Birthday: October 29, 1891
Died At Age: 59
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Fannie Brice
Born Country: United States
Born in: Manhattan, New York, United States
Famous as: Model, Singer, Actress
Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Females
Spouse/Ex-: Billy Rose (m. 1929–1938), Frank White (m. 1910–19130), Nicky Arnstein (m. 1919–1927)
father: Charles Borach
mother: Rose Stern
siblings: Lew Brice, Louis, Phillip
children: Frances Arnstein, William Brice
Died on: May 29, 1951
Cause of Death: Brain Hemorrhage
U.S. State: New Yorkers
Fania Borach, better known as Fanny Brice, was an American singer, model, comedienne and actress. She is remembered for her works such as ‘The Baby Snooks Show’, a radio comedy series, and the film ‘My Man’. Brice was born in Manhattan, New York City. She was interested in the performing arts from an early age, and she sang as well as danced in her father’s saloon in her childhood. At the age of 13, she won an amateur contest and started singing and playing the piano in a movie theatre. She eventually got roles in Broadway plays, and throughout her career, she was considered one of the greatest comediennes on Broadway. She also worked in a few films as well as several radio shows. Her best works include the comedy series ‘The Baby Snooks Show’. Brice passed away due to a cerebral hemorrhage in 1951. She was posthumously inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Fanny Brice dropped out of school to work in the burlesque revue ‘The Girls from Happy Land Starring Sliding Billy Watson’ in 1908. After two years, she got associated with Florenz Ziegfeld, headlining his ‘Ziegfeld Follies,’ in 1910 and 1911. In 1921, she was hired again and she performed in the ‘Follies’ until the 1930s. Her song ‘My Man’, which she sang in 1921 in the ‘Follies,’ became a hit. It eventually became her signature song.
Fanny Brice’s first work on the big screen was the 1928 black and white film ‘My Man’, which was directed by Archie Mayo. The film was a commercial success, earning over $1.2 million on a budget of less than $200,000. In 1930, she was seen in another film ‘Be Yourself’. Brice did her first radio show in 1930; it was named the ‘Philco Hour.’ Her first regular show was ‘The Chase and Sanborn Hour’, which aired for thirty minutes on Wednesday nights. She also became known for the radio show ‘The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air’ in 1936.
In 1938, she appeared in the musical comedy film ‘Everybody Sing’, which was directed by Edwin L Marin. Along with Brice, the film starred actors such as Allan Jones and Judy Garland. The film was a commercial success, earning over a million dollars on a budget of nearly $800,000.
Later in 1944, her longtime sketch writers, Philip Rapp and David Freedman, along with Arthur Stander and Everett Freeman, collaborated to develop an independent, half-hour comedy program, which was initially named ‘Post Toasties Time’. It was renamed the ‘The Baby Snooks Show’, and eventually it became known as ‘Baby Snooks and Daddy’.
Meanwhile, Brice continued appearing on Broadway in shows like ‘Fioretta’, ‘Sweet and Low’, and ‘Crazy Quilt’. Her radio show ‘Baby Snooks and Daddy’ was adapted for the television in June 1950.
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Family & Personal Life
Fanny Brice was born in Manhattan, New York City, on 29th October 1891. She was the third child of Rose and Charles Borach, who had emigrated to America. She had three siblings, Philip, Carrie and Louis. Her parents were saloon owners. She left her education at an early age for a career in theatre.
Her first marriage was with a barber named Frank White from 1910 to 1913. Her second marriage was with Julius Arnstein, a professional gambler. Arnstein went to prison after being convicted of a Wall Street bond theft. After his release, Brice reluctantly divorced him. She next married songwriter and stage producer, Billy Rose, in 1929. Their marriage resulted in a divorce in 1938.
Brice passed away at on May 29, 1951 at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Hollywood after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 59.
Over the years, Brice has been portrayed several times on screen. One of the most famous ones is her portrayal by Barbra Streisand in the 1964 musical ‘Funny Girl’. Streisand also starred in its 1968 film adaptation, for which she won an Oscar, as well as in the 1975 sequel titled ‘Funny Lady’.