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The Final Resting Place of Fanny Brice.
Fanny Brice (Borach) 29th October 1891 - 29th May 1951
Located behind the Garden of Serenity.
Fanny Brice (October 29, 1891 – May 29, 1951) was a popular and influential United States comedian, singer, and entertainer, remembered best for her many stage, radio and film appearances, her phonograph records, and as the creator and star of Baby Snooks. After her death she was depicted on stage and film by Barbra Streisand as Funny Girl.
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 Ziegfeld 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."
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 (She, Ray Bolger and Harriet Hoctor were the only original Ziegfeld performers to portray themselves 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.
From the 1930s until her death in 1951, Fanny made a radio presence as a bratty toddler named Snooks, a role she first premiered in a Follies' skit. With first Alan Reed (later known as Falstaff in Fred Allen's famed "Allen's Alley" skits) and then Hanley Stafford as her bedeviled Daddy, Baby Snooks premiered in Ziegfeld Follies of the Air in February 1936 on CBS. She moved to NBC in December 1937, performing the Snooks routines as part of the Good News show, then back to CBS on Maxwell House Time, the half-hour divided between the Snooks sketches and comedian Frank Morgan, in September 1944. She was back to NBC in November 1948, in a full show of her own, first called Toasties Time but soon enough known as The Baby Snooks Show.
Brice was so meticulous about the show and the title character that she was known to perform in costume as a toddler girl even though none but the radio studio audience could see her. She was 45 years old when the character began her long radio life. In addition to Reed and then Stafford, her co-stars included Lalive Brownell, Lois Corbet, and Arlene Harris playing her mother, future television star Danny Thomas as Jerry, Charlie Cantor as Uncle Louie, and Ken Christy as Mr. Weemish. And she was completely devoted to the character, as she told biographer Norman Katkov:
Snooks is just the kid I used to be. She's my kind of youngster, the type I like. She has imagination. She's eager. She's alive. With all her deviltry, she is still a good kid, never vicious or mean. I love Snooks, and when I play her I do it as seriously as if she were real. I am Snooks. For twenty minutes or so, Fanny Brice ceases to exist. One of Brice's Baby Snooks writers, Everett Freeman, told Katkov Brice didn't like to rehearse the role but always snapped to on the air, and lost herself completely in the character: While she was on the air she was Baby Snooks. And after the show, for an hour after the show, she was still Baby Snooks. The Snooks voice disappeared, of course, but the Snooks temperament, thinking, actions, were all there.
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'd previously done time in 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.
Brice and Stafford brought Baby Snooks and Daddy to Tallulah Bankhead's legendary big-budget, large-scale radio variety show, The Big Show, in November, 1950, sharing the bill with Groucho Marx and Jane Powell, among others, and performing a skit in which Snooks knocks on Bankhead's dressing room door for advice on becoming an actress when she grew up in spite of Daddy's warning that she already lacked what it took.
Six months later her Big Show appearance, Fanny Brice died in Hollywood, California at the age of 59 of a cerebral hemorrhage. She is now interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. The 29 May 1951 episode of The Baby Snooks Show was broadcast as a memorial to the star who created the brattish toddler, crowned by Hanley Stafford's brief on-air eulogy: "We have lost a very real, a very warm, a very wonderful woman."