Funny Girl is a 1964 semi-biographical musical that tells the story of Broadway star Fanny Brice. It featured a book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill. The original production starred Barbra Streisand, Sydney Chaplin, Kay Medford, Danny Meehan and Jean Stapleton, and was presented by Brice's son-in-law, Ray Stark. The original production was nominated for eight Tony Awards, but won none.
The film version, released in 1968, re-starred Streisand and Medford, Omar Sharif, Anne Francis (whose role was severely cut), Walter Pidgeon, and, in a bit part, Mae Questel. The movie was directed by William Wyler. Streisand won the Academy Award for Best Actress (she tied with Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter); the film was also nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Kay Medford), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Score of a Musical Picture (Original or Adaptation), Best Music, Song (Jule Styne and Bob Merrill for "Funny Girl"), Best Picture and Best Sound.
A film sequel to Funny Girl followed in 1975, entitled Funny Lady. Together, both films make a sweet homage (if historically inaccurate) to the life of the talented comedienne and performer Fanny Brice. A previous Hollywood biopic allegedly based on Brice's life was released in 1939 and was entitled Rose of Washington Square; it starred Alice Faye, Tyrone Power, and Al Jolson.