The actress Anna Maria Louisa Italiano, born in New York on 17th September 1931, died on Monday 6th June 2005, aged 73. She is survived by her husband, the actor/director Mel Brooks, and their son Max. Read her full obituary (courtesy The Daily Telegraph) here.
Best known for her role as Mrs Robinson in the 1967 film The Graduate, where she played the older woman seducing her daughter's boyfriend, played by Dustin Hoffman - even a gay teenager, as I was a couple of years later to realise I was, was smitten by the fantasy she represented. I have seen very few of her other films, but one which I have since watched many times is Torch Song Trilogy (1988) (VHS version - a Region 1 DVD [NTSC] is also available here), in which she plays the stereotypical Jewish mother who is unable to accept her son's homosexuality; the son is played by Harvey Fierstein, who wrote the stage play. Whilst her role in that film is unsympathetic to gays, she plays the part with such wit, style, honesty and realism that it is quite moving.
Rest in Peace, Anne Bancroft. Respectfully.