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AMPAS To Honor Mel Brooks
by Betty Jo Tucker

If anyone in showbiz today deserves a tribute, it’s Mel Brooks. That’s why I’m delighted to hear about plans by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to honor this comic legend. On July 24, Brooks will be feted in “a hilarious and delightful evening with film clips and personal stories from Mel’s artistic collaborators and friends.”

The Academy promises to present many of Brooks’ outrageous moments on film during this special program. How I wish I could be there!

As an avid Mel Brooks fan, I would love to thank him for all the pleasure he’s given me through his movies, especially Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety, To Be or Not To Be, and The Producers (both the original and the musical re-make).

I am in awe of Brooks’ talent as a comedian, writer, producer, director and composer. He’s received three Oscar® nominations -– for the adapted screenplay of Young Frankenstein, for the Blazing Saddles lyrics, for The Producers (1968) screenplay -– and won the golden statuette for the latter. He also earned an Oscar® for The Critic, a very funny short film in which he did the hilarious narration. 

My favorite Mel Brooks movie scene? There are so many, it’s hard to choose. But the one I love the most is his Frank Sinatra-like singing of “High Anxiety” in the film of the same name, which is a brilliant send-up of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

Congratulations to a showbiz legend!

(For more information, call 310-247-3600 or visit

 High Anxiety poster: © 1977 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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