Wednesday, June 08, 2005


News from Home: How old are you Mrs. Robinson? You're 81 years old if you're a day... hey, hey hey

Can movie stars successfully lie about their ages, even to the point of having that untruth reported in the "paper of record"?

Anne Bancroft was a great actress, and her role as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967) made her the quintessential "older woman." If her obituary is to be believed, she was only 35-36 when The Graduate was filmed.

That's certainly not impossible -- as I recall, Mrs. Robinson was supposed to have gotten pregnant with Elaine in her late teens, and Elaine would have been 19 or 20. So perhaps the character in the story was supposed to be 36ish.

But film actors nearly always play younger, not the same age or older roles. Dustin Hoffman was 30 when the graduate was filmed.

The Graduate: 30 year old Dustin Hoffman with 36 year old Anne Bancroft?
Sort of takes the edge of the story to know that, doesn't it.

Well, in the Graduate, she looked early 40s to me, making her at least 78 in my book. (I said 81 in the title of the post only to get the meter right for the lyric.) What's more, I want to think of Mrs. Robinson -- or at least Bancroft playing her -- as a woman in her forties. The world doesn't seem quite right otherwise.


She was so good in the part though! I think it was all in her voice: if you only listened to her, you could believe that she was at least in her forties.
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