Mel Brooks biography

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Mel Brooks

Date of Birth: June 28, 1926

American actor, writer, producer, director, comedian and composer Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest of four boys, and grew up in the neighborhood of Williamsburg. When he was two years old, Mel's father Max died of kidney disease.

As a child, Brooks was much smaller than the other boys and was bullied in school as a result. He attended Abraham Lincoln High School for a year before transferring to Eastern District High School, from which he graduated. He was only at Brooklyn College for a year as a psychology major before he was drafted into the U.S. Army as a corporal in 1944.

After the war, Brooks played piano at Borscht Belt resorts while also working as a stand-up comedian and doing some comic radio work. Eventually, he became the master of entertainment at the Grossinger’s Resort. It was around this time that he changed his name to Mel Brooks.

In 1949, Brooks’ friend Sid Caesar hired him to write one-liners for the NBC series The Admiral Broad Revue, for which he was paid $50 a week. A year later, Caesar developed his own variety comedy series called Your Show of Shows and hired Brooks as a writer, working alongside Carl Reiner, Mel Tolkin and Neil Simon. He would go on to write for another one of Caesar’s shows called Caesar’s Hour in 1954.

Brooks and his good friend Carl Reiner created their infamous “2000 Year Old Man” routine and performed it in New York, where it was an immediate success. Eventually, they took the act to Hollywood and performed it on The Steve Allen Show, also releasing a comedy album.

Brooks’ talents spanned to the theater as well. He wrote several Broadway plays at this time, including All American, which starred Ray Bolger. It ran for 80 performances and won two Tony Awards.

Brooks married his first wife, Florence Baum, in 1953. They had three children, but eventually divorced in 1962. Two years later, Brooks married actress Anne Bancroft, with whom he had one child — a son named Max. The two remained together until her death in 2005. He credits Bancroft with being the inspiration behind several of his films.

In 1963, Brooks’ animated short film The Critic won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. Two years later, he and Buck Henry developed the hit comedy series Get Smart, which would run for five years and receive seven Emmys.

Brooks’ impressive resumé of successful films includes Blazing Saddles (1972), Young Frankenstein (1974) and The Elephant Man (1980), which he produced. He also directed the cult-classic science fiction parody Spaceballs(1987) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), a parody of the character Robin Hood and of the Kevin Costner film, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991).

In addition to writing, directing and producing, Brooks is also an actor. He’s lent his voice to the animated TV series The Simpsons and has appeared on other shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mad About You and he voiced President Skroob and Yogurt in the animated television adaptation of Spaceballs(1987), titled Spaceballs: The Animated Series.

Brooks has voice characters in several animated feature films, including Bigweld in Robots (2005), Albert Einstein in Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014) and Vlad, the father of Dracula, in Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015).

Brooks reprised his role as Vlad in Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018).

Mel Brooks Filmography

Actor:

  • Blazing Samurai (2018)
  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)
  • Leap! (2017)
  • The Guardian Brothers (2017)
  • Hotel Transylvania (2015)
  • Underdogs (2015)
  • Mr. Peadbody & Sherman (2014)
  • Get Smart (2008)
  • Robots (2005)
  • Screw Loose (1999)
  • The Prince of Egypt (1998)
  • Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)
  • Little Rascals (1994)
  • The Silence of the Hams (1994)
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
  • Life Stinks (1991)
  • Look Who’s Talking Too (1990)
  • Spaceballs (1987)
  • To Be or Not to Be (1983)
  • History of the World, Part I (1981)
  • The Muppet Movie (1979)
  • High Anxiety (1977)
  • Silent Movie (1976)
  • The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975)
  • Blazing Saddles (1974)
  • Young Frankenstein (1974)
  • The Twelve Chairs (1970)
  • The Producers (1967)
  • New Faces (1954)

Producer:

Director:

  • Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
  • Life Stinks (1991)
  • Spaceballs (1987)
  • History of the World, Part I (1981)
  • High Anxiety (1977)
  • Silent Movie (1976)
  • Blazing Saddles (1974)
  • Young Frankenstein (1974)
  • The Twelve Chairs (1970)
  • The Producers (1967)

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Genre:  Animation, Comedy, Family
Running Time:  97 min.
In theatres: July 13, 2018
VOD/Digital: September 25, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray: October 9, 2018

Current rating: Rating: 3.84
based on 120 votes and 33 reviews
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Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Jim Gaffigan, Kathryn Hahn, Asher Blinkoff, Chris Parnell, Joe Jonas, Chrissy Teigen