Fanny Brice (October 29, 1891 - May 29, 1951) was a United States comedienne, singer, and entertainer.
"Fanny Brice" (occasionally spelled "Fannie") 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, she dropped out of school to work in a burlesque review. She is best known for both her association with Florenz Ziegfeld, headlining his Ziegfield Follies from 1910 into the 1930s, and for her later radio career which lasted a decade and a half.
In the 1921 "Follies," she was featured singing "My Man" which became a big hit and is considered Fanny Brice's "signature" song. She made phonograph records of it for Victor Records and appeared singing it in the 1930 sound film "My Man." The second song most associated with her is the tune "Second Hand Rose". 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."
Her brother Lew Brice became actress Mae Clarke's first husband in 1928, but they divorced a few years later without any children.
Trying to leap from stage to screen, Fanny made several films. She appeared in "My Man" (1928), "Be Yourself!" (1930), "Everybody Sing" (1938) (with Judy Garland), "The Great Ziegfeld" (the only original Ziegfeld performer to portray herself in the 1936 film), and 1946's "Ziegfeld Follies." For her contribution to the motion picture industry, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at MP 6415 Hollywood Blvd.
From the 1930s until her death in 1951, Fanny had her own radio show which featured her as a bratty toddler named "Baby Snooks," a role she first premiered in Follies' skit.
Brice's second husband was the professional gambler Julius "Nicky" Arnstein. After he had served two years at Fort Leavenworth for conspiracy to carry stolen securities into the District of Columbia (he previously did time at Sing Sing, where Fanny visited him every week), a heartsick Brice divorced him.
She later married songwriter and stage producer Billy Rose and appeared in his revue "Crazy Quilt," among others. Unfortunately, that marriage also failed.
In 1951, Fanny Brice died in Hollywood, California at the age of 59 of a cerebral hemorrhage. She is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.