Born in Brooklyn, New York, Lainie Kazan made herself famous first as a sexy nightclub singer and later as an acclaimed actress. She has performed in nightclubs, theaters, on television and in films. A graduate of Hofstra University, Kazan frequently returns to New York to visit her mother, who still lives in the apartment where she grew up. Lainie Kazan gained notoriety as a young singer when she understudied for Barbra Streisand in Broadway's Funny Girl. She performed one matinee and one evening performance, which led to numerous offers including spots on television and variety shows.