KAZAN, LAINIE (Levine; 1940– ), U.S. singer, actress. A Brooklyn native, Kazan has achieved considerable success as an actress in film, television, and the stage and as a singer in both musicals and nightclub acts. Her big break came as Barbra *Streisand's understudy in the Broadway production of Funny Girl, replacing Streisand for two shows and earning rave reviews. Kazan began starring in nightclub acts and musicals before making the jump into film and television. In 1982, she received a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Jewish mother Belle Carroca in My Favorite Year (1982). She would later receive a Tony award nomination for her reprisal of the same role in the Broadway musical adaptation. Kazan's other notable film credits include a role in fellow Hofstra alumnus Francis Ford Coppola's One From the Heart (1982) and such films as 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). Kazan has made many television appearances over a period of four decades, receiving an Emmy nomination for her guest role on St. Elsewhere, appearing in repeat roles on The Nanny, Veronica's Closet, Beverly Hills 90210, and My Big Fat Greek Life as well as making guest appearances on shows such as The Paper Chase, Touched By An Angel, and Will and Grace.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.