Anne Bancroft died at New York City's Mount Sinai Medical Center on Monday (06JUN05) following a battle against uterine cancer. She was 73.

The late screen icon won a Best Actress OSCAR in 1963 for her portrayal of Helen Keller's teacher in THE MIRACLE WORKER, but she will always be most remembered for her role as MRS ROBINSON in 1967's The Graduate.

Bancroft was born ANNA MARIA LOUISA ITALIANO in 1931 to Italian immigrant parents living in New York City's Bronx district, and they recognised their daughter's talent for entertaining before she reached her third birthday.

The late actress' movie career began in 1952 when Hollywood studio Twentieth Century Fox gave her a contract and a more screen-friendly name. After a series of unsuccessful low budget movies, Bancroft moved to Broadway and won a TONY for her role opposite Henry Fonda in the play TWO FOR THE SEESAW.

Bancroft went on to make the lead role in the original stage production of The Miracle Worker her own before returning to Hollywood to resume her big screen career.

Following her ACADEMY AWARDS success in 1963, Bancroft was unsuccessfully nominated on a further four occasions for acclaimed performances in THE PUMPKIN EATER (1964), The Graduate (1967), THE TURNING POINT (1977) and AGNES OF GOD (1985).

Bancroft wed comedian and The Producers creator Mel Brooks in 1964, and they enjoyed 41 years of marriage and the birth of their son MAXIMILIAN in 1971 before her death on Monday.

08/06/2005 03:10