Fania Borach, who became Fanny Brice, was involved in early 20th century theatre. She created a new career for herself in the 30's with her popular Baby Snooks character, a role she continued playing right up until her death.
This biography covers her entire life, from her playboy father and frustrated mother, to her ill-fated marriages to Nicky Arnstein and Billy Rose, to her resurgence of popularity in radio. The book is very even-handed in its coverage of Brice's life, and makes no bones about the fact that though she adored Arnstein, he was a crook and a creep, and he used her money and her love shamelessly.
Though Ms. Brice was Jewish, she seemed to pay little attention to "ethnic" causes, and responded to the start of WWII by canceling all her newspaper and magazine subscriptions because she didn't want to be bothered with the news about it. She was thoroughly professional, but her co-workers, especially in the later part of her life, remember her as someone who didn't really value their contributions to her shows and further as rather hard-edged. She had a few very close friends, and that was enough for Fanny.
If you grew up on Barbra Streisand's portrayal of Brice in Funny Girl, and assumed that's how the story really went, this book will be a big surprise to you. The real story is actually much more interesting.
This report prepared by Graceann Maciolek