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Lainie Kazan is an American actress and singer from the 1960s to the present. Kazan made her Broadway debut in 1961 with the musical The Happiest Girl in the World. She appeared the following year in another musical, Bravo Giovanni, and in 1963 served as Barbra Streisand's understudy for the lead role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. Her popularity increasing, Kazan posed nude for the October 1970 issue of Playboy. Her appearance in the magazine opened the door for her to headline at and operate two different Playboy Jazz Clubs and, overseen by Hugh Hefner himself, the clubs were called "Lainie's Lounge East" and "Lainie's Lounge West", with one located in Manhattan and the other in Los Angeles. Her Playboy photographs inspired the look of Jack Kirby's DC Comics superheroine, Big Barda. Later in life, she gained weight and transitioned away from the "sexy cabaret dancer" image and focused more on her stage, television and film career. She was nominated for the 1988 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for St. Elsewhere, and the 1993 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for My Favorite Year. Some of her movies include: Lady in Cement, My Favorite Year, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. As of 2021, she is still alive at the age of 79!
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