Born 1931 as Anna Maria Louisa Italiano in the Bronx, New York, American actress, director, screenwriter and singer Anne Bancroft made her film debut in the noir thriller Don’t Bother to Knock (1952).
In 1958, Bancroft made her Broadway debut with the play Two for the Seesaw, winning the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play. The following year she portrayed Anne Sullivan in the original Broadway production of The Miracle Worker, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.
Following her continued success on stage, Bancroft’s film career was revived when she was cast in the acclaimed film adaptation of The Miracle Worker (1962) for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her film career further progressed with Oscar nominated performances in The Pumpkin Eater (1964), The Graduate (1967), The Turning Point (1977), and Agnes of God (1985).
Bancroft continued to act in the later half of her life, with prominent roles in The Elephant Man (1980), Garbo Talks (1984), To Be or Not to Be (1983), 84 Charing Cross Road (1987), Home for the Holidays (1995), Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), G.I. Jane (1997), and Great Expectations (1998). She received multiple Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including for the television films Broadway Bound (1992), Deep in My Heart (1999), for which she won, and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (2003).
Bancroft is one of only 24 thespians to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting. She died in 2005, at the age of 73, following her battle with uterine cancer.
Take a look at these gorgeous photos to see the beauty of young Anne Bancroft in the 1950s and 1960s.