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Profile of the Day: Fanny Brice

Profile of the Day: Fanny Brice

Fanny Brice

On this day in 1891, radio star and actress Fanny Brice was born in Manhattan, New York. Known as the original “Funny Girl,” Brice entertained audiences for over four decades with her comedic chops, which made her one of America’s earliest female comedy superstars.

Brice was born Fania Borach to Rose Stern, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant, and Charles Borach, an Alstatian immigrant. The third of four children, Brice got her start at the age of 13 after winning an amateur night singing competition. With a taste for the spotlight, Brice left school to pursue her career in show business. She adopted the stage name Fanny Brice to avoid being typecast in Jewish roles.

A gifted singer and comedian, Brice found success in vaudeville before transitioning to Broadway, radio, and film. During her run in the Ziegeld Follies, Brice was able to show off her singing and comedic talents and often featured her popular character, Baby Snooks, the mischievous toddler prone to tantrums. She later spun-off the character into her own top-rated radio show, The Baby Snooks Show, which ran for several years.

Brice died on May 29, 1951 at the age of 59 after suffering a stroke a few days before. Her life would be immortalized on the big screen in the 1968 film, Funny Girl, which starred Barbra Streisand as Brice. Streisand would go on to win her first Academy Award for Best Actress for the role.

How are you related to Fanny Brice? Explore her family tree on Geni and share your connection to the original “Funny Girl”!

View Fanny Brice’s Geni Profile


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Image: Library of Congress


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