"I'm old-fashioned. I like it, I earned it and it's my title," said Mel Brooks.
Mel Brooks once said, "life is a play and we're unrehearsed.” In his own life, he has rehearsed and triumphed. He has had a successful career in Hollywood that has spanned over seven decades. He became an esteemed producer, director, and writer. The New York native is also a family man.
He has been married twice. His first marriage was with dancer, Florence Baum, whom he wed in 1953 and divorced nine years later in 1962. The pair welcomed three kids together, daughter Stephanie and sons Nicky and Eddie. Brooks said his vows again with award-winning actress Anne Bancroft in 1964, and the couple had only one child, a son named Max.
In May 2013, Brooks reflected on his union with Bancroft. He told PEOPLE their marriage was successful as both of them worked on themselves. "You know, it took because Anne and I both grew up during the marriage, we both grew up, we both knew what was important, and what love meant, and...what doing for each other meant," he said.
As for Bancroft, it was love at first sight as she fell for Brooks when they first met. She explained why she was head over heels in love with him, "I was in love with him instantly, because, you see, he looked like my father and acted like my mother." The lovebirds said their vows at City Hall in Lower Manhattan three years later.
The Academy Award winner and the comedian were married for 41 years before she died in 2005 from uterine cancer at age 73.
In November 2021, Brooks opened up about his late beloved wife and shared the words she used to encourage him. "She always said, 'Follow your heart. It will be a good adventure.' What an adventure life turned out to be!" he proudly said.
Brooks described his spouse as a supportive partner who "always believed in me," per PEOPLE. In the early days of their marriage, he was still trying to get a breakthrough in show business and only tasted success in the mid-1960s in Get Smart. He and Bancroft later welcomed their son Max in 1972.
The four-time Emmy Award winner said that life without the mother of his child is challenging as he shared some of their memories, "Living this life without her is not easy. There were a lot of great kisses and great spaghetti."
Today, Brooks is 96 years old and he still works hard. In January 2023, the Hollywood star announced the sequel of his 1981 film, History of the World, Part I in a video on Twitter. "The names you know—the history you don't. 'History of the World, Part II,' a four-night event, streaming March 6 on @hulu!" he tweeted. Fans showed excitement in the comments section.
One Twitter user praised Brooks for his impressive work, "You're still the king." Another Twitter user wrote, "96 years old!! Mel are you sure you aren't Artificial intelligence?!" While a third user penned, "Can't wait! Love you!"
In his personal life now, Brooks is a doting Grandpa of 4. He told USA Today that he is proud to be one, "I insisted right away that I am called that...People don't like to admit to becoming grandparents. They want to be called Pappy, Pap, or Nick. Nothing with 'grand' in it. But I'm old-fashioned. I like it, I earned it and it's my title."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | John Phillips