Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fanny Brice

Fanny Brice (October 29, 1891 – May 29, 1951) was a popular and influential American illustrated song "model," comedienne, singer, theatre and film actress, who made many stage, radio and film appearances and is known as the creator and star of the top-rated radio comedy series, The Baby Snooks Show. Thirteen years after her death, she was portrayed on the Broadway stage by Barbra Streisand in the musical Funny Girl and its 1968 film adaptation.

Fanny Brice (occasionally spelled Fannie Brice) was the stage name of Fania Borach, born in New York City, the third child of relatively well-off saloon owners of Hungarian Jewish descent. In 1908, Brice dropped out of school to work in a burlesque revue, and two years later she began her association with Florenz Ziegfeld, headlining his Ziegfeld Follies from 1910 to 1911. She was hired again in 1921 and performed in them into the 1930's. In the 1921 Follies, she was featured singing "My Man" which became both a big hit and her signature song. She made a popular recording of it for Victor Records.

The second song most associated with Brice is "Second Hand Rose," which she introduced in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1921.

She recorded nearly two dozen record sides for Victor and also cut several for Columbia. She is a posthumous recipient of a Grammy Hall of Fame Award for her 1921 recording of "My Man".

Brice's Broadway credits include Fioretta, Sweet and Low, and Billy Rose's Crazy Quilt. Her films include My Man (1928), Be Yourself! (1930) and Everybody Sing (1938) with Judy Garland. Brice, Ray Bolger and Harriet Hoctor were the only original Ziegfeld performers to portray themselves in The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and Ziegfeld Follies (1946). For her contribution to the motion picture industry, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at MP 6415 Hollywood Boulevard.

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