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Mel Brooks, who was born on June 28, 1926 with the name of Melvin James Kaminsky, is a prolific screenwriter, director, comedian, actor, producer, and composer who deals famously with parodies and farces. Born and raised in Brooklyn of Jewish immigrant parents, his father died of kidney disease when Mel was two years old. He spent a year at Brooklyn College majoring in psychology but was drafted shortly thereafter and was in the 78th Infantry Division during World War II. He was a pioneer of television, and some of his better-known movies include “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” and “The Producers.”



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