an actress!

You know, I reflexively kicked when Rand referred to "The Miracle Worker" as "the only epistemological play ever written". I have always considered "Twelve Angry Men" to qualify. (If you doubt that, then just consider the look on E.G. Marshall's face as his character finally arrives at the only rational conclusion in the case. This is precisely the sort of qualifier that Rand cited in her remarks on "The Miracle Worker".)

Still, for all that, Bancroft's work in "The Miracle Worker" is an all-time gold-plated keeper. Well done, Girl.

Nor should we forget that Bancroft a few years back was quite interested in portraying Rand on film. Barbara Branden tells the story of Bancroft asking to watch some video of Rand and then doing a spot on imitation afterwards. She wanted the role but the film being made was a younger Rand. I have no doubt that Bancroft could have played the older Ayn Rand perfectly.