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Anne BancroftAnne Bancroft

A Life

Douglass K. Daniel

Narrated by Commodore James

Available from Audible

Book published by University Press of Kentucky

“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?” These famous lines from The Graduate (1967) would forever link Anne Bancroft (1931–2005) to the groundbreaking film and confirm her status as a movie icon. Along with her portrayal of Annie Sullivan in the stage and film drama The Miracle Worker, this role was a highlight of a career that spanned a half-century and brought Bancroft an Oscar, two Tonys, and two Emmy awards.

In the first biography to cover the entire scope of Bancroft’s life and career, Douglass K. Daniel brings together interviews with dozens of her friends and colleagues and material from film and theater archives to present a portrait of an artist who raised the standards of acting for all those who followed. Daniel reveals how, from a young age, Bancroft was committed to challenging herself and strengthening her craft. Her talent (and good timing) led to a breakthrough role in Two for the Seesaw, which made her a Broadway star overnight. The role of Helen Keller’s devoted teacher in the stage version of The Miracle Worker would follow, and Bancroft also starred in the movie adaption of the play, which earned her an Academy Award. She went on to appear in dozens of film, theater, and television productions, including several movies directed or produced by her husband, Mel Brooks.

Anne Bancroft: A Life offers new insights into the life and career of a determined actress who left an indelible mark on the film industry while remaining true to her art.

Douglass K. Daniel is a journalist and biographer. His previous books are Tough as Nails: The Life and Films of Richard Brooks; Harry Reasoner: A Life in the News; and Lou Grant: The Making of TV’s Top Newspaper Drama. He is an editor and writer with the Washington, DC, bureau of the Associated Press.


“A thorough and loving portrait of an actress who never tired of exploring her inner life to give her best performance—on stage and television or in the movies.”

Library Journal

“Douglass K. Daniel has written an overdue, finely detailed portrait of Anne Bancroft.”

Film Comment

“Author Douglass K. Daniel does an exemplary job in celebrating the life and career of Bancroft. He has successfully fashioned a fully-rounded portrait of a talented and extremely professional actor. One who earned the respect of colleagues, critics and audiences the world over – and most deservedly.”

YES! Weekly

“This is a classy, first-rate biography. It really brings Anne Bancroft alive for readers and offers up more than most books of this type. Plus, the cover photo is simply gorgeous.”

Classic Images

“Daniel admirably presents a balanced view of Anne Bancroft the actress, wife/mother, private citizen, and women’s advocate.”


“A much-welcomed new biography of the celebrated actor by Douglass K. Daniel. What ultimately makes Daniel’s work a top-notch biography is its treatment of the interplay between the actor’s personal and professional lives.”

Film International

“A thorough and sympathetic portrait….Well written and well researched.”


Anne Bancroft: A Life by Douglass K. Daniel is an extensive look at an actress who lived life on her terms and offers readers insight into a woman who battled to have the career she wanted.”

Out of the Past

“As the only full-length biography of Bancroft, this book fills a notable gap and appeals to a broad audience of film enthusiasts and others interested in popular culture. In telling the story of a woman legendary for her portrayal of Mrs. Robinson, Daniel helps us understand a formidable actress who, with grace and talent, handled the changing roles available to women.”

—Tracy Lucht, author of Sylvia Porter: America’s Original Personal Finance Columnist

“Absorbing reading ... general readers, scholars, and students of acting should find the book useful and enjoyable.”

—David Ehrenstein, journalist and film critic

All titles are published by:
University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks