Mel Brooks

Born Melvin Kaminsky in Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 28, 1926, Mel Brooks began his career as a radio personality and later served as a writer for Sid Caesar's television show "Your Show of Shows." He eventually went on to create the series "Get Smart" in 1965.

Spending the early part of his film career behind the camera, Brooks wrote and directed The Producers (1968), for which he won a Best Screenplay Oscar. He first stepped in front of the camera for his 1974 hit Blazing Saddles, followed the same year by Young Frankenstein, for which Brooks received a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination.

Brooks's series of genre spoofs continued with Silent Movie (1976), High Anxiety (1977), History of the World: Part 1 (1982), Spaceballs (1987) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). In 2001, he adapted The Producers into a Broadway musical, which went on to win a Tony.