It was on that same stage that Al Jolson performed in his first blackface act in 1904. Fanny won the first prize of 10 dollars that night by singing the coonsong "When You Know You're Not Forgotten by the Girl You Can't Forget". It was on this night that she realized her love for the theater. In 1910, at 19 years of age, Fanny performed in Max Siegel's Collage Girl burlesque show for 25 dollars a week. Irving Berlin gave her the Irish song "Sadie Salome" to sing.
Originally, it was sang with an Irish accent. However, since Berlin sang it to Fanny with a Jewish accent, she continued with the Jewish accent, and Sadie became a Jewish comedian. Fanny's performance at the burlesque show inspired Florenz Ziegfeld, the revue king of Broadway, to contract her for his 1910 Follies. She was paid 75 dollars a week, and would become Broadway's highest earning performer. In 1918, Fanny married Nick Arnstein.
Arnstein was the mastermind of a questionable $5 million Wallstreet stock deal. In February 1920, the deal was front page news and referred to as "The Mastermind Case". Arnstein was indicted and sentenced to 2 years in prison. A gentleman and gambler, Nick was still the man of her dreams.
However, Fanny started to lose control over him. Her love for the theater stood betweem them, and it was for these reasons that they eventually divorced. After the great successes of the Follies, Ziegfeld asked her "Do you think you can make them cry?" With that he handed her the song "My Man", which was translated from the French "Mon Homme", to sing in the 1921 Follies. She sang it gently night after night in the same way, with her eyes closed, and everytime it was as if Nick was with her. Two years after her divorce from Arnstein, Fanny met and fell in love with songwriter Billy Rose. They married in February 1929.
But a songwriter was of no account in the theater society, and Rose soon became known as "Mister Brice". He decided that if he was to be recognized and respected by his peers, he would need to become a producer. He went on to produce the Broadway hits Sweet and Low and Crazy Quilt, which were created by both Fanny and Billy. Another big hit for Fanny was the creation of Baby Snooks. This character was based on an always "Why?" asking little daughter, and performed by Fanny in the 1934 and 1936 Follies.
Baby Snooks would also be a comic act with Judy Garland in the 1928 film Everybody Sing. Until the very end of Fanny's life, she performed Baby Snooks weekly on radio together with Hanley Stafford as Daddy. Fanny Brice died on May 29, 1951 in Beverly Hills, California. www.brice.nl (I highly recommend it!) Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more