(Harry Haun’s article appeared in Playbill Online, 9/4; via Pam Green.)

Anne Bancroft: A Life

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Anne Bancroft’s star started its ascent on February 7, 1957—simultaneously on both coasts.

In New York, she sauntered into the office of producer Fred Coe and wasted no time getting down to the pressing business at hand. “Where’s the john?” she barked. (It’s called “coming on as the character you’re going out for”—in this case, Gittel Mosca, the brash bohemian who amorously collides in New York with a sad, marriage-broken Nebraskan in Two for the Seesaw.) Coe was certain she was his Gittel—an opinion soon shared by the play’s director, Arthur Penn, and writer, William Gibson, both of whom were in Los Angeles on that first day, steering Teresa Wright and Patty McCormack through the roles of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller in the Playhouse 90 premiere of their play The Miracle Worker.

Anne Bancroft: A Life

Gittel Mosca got Bancroft a Tony Award—as did Annie Sullivan, and an Oscar, too—when Gibson’s scripts moved to Broadway. Topping the brilliance of both those performances was her iconic Mrs. Robinson, the older woman out to seduce her daughter’s boyfriend in The Graduate. A half-century later, that’s how the world still remembers Anne Bancroft, now the subject of a richly detailed and definitive biography by Douglass K. Daniel out September 1.

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View Anne Bancroft: A Life on Amazon:  https://tinyurl.com/y9slvf7x


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