When it comes to comedy and film, Mel Brooks is one of the most prolific and respected actors, directors, and writers in Hollywood. His resume spans more than seven decades and includes beloved classics such as Young Frankenstein, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, History of the World, Part 1, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
Now past his heydays of hilarious films, many may be wondering what the legendary director is up to today. We took a deep dive into his life in 2022 to figure out exactly that.
Is He Still In Good Health?
Brooks appears to be in relatively good health for a man who’s been alive for nearly a century. He continues to work, lending his voice to animated movies such as Hotel Transylvania 2, Toy Story 4, and Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank.
The director has said that life has been harder since the death of his wife, actress Anne Bancroft, who passed away in 2005 from uterine cancer. In a 2021 interview with the Independent, the Life Stinks star says her death still “hurts too much” to write about. He also admitted that he can’t help but stop and watch if he catches one of her movies on TV.
“I don’t decide to turn on one of her movies, but if one is on when I turn on the TV, then I’m caught, and I’ll stay until the end and cry,” he confessed. “I’ll see her energy, her joie de vivre. She was just amazing. I don’t think there was anybody better.”
Brooks also finds it difficult now that so many of his close friends have passed away. He especially misses his former Your Show of Shows co-writer, comedy collaborator, and best bud for over 50 years, Carl Reiner. Reiner, who wrote and directed classic movies like The Jerk, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, and All of Me, died in June of 2020 at the age of 98. “All the stuff I used to do with Carl is still around, but I don’t enjoy it if I don’t share it with Carl,” Brooks told the Independent. “It’s as simple as that.”
What Is Brooks Working On?
Age, loss, and the COVID-19 pandemic haven’t been enough to keep this legend down. Brooks remains impressively active in his career, pursuing a steady stream of projects as a voice actor. 2022’s Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is a martial arts comedy film loosely based on Blazing Saddles. Brooks voiced Toshi, the empathetic shogun of Kakamucho, a feline take on the character of Gov. William J. Le Petomane in his 1974 classic.
Brooks is slated to appear in Fairy Tale Forest, a family-friendly musical anthology TV series completed in 2022. Its star-studded cast also includes Whoopi Goldberg and Jane Lynch. He has also committed to lending his inimitable voice to an untitled Lani Pixels project, in which two siblings embark on a magical journey after invading evil forces target their grandfather. He will play the Gatekeeper alongside Christopher Lloyd’s Grandpa and Jacob Tremblay’s Patrick.
He’s also setting aside time to write. In 2021, Brooks published the memoir, All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business. Boasting an impressive 480 pages, the book became a New York Times bestseller and earned rave reviews from critics.
We’re so glad to see the living legend is able to live such an active life, despite his personal losses. We hope to see much more of his work!