Mel Brooks (born Melvin James Kaminsky; June 28, 1926) is an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer. He is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies. He began his career as a stand-up comic and as a writer for the early TV variety show Your Show of Shows. He became well known as part of the comedy duo with Carl Reiner, The 2000 Year Old Man. In middle age he became one of the most successful film directors of the 1970s, with many of his films being among the top ten money makers of the year that they were released. His most well known films include The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety and Spaceballs. More recently he has had a smash hit on Broadway with the musical adaptation of his first film, The Producers. He was married to the actress Anne Bancroft from 1964 until her death in 2005.
Brooks is a member of the short list of entertainers with the distinction of having won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award. He is to receive the 41st Academy Award AFI Life Achievement Award in 2013. Three of his films ranked in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 comedy films of all-time: Blazing Saddles at number 6, The Producers at number 11, and Young Frankenstein at number 13.