Definitions

Fanny

Fanny

[fan-ee]
Elssler, Fanny, 1810-84, Austrian dancer. The youngest daughter of Johann Elssler, copyist and valet of Haydn, she made her debut (1833) in London. She danced at the Paris Opéra (1834-39) and in London (1838-40). Her forte was folk dancing, especially of the cachucha, the cracovienne, and the tarantella. She toured (1840-42) the United States and after appearances throughout Europe retired in 1851. She was one of the most important ballerinas of the Romantic era; her dancing was sensuous, earthy, and fired by great energy. Her sister, Thérèse, often supported her as partner.
Burney, Fanny, later Madame D'Arblay, 1752-1840, English novelist, daughter of Charles Burney, the composer, organist, and music scholar. Although she received no formal education, she read prodigiously and had the benefit of conversation with her father's famous friends, including David Garrick, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Samuel Crisp. Her first novel and best-known book, Evelina (1778), was published anonymously, but she soon acknowledged its authorship and achieved literary prominence. She became an intimate friend of Samuel Johnson and his circle. Her second novel, Cecilia, appeared in 1782, Camilla in 1796, and The Wanderer in 1814. The theme of Burney's books is the entry into society of a virtuous but inexperienced young girl, her mistakes, and her gradual coming of age. She spent five unhappy years (1786-91) as a member of Queen Charlotte's household. In 1793 she married General D'Arblay, a French émigré. Her voluminous journals and letters give an excellent account of English culture and society from 1768 to 1840.

See biographies by E. Hahn (1950) and C. Harman (2001); studies by M. E. Adelstein (1969), T. G. Wallace, ed. (1984), and K. Straub (1988).

Brice, Fanny or Fannie, 1891-1951, American comedienne, b. New York City as Fanny Borach. Brice appeared in burlesque and vaudeville from 1906. She starred in the Ziegfeld "Follies" from 1910 onward, and in Broadway shows, emphasizing her plainness by means of a comic awkwardness. In 1937 she created for radio the popular role of Baby Snooks. She appeared in the films My Man (1928), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), and Ziegfeld Follies (1944). Three films have been based on her life, including Funny Girl (1968).

See biography by N. Katkov (1953).

Kemble, Fanny: see under Kemble, Roger.

(born June 23, 1810, Vienna, Austria—died Nov. 27, 1884, Vienna) Austrian ballerina. She studied in Vienna and toured in Europe before making her Paris Opéra debut in 1834. Her warm, spirited style, contrasting with the cool, academic style of the then-reigning Marie Taglioni, made her an immediate success. She introduced theatricalized folk dance (character dance) into ballet. During 1840–42 Elssler toured the U.S., earning wild adulation. She returned to Europe and toured until her retirement to Vienna in 1851.

Learn more about Elssler, Fanny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Frances Burney

Fanny Burney, detail of an oil painting by her brother, E.F. Burney; in the National Portrait elipsis

(born June 13, 1752, King's Lynn, Norfolk, Eng.—died Jan. 6, 1840, London) English novelist. The self-educated daughter of Charles Burney, she wrote lively accounts of his social musical evenings. Her habit of recording observations of society led to Evelina (1778), an epistolary novel about an unsure young girl's social development; a landmark in the evolution of the novel of manners, it pointed the way to Jane Austen's novels. Her later novels include Cecilia (1782) and the potboiler Camilla (1796).

Learn more about Burney (d'Arblay), Fanny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Fannie Borach

Fanny Brice as Baby Snooks.

(born Oct. 29, 1891, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died May 29, 1951, Los Angeles, Calif.) U.S. comedian and singer. She played in vaudeville and burlesque shows, where the producer Florenz Ziegfeld discovered her in 1910. She became a headliner in his Follies with her musical numbers and comedy routines, including satiric sketches of ballet dancers and fan dancers as well as affecting torch songs such as “My Man.” The character of Baby Snooks, an incorrigible little girl, which she created to amuse her friends, became a Follies favourite, and in that character Brice was featured on radio from 1936 until her death. The Broadway musical Funny Girl (1964; film, 1968) was based on her life.

Learn more about Brice, Fanny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born June 23, 1810, Vienna, Austria—died Nov. 27, 1884, Vienna) Austrian ballerina. She studied in Vienna and toured in Europe before making her Paris Opéra debut in 1834. Her warm, spirited style, contrasting with the cool, academic style of the then-reigning Marie Taglioni, made her an immediate success. She introduced theatricalized folk dance (character dance) into ballet. During 1840–42 Elssler toured the U.S., earning wild adulation. She returned to Europe and toured until her retirement to Vienna in 1851.

Learn more about Elssler, Fanny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Fannie Borach

Fanny Brice as Baby Snooks.

(born Oct. 29, 1891, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died May 29, 1951, Los Angeles, Calif.) U.S. comedian and singer. She played in vaudeville and burlesque shows, where the producer Florenz Ziegfeld discovered her in 1910. She became a headliner in his Follies with her musical numbers and comedy routines, including satiric sketches of ballet dancers and fan dancers as well as affecting torch songs such as “My Man.” The character of Baby Snooks, an incorrigible little girl, which she created to amuse her friends, became a Follies favourite, and in that character Brice was featured on radio from 1936 until her death. The Broadway musical Funny Girl (1964; film, 1968) was based on her life.

Learn more about Brice, Fanny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Fanny or Fannie is a given name—a pet form of FrancesPeople:

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