Fanny Brice Fanny Brice, 1891-1951
William Sharp, circa 1940
National Portrait Gallery

Perhaps more than any of her contemporaries, Fanny Brice was the performer most associated with Ziegfield and his Follies. Making her debut in the 1910 Follies, she subsequently appeared in six more Ziegfield-supervised editions, starred in two posthumous installments produced by the Shuberts, played herself in a fictionalized film biography of the great film impresario, and starred in a glossy mid 1940s MGM film adaptation. Although she was far-removed from the classic long-stemmed beauties whom Ziegfield traditionally favored, she was his urban Rose, whether expressed in the broad ethnic humor of "Second Hand Rose" or the tear-stained pathos of "Rose of Washington Square."