Fanny Brice

The original funny girl, Fanny Brice earned a reputation as a vaudeville star before creating some of her best-loved comedic personae for radio. Brice was determined to break into show business from an early age and developed her comic talents playing burlesque shows before catching her first break with the Ziegfield Follies in 1910. She began performing in musical reviews in New York and London, using broad physical comedy and funny accents, but it was her more serious torch song, “My Man” that audiences thronged to hear. With the advent of “talkies,” Brice tried to break into the movie business, but never felt comfortable in front of the camera. Instead, she turned back to the Ziegfield Follies, creating some of her funniest characters like “Soul Saving Sadie” and “Baby Snooks,” the terrible toddler who would become her best-known persona. In 1938, she brought Baby Snooks to radio, dressing as the toddler to get fully into character in the sound booth. She played the part for more than ten years, delighting audiences until the end.

Topics: Radio, Comedy, Theater

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Actress, comedian, and singer, Fanny Brice (1891 – 1951) turned to show business to fulfill her version of the American dream— and for over forty years, this "clown with the Yiddish-accent" delighted audiences throughout the country.

Institution: Private collection.

Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

Date of Death
Actress, Comedian, Singer

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Fanny Brice." (Viewed on April 11, 2021) <>.


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