(Susan King’s article appeared in the LA Times, 3/17; via Pam Green/Patricia N. Saffran.)
Lainie Kazan went from understudy to star — and it wasn't by accident.
Kazan was the understudy five decades ago for Barbra Streisand in her well-known Broadway role as Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl." Though she had a part in the musical as a Ziegfeld showgirl, Kazan waited 18 months to play the lead.
"Barbra didn't want me to go on," Kazan recalled. "I can't blame her. It was her part, her everything."