Billy Rose

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First meeting with Billy Rose

Fanny had heard of Helen Morgan's successful debut at the Backstage Club, and she had heard of enterprising Billy. She asked to meet him. Fanny, who was in Ziegfelds Follies at the time, was at a table in the club when Billy was presented. He noticed her face fell when she saw him. "I know you're disappointed," he said, "what did you expect, a tall Spaniard with eyes like live coals?"

Billy Rose proposes

"Let's get married, Fanny."
"A-a-a-a-a-a-h-h-h-h!"
"What do you say, Fanny?"
"What do I say about what?"
"About getting married?"
"Who?"
"You. You and me."
"You and me what?"
"You and me getting married."
"You and me?"
"Yes. You and me."
"A-a-a-a-a-a-h-h-h-h!"
"Ah, what?"
"Quit your kidding."
"I'm not kidding, Fanny."
"Okay, sucker. If it means that much to you, we'll get married."

The marriage

On February 8, 1929, Billy Rose and Fanny Brice were married at City Hall, with mayor Jimmy Walker officiating. Just before the ceremony, Rose turned to Walker and said "I'll give you a dollar now and the other dollar if it's a success."

The life with Billy was very stimulating. It was a different kind of a thing, and of course they had that much in common - their work. Fanny could never stop and talk with Nick Arnstein about her work.

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