Saturday, October 29, 2011

On October 29

On this day in ...
... 1891 (120 years ago today), a daughter, Fania Borach, was born on New York's Lower East Side to Jewish immigrants -- her mother, Hungary-born Rose Stern, worked in a garment factory, and her father, Alsace-born Charles Borach, as a bartender. Her parents would separate, and the girl, a "chronic truant," would embark early upon a theatrical career that included much singing, dancing, and wisecracking in burlesque revues. Using the stage name Fanny Brice, she would become "[o]ne of America's great clowns," reliant
'on a Yiddish accent and a flair for zany parody. In an era when ethnic comedy was the norm, she delighted audiences for more than forty years and won a following in almost every branch of American show business.'

The clip below includes many photos -- plus a circa-1920s audio track of her singing "My Man" -- that indicate a much broader performance range. Brice was also the 1st woman to start in a "talkie," a motion picture with sound. She died in Los Angeles from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1951, at age 59.

(Prior October 29 posts are here, here, here, and here.)

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