VIDEO: On This Day, June 28 - Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks!
On this day, we're celebrating the great Mel Brooks, who turns 93 today!
Blazing Saddles. Young Frankenstein. The Producers. Mel Brooks has created some of the most iconic comedies in film history. 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 - the Tony, the Emmy, Grammy, and 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 & books. Brooks won his first Oscar in 1964 for writing and narrating the animated short The Critic and his second for the screenplay of his first feature film, The Producers in 1968. Many hit comedy films followed including The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History of the World Part I, To Be or Not to Be, Spaceballs, Life Stinks, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It. His film company, Brooksfilms Limited also produced critically acclaimed films such as The Elephant Man, The Fly, Frances, My Favorite Year and 84 Charring Cross Road.
For three successive seasons, 1997-1999 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 2006. The Producers still holds the record for the most Tony awards ever 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 opened in London's West End in the Fall of 2017 to rave reviews.
In 2009 Mel Brooks received The Kennedy Center Honors, recognizing a lifetime of extraordinary contributions to American culture. In 2013 he was the subject of an Emmy winning American Masters documentary on PBS called "Mel Brooks: Make A Noise" and was the 41st recipient of the AFI's Life Achievement Award. His recent projects include three Emmy nominated HBO comedy specials Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again, Mel Brooks Strikes Back!, and Mel Brooks Live at The Geffen. In 2016 Mr. Brooks was invited to the White House, where President Obama presented him with The National Medal of Arts - the highest award given to artists by the United States government.
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