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Learn More About Fanny Brice, The Original Funny Girl, in This Book by Barbara Grossman



Funny Woman: The Life and Times of Fanny Brice (A Midland Book)




If you are looking for a biography that will make you laugh, cry, and learn something new, you might want to check out Funny Woman: The Life and Times of Fanny Brice by Barbara Grossman. This book tells the story of one of the most famous and influential comedians in American history, Fanny Brice, who rose from humble beginnings to become a star of stage, screen, and radio. In this article, we will give you a brief overview of the book and its author, as well as some reasons why you should read it.




Funny Woman: The Life and Times of Fanny Brice (A Midland Book)



Who was Fanny Brice?




Fanny Brice was born in 1891 in New York City to Jewish immigrant parents. She had a natural talent for singing and acting, and started performing in vaudeville shows when she was only 13 years old. She soon became a popular attraction with her comic songs, impersonations, and sketches.


Her rise to fame as a Ziegfeld Follies star and radio comedian




In 1910, Fanny Brice caught the eye of Florenz Ziegfeld, the impresario behind the famous Ziegfeld Follies. He hired her as a featured performer in his lavish musical revues, where she stood out with her unconventional looks, voice, and humor. She created some of her most memorable characters on the Ziegfeld stage, such as Baby Snooks, a mischievous toddler who tormented her father; Sadie Salome, a parody of a Jewish exotic dancer; and Emma Goldman, a radical anarchist.


Fanny Brice also made a successful transition to radio in the 1930s, where she continued to play Baby Snooks for millions of listeners. She also appeared in several movies, such as The Great Ziegfeld (1936), where she played herself; Everybody Sing (1938), where she co-starred with Judy Garland; and My Man Godfrey (1936), where she had a cameo role.


Her personal life and relationships




Fanny Brice had a tumultuous personal life that often mirrored her comedic persona. She married three times, but none of her marriages lasted. Her first husband was Frank White, a barber who abused her physically and emotionally. Her second husband was Nicky Arnstein, a charming but unfaithful gambler who served time in prison for fraud. Her third husband was Billy Rose, a songwriter and producer who exploited her fame for his own benefit.


Fanny Brice also had two children with Nicky Arnstein, Frances and William, whom she loved dearly and supported financially. She was a devoted mother who tried to give her children a stable and happy home, despite her busy and chaotic career.


What made Fanny Brice funny?




Fanny Brice was funny because she had a unique style of humor and singing that broke the mold of the typical female entertainer of her time. She was not afraid to make fun of herself, her ethnicity, her gender, or her society. She was also a versatile performer who could switch from comedy to drama, from satire to sentiment, and from song to speech.


Her unique style of humor and singing




Fanny Brice had a distinctive voice that ranged from a high-pitched squeak to a deep growl. She used it to create hilarious effects in her songs, such as "Second Hand Rose", where she lamented her poor upbringing; "My Man", where she expressed her love for her no-good husband; and "Cooking Breakfast for the One I Love", where she sang about her domestic bliss.


Fanny Brice also had a knack for physical comedy and facial expressions. She could contort her face into various shapes and expressions, such as a pout, a smirk, a frown, or a grin. She could also mimic different accents and dialects, such as Yiddish, Irish, French, or Italian. She used these skills to create hilarious characters and situations in her sketches, such as a Jewish mother who gave advice to her daughter; a French maid who flirted with her employer; or an Italian opera singer who sang off-key.


Her portrayal of ethnic and gender stereotypes




Fanny Brice was one of the first comedians to use ethnic and gender stereotypes as a source of humor. She often played characters who were Jewish, female, or both, and exaggerated their traits and behaviors for comic effect. She did not shy away from poking fun at the prejudices and stereotypes that existed in her society, such as anti-Semitism, sexism, classism, or racism.


However, Fanny Brice did not intend to offend or hurt anyone with her humor. She was proud of her Jewish heritage and identity, and used it as a way of connecting with her audience. She also respected and admired other ethnic groups and cultures, and learned from them. She was also a feminist who advocated for women's rights and opportunities, and challenged the norms and expectations of her gender. She used her humor as a way of expressing herself, empowering herself, and entertaining others.


Her influence on other comedians and performers




Fanny Brice was one of the most influential comedians and performers in American history. She inspired many other comedians and performers who came after her, such as Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Whoopi Goldberg, Amy Schumer, and Tina Fey. They all admired her talent, courage, originality, and personality.


Fanny Brice also left a lasting mark on American comedy and culture. She helped shape the genre of musical comedy with her songs and sketches. She helped popularize radio comedy with her Baby Snooks show. She helped pave the way for female comedians with her groundbreaking humor. She helped celebrate diversity and inclusion with her portrayal of ethnic and gender stereotypes. She helped create a legacy of laughter with her unforgettable characters and performances.


How did Fanny Brice cope with the challenges of her life?




Fanny Brice faced many challenges in her life that tested her strength and spirit. She had to overcome poverty, abuse, betrayal, divorce, scandal, debt, illness, aging, and death. How did she cope with these challenges? She coped with them by using humor, activism, resilience, and legacy.


Her struggles with money and fame




Fanny Brice had a difficult relationship with money and fame throughout her life. She started out poor and worked hard to earn money for herself and her family. However, she also spent money lavishly on clothes, jewelry, cars, houses, parties, and gifts. She often trusted the wrong people with her finances, such as Nicky Arnstein or Billy Rose, who took advantage of her generosity or cheated on her deals. She also faced legal troubles and tax problems that drained her income and reputation. She also struggled with fame and its pressures and pitfalls. She had to deal with gossip, rumors, scandal, criticism, and competition. She had to balance her public image and private life. She had to adapt to changing tastes and technologies.


Her involvement in politics and social causes




Her involvement in politics and social causes




Fanny Brice was not only a comedian but also a citizen who cared about the world around her. She was involved in politics and social causes that mattered to her and her community. She supported the Democratic Party and Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal policies. She campaigned for women's suffrage and equal rights. She raised funds and awareness for Jewish causes, such as the Anti-Defamation League, the United Jewish Appeal, and the State of Israel. She also entertained the troops during World War I and World War II with her songs and jokes.


Her resilience and legacy




Fanny Brice was a resilient woman who faced adversity with courage and grace. She never gave up on her dreams and passions, even when they seemed impossible or hopeless. She never lost her sense of humor, even when she faced tragedy or sorrow. She never stopped learning and growing, even when she faced challenges or changes. She never stopped loving and giving, even when she faced betrayal or loss.


Fanny Brice also left a lasting legacy that lives on in her family, friends, fans, and followers. She left behind two children who inherited her talent and spirit, Frances Arnstein Barash and William Arnstein. She left behind a memoir that revealed her life and thoughts, The Fabulous Fanny. She left behind a musical that celebrated her life and career, Funny Girl. She left behind a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that honored her achievements and contributions. She left behind a legend that inspired generations of comedians and performers.


Why should you read Funny Woman?




Now that you know more about Fanny Brice and her life and times, you might be wondering why you should read Funny Woman by Barbara Grossman. Here are some reasons why you should read this book:


The book's strengths and weaknesses




The book is a well-researched and well-written biography that covers Fanny Brice's life from birth to death. It draws from various sources, such as interviews, letters, diaries, newspapers, magazines, books, films, radio shows, and musicals. It provides a detailed and balanced account of Fanny Brice's personal and professional life, highlighting her achievements and challenges, her strengths and weaknesses, her joys and sorrows.


The book also has some limitations that might affect your reading experience. It is a long and dense book that might be hard to follow or finish for some readers. It is also a scholarly book that might be too academic or dry for some readers. It is also a dated book that might be outdated or irrelevant for some readers.


The book's relevance and appeal to modern readers




The book's relevance and appeal to modern readers




The book is relevant and appealing to modern readers who are interested in comedy, history, culture, or biography. It offers a fascinating insight into the life and times of Fanny Brice, who was one of the pioneers of American comedy and entertainment. It shows how she influenced and was influenced by the social, political, economic, and cultural changes that shaped America in the 20th century. It also shows how she dealt with issues and challenges that are still relevant today, such as gender roles, ethnic identity, fame and fortune, love and marriage, family and career, aging and death.


The book is also entertaining and inspiring to modern readers who are looking for a good story, a good laugh, or a good lesson. It tells the story of a woman who had a remarkable life full of ups and downs, successes and failures, joys and pains. It shares the laugh of a woman who had a brilliant sense of humor that made millions of people happy. It teaches the lesson of a woman who had a strong spirit that overcame many obstacles and left a lasting legacy.


The book's contribution to the history of American comedy and culture




The book's contribution to the history of American comedy and culture




The book is an important contribution to the history of American comedy and culture. It fills a gap in the literature that has often overlooked or underestimated Fanny Brice's role and impact in the development of American comedy and entertainment. It provides a comprehensive and critical analysis of Fanny Brice's work and achievements in various media and genres, such as vaudeville, musical comedy, radio comedy, film comedy, and musical biography. It also places Fanny Brice's work and achievements in the context of the historical and cultural forces that shaped them, such as immigration, urbanization, industrialization, modernization, nationalism, feminism, and consumerism.


The book also challenges some of the myths and stereotypes that have surrounded Fanny Brice's life and legacy. It shows that Fanny Brice was not just a funny woman, but also a complex and multifaceted woman who had many talents, interests, opinions, and emotions. It shows that Fanny Brice was not just a victim of her circumstances, but also an agent of her destiny who made choices and took risks. It shows that Fanny Brice was not just a product of her time, but also a visionary of her future who anticipated and influenced trends and innovations.


Conclusion




In conclusion, Funny Woman: The Life and Times of Fanny Brice by Barbara Grossman is a book that you should read if you want to learn more about one of the most famous and influential comedians in American history. The book tells the story of Fanny Brice's life from birth to death, highlighting her achievements and challenges, her strengths and weaknesses, her joys and sorrows. The book also analyzes Fanny Brice's work and achievements in various media and genres, placing them in the context of the historical and cultural forces that shaped them. The book also evaluates Fanny Brice's relevance and appeal to modern readers, as well as her contribution to the history of American comedy and culture.


So what are you waiting for? Grab a copy of Funny Woman: The Life and Times of Fanny Brice by Barbara Grossman today and enjoy a biography that will make you laugh, cry, and learn something new!


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions and answers related to the book and its topic:


Q: When was Fanny Brice born and when did she die?




A: Fanny Brice was born on October 29, 1891 in New York City. She died on May 29, 1951 in Hollywood.


Q: What was Fanny Brice's real name?




A: Fanny Brice's real name was Fania Borach. She changed it to Fanny Brice when she started performing in vaudeville.


Q: Who played Fanny Brice in Funny Girl?




A: Barbra Streisand played Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, both on Broadway (1964) and on film (1968). She won an Oscar for her performance.


Q: How accurate is Funny Girl?




A: Funny Girl is a fictionalized musical biography that dramatizes some aspects of Fanny Brice's life and career. It is not a faithful or accurate representation of the facts.


Q: Where can I listen to Fanny Brice's songs and sketches?




A: You can listen to some of Fanny Brice's songs and sketches on YouTube or Spotify. You can also find some of her recordings on CD or vinyl. 71b2f0854b


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