Lainie Kazan Undressed
Lainie Kazan (born Lainie Levine on May 15, 1940 in New York, New York|New York City) is an American actress and singer.
Born to an Ashkenazic Jewish father and a Sephardic Jewish mother, Kazan began her Broadway career as understudy to Barbra Streisand in ''Funny Girl'', finally getting to go on eighteen months into the run when the star was felled by a serious throat problem. Coincidentally, both had attended the same high school, Erasmus High School in Brooklyn, New York. Kazan's mother alerted the press and, encouraged by rave reviews for her performance, she quit the show and set out to establish herself in a singing career.
Image:LainieKazan.jpg|left|frame|Lainie Kazan (right) as the mother of bride Nia Vardalos in the hit film ''My Big Fat Greek Wedding''She appeared in numerous supper clubs across the country, and guested on Dean Martin's variety series twenty-six times. Other television work includes a recurring role as Aunt Freida on the Fran Drescher sitcom ''The Nanny'' and as Kirstie Alley's mother on ''Veronica's Closet'', and guest shots on ''St. Elsewhere'' (resulting in an Emmy nomination), ''The Paper Chase'', ''Touched by an Angel'', and ''Will & Grace''. She also was featured in ''My Big Fat Greek Wedding#"My Big Fat Greek Life"|My Big Fat Greek Life'', a short-lived series based on her film with Nia Vardalos.
Kazan returned to Broadway to recreate her film role for the musical adaptation of ''My Favorite Year'', earning a Tony Award nomination for her performance. More recently she completed a stint in ''The Vagina Monologues''. She has also appeared in regional productions of ''A Little Night Music'', ''Man of La Mancha'', ''Gypsy: A Musical Fable|Gypsy'', ''Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'', ''Hello, Dolly! (play/movie)|Hello Dolly!'', and ''Fiddler on the Roof'', among others.
Kazan's feature films include Francis Ford Coppola's ''One from the Heart'', ''My Favorite Year'' (both in 1982), ''Lust in the Dust'' (1985), ''Harry and the Hendersons'' (1987), ''Beaches'' (1988), ''The Cemetery Club'' (1993), ''My Big Fat Greek Wedding'' (2002) and ''Gigli'' (2003).
In recent years, Kazan has kept busy performing on concert stages and in Las Vegas, Nevada|Las Vegas and Atlantic City, New Jersey|Atlantic City showrooms. She serves on the board for the Young Musician's Foundation, AIDS Project LA, and B'nai Brith.
Kazan posed for a spread in ''Playboy magazine'' that appeared in the October, 1970, issue, an interesting departure from the magazine's usual norm of ultra-slender women.