Mel Brooks Makes Rare Public Appearance At 97 To Accept Honorary Oscar


Filmmaker and actor Mel Brooks was recently recognized for his immense contribution to Hollywood with an honorary Oscar. “This is beautiful. I got to tell you, this means a lot to me,” he gushed after Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick presented his award. “It really means a lot.”

Nathan and Matthew rendered a musical tribute to Mel, who was moved with gratitude. “Ladies and gentlemen, you name it, and he can do it!” Nathan started, while Matthew responded, “Every gag that’s made you giggle probably started out with Mel.”

97-year-old Mel Brooks makes rare appearance to accept honorary Oscar

Referring to his joke about selling his first Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for The Producers in 1969, Mel promised to “not sell this one.” He expressed appreciation for the well-deserved accolade put together by his colleagues. “If your fellow writers, directors, actors like you and appreciate your work, it means a lot,” he said. “It means a whole lot.”

He added that, “when your peers appreciate your work and they salute you with this golden statue, it means a great deal.” While leaving the stage, he lightened up the mood with more humor, saying, “I won’t sell this. I swear to God.” Also in attendance were Glenn Close, Natalie Portman, Bradley Cooper, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, and Angela Bassett, who received an honorary Academy Award as well.

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London, UK. Mel Brooks at the EE British Acadamy Film Awards (BAFTA’s) at The Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 12 February 2017
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Vivienne Vincent/Landmark Media.

Mel is happy to ‘still be alive’

Mel, who will turn 98 in June, admitted that he was “happy to still be alive!” in his statement for the event. “It is so nice to be recognized by my peers in The Academy over 50 years after my last Oscar. A long time ago, I was given a choice: I had an offer to be working as an apprentice accountant or as a coffee runner in show business. I’m still glad I chose the coffee,” he continued, reminiscing on the start of his career.

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THE AUTOMAT, Mel Brooks, 2021. © A Slice of Life Productions / Courtesy Everett Collection

The father of four has earned over sixty acting credits and much more as a writer, producer, and director throughout his seven-decade-long Hollywood career. He most recently worked as an executive producer, narrator, and writer on History of the World: Part II and appeared on season three of Only Murders In The Building last year.


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