Lainie Kazan

Tall, high-energy nightclub chanteuse and actress who in the 1980s concentrated on a successful feature film and TV acting career. A little bit manic, sometimes sultry, typically frizzy-haired, Kazan received her big break, when, as Barbra Streisand's understudy in the Broadway musical "Funny Girl," she got to go on for one matinee and one evening performance. Her forceful singing and performing style received some notice, and within several years, Kazan had an album, a TV special, and several feature roles to her credit. She wasn't typical leading lady material and her films were largely unworthy of her; "Dayton's Devils" (1968), for instance, was distinguished largely by her rendition of "Sunny." For a number of years, she concentrated on her singing, and in the late 1970s, successfully opened cabarets, Lainie's Room and Lainie's Room East, in Los Angeles and New York, respectively.