Mel Brooks, director, producer, writer and actor, is in an elite group as one of the few entertainers to earn all four major entertainment prizes – a Tony, an Emmy, a Grammy, and an Oscar. His career began in television writing for Your Show of Shows and together with Buck Henry creating the long-running TV series Get Smart. He then teamed up with Carl Reiner to write and perform the Grammy-winning 2000 Year Old Man comedy albums and books.
Brooks won his first Oscar in 1964 for writing and narrating the animated short The Critic (1963) and his second in 1969 for the screenplay of his first feature film, The Producers (1968). Many hit comedy films followed including THE TWELVE CHAIRS (1970), Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), Silent Movie (1976), High Anxiety (1977), History of the World Part I (1981), To Be or Not to Be (1983), Spaceballs (1987), Life Stinks (1991), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995).
Brooks’ production company, Brooksfilms Limited, also produced critically acclaimed films such as The Elephant Man (1980), The Fly (1986), Frances (1982), My Favorite Year (1982) and 84 Charing Cross Road (1987).
For three successive seasons, 1997 through 1999, Mel Brooks won Emmy Awards for his role as Uncle Phil on the hit sitcom Mad About You. Brooks received three 2001 Tony Awards and two Grammy Awards for The Producers: The New Mel Brooks Musical, which ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2007. The Producers still holds the all-time record for the most Tony Awards won by a Broadway musical. He followed that success with The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein, which ran on Broadway from 2007 to 2009, and both musicals continue to be performed and enjoyed by audiences all over the world. In 2009 President Barack Obama presented Mel Brooks with the Kennedy Center Honors, in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to American culture. Later this spring, he will be the 41st recipient of the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film.