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Comedy

Bea Arthur

Bea Arthur made a career of playing formidable, opinionated women in movies and on television.

Sophie Tucker

“The Last of the Red-Hot Mamas,” Sophie Tucker defied conventions about gender, age, weight, and ethnicity with her saucy comic banter and music.

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand’s outsized personality, combined with her voice and acting talents, made her one of the most successful performers of the twentieth century.

Madeline Kahn

Madeline Kahn acted in dramas and musicals on stage, film, and television, but she was best known for her comedic roles as Mel Brooks’s favorite female lead.

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers carved a place for herself among the Hollywood elite as a comedian and fashion commentator for whom no subject was ever taboo.

Gilda Radner

A gifted comedian, Gilda Radner made a name for herself as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live.

Bette Midler

Unapologetically bawdy, Bette Midler used elements from earlier brassy entertainers like Sophie Tucker in her comedy and music, but with a style that was all her own.

Goldie Hawn

As an actress, Goldie Hawn became known for playing dumb blondes, but behind the camera, she was determined to fulfill her vision as an executive producer and director.

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.

Naomi Weisstein

Naomi Weisstein’s career ran the gamut from feminist rock musician to groundbreaking psychologist to stand-up comedian.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Comedy." (Viewed on May 26, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/comedy>.

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