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Finding Aid for the Fanny Brice papers, 1937-1945
PASC 85  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Related Material
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID

  • Title: Fanny Brice papers
    Collection number: PASC 85
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 13.4 linear ft. (32 boxes and 1 flat box)
    Date (inclusive): 1937-1945
    Abstract: Fanny Brice earned a reputation as a vaudeville star before creating some of her best-loved comedic personae for radio. The bulk of the collection consists of Baby Snooks scripts representing the radio programs Maxwell House presents good news, Maxwell House coffee time, Maxwell House iced coffee time, Post Toasties time, and Toasties time. Additionally, there are a small amount of photographs, typed manuscript pages for what appears to be Brice's autobiography, and Frank Morgan spots and annotated scripts.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.
    Creator: Brice, Fanny

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Mrs. Ray (Frances) Stark and William Brice, 1988.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Fanny Brice Papers (Collection PASC 85). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    Biography

    Born Fania Borach on October 29, 1891, Brice was the child of Jewish immigrants who had settled on New York's Lower East Side. Performing in The Transatlantic Burlesquers (1907-1908) as chorus girl Fannie Borach, she joined the cast of The Girls from Happyland for the 1908-1909 season; it marked her first appearance as Fanny Brice, the name she used for the rest of her life. In Max Spiegel's The College Girls she won praise for her rendition of Sadie Salome, Go Home; the song was the first Brice performed with a Yiddish accent. Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr., hired her for his Follies of 1910 and 1911. For the next four years she performed in musical revues and vaudville. She began her collaboration with songwriter Blanche Merrill in 1915, and Merrill, who specialized in writing for women, created material that suited her. It was this partnership that helped her rise to stardom in The Ziegfeld Follies of 1916 and 1917. Although she found sucess in the Follies, she wanted to develop herself as a dramatic actress, but found little victory in her attempts with Why Worry? (1918) and later David Belasco's production, Fanny (1926)
    From 1918 to 1927, Brice continued her stage career and appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1920, 1921, and 1923; four Ziegfeld shows, Irving Berlin's Music Box Revue (1924) and the Hollywood Music Box Revue (1927). She made several records, produced Is Zat So? and The Brown Derby, and also maintained a steady vaudeville presence. During this time, she refined her comedic craft and had some of her best comic material in the Follies of 1921, including spoofs of Ethel Barrymore in Camille and the notable song Second Hand Rose. In the late 1920s, she turned her attention to Hollywood and motion pictures. Promoted by Warner Brothers as a "female Jolson," Brice became the first woman to star in a sound motion picture. She would make six films in all including: My Man, Be Yourself (1930), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), Everybody Sing (1938) and Ziegfeld Follies (1946). Billy Rose, her third husband show cased her talent in the musical revues Sweet and Low (1930) and Crazy Quilt (1931). She also began a successful series of radio broadcasts and achieved her greatest stage triumphs in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1934 and 1936.
    Brice premired the character Baby Snooks on a radio broadcast called The Ziegfield Follies in 1936. In 1937, with her marriage to Billy Rose ending, she moved to California and launched a successful career on radio with Baby Snooks. That same year, she joined NBC in Good News of 1938. Snooks became a regular part of the program and was a mainstay on radio for the next 14-years. Good News was continued to 1939, but in March 1940, it was cut to a half hour program. Known as Maxwell House Coffee Time, it was cut to a 15-minute segment. In 1944, Brice emerged again on CBS with her own half hour Baby Snooks show; it was sponsored by Post Cereals and later Sanka Coffee. In 1948, she went off the air during a highly publicized contract dispute caused by competition from the burgeoning television industry. In 1949, Brice took Snooks to NBC Tuesday nights; it is reported that she had no interest in making the transition to television. Brice also began writing an autobiography she would not live to complete. She suffered a stroke on May 24, 1951 and died in Los Angeles, five days later, without regaining consciousness.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of materials related to career of comediene and actress Fanny Brice. The bulk of the collection is script material representing Brice's radio career playing the character of Baby Snooks on the radio programs Maxwell House presents good news (1938, 1939, and 1940), Maxwell House coffee time, Maxwell House iced coffee time, Post Toasties time, and Toasties time. Additionally, there are a small amount of photographs, typed manuscript pages for what appears to be Brice's autobiography, and Frank Morgan spots and annotated scripts.Collection consists primarily of radio scripts for Baby Snooks episodes featuring Fanny Brice.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Radio Projects
    2. Peronsal Papers

    Related Material

    David Freedman Papers (Collection 749).  UCLA Library Special Collections.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 2294130 

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Brice, Fanny--Archives
    Actresses--United States--Archives.
    Women comedians--California--Archival resources.