Brice, Fanny or Fannie,1891–1951, American comedienne, b. New York City as Fanny Borach. Brice appeared in burlesque and vaudeville from 1906. She starred in the Ziegfeld "Follies" from 1910 onward, and in Broadway shows, emphasizing her plainness by means of a comic awkwardness. In 1937 she created for radio the popular role of Baby Snooks. She appeared in the films My Man (1928), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), and Ziegfeld Follies (1944). Three films have been based on her life, including Funny Girl (1968).
See biography by N. Katkov (1953).
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Brice, Fanny (b. Fannie Borach)(1891–1951) comedienne; born in New York City. Born on Manhattan's Lower East Side to successful immigrant saloon-keepers, at age fourteen she assumed the name Brice and built a comedic act based on parody, dialect, and physical humor. A perennial Ziegfeld Follies attraction after 1910, she attained international stardom in the 1921 Follies with her signature torch-song parody, "My Man." Appearing in vaudeville, musicals, drama, movies, and radio throughout her career with such luminaries as W. C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, and Will Rogers, she excelled at lampooning the fake and preposterous. Eschewing jokes about home life, Brice demonstrated that women could succeed in entertainment without exploiting their sexuality or making buffoons of themselves or other women.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.