Thursday, April 30, 2015

100 Years Of Popular Music - 1922: Fanny Brice

Fanny Brice – 1922

Born in New York to Hungarian Jews, Fanny Brice dropped out of school at the age of 17 and began working in a burlesque revue. Within two years she was a headliner for Ziegfeld Follies. By the early twenties Fanny had an enormous hit with the song “My Man” for Victor Records. It was around this time that she married her second husband Julius “Nicky” Arnstein who had served prison time in Sing Sing and had gang connections. Arnstein's lifestyle would return to haunt the couple as he would later be convicted of Wall Street bond theft and would again serve time in prison. Brice, at great expense, funded his legal defense. After serving three years, Arnstein was released and and left Brice and their two children. Fanny would eventually marry again but that marriage also failed. Fanny Brice continued to perform and was best know for her Baby Snooks character that she would act out on radio until the 1950's. She died in 1951 of a brain hemorrhage. The 1968 movie “Funny Girl” starring Barbara Streisand is loosely based on the life of Fanny Brice.

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