Barbra Streisand’s life has been one of hard work (she has won 10 Grammys) and interesting relationships (she dated Don Johnson and Clint Eastwood among many other stars), but something has been missing.
The superstar turned author, who spilled the tea on some of her famous ex-boyfriends in her forthcoming memoir My Name Is Barbra, said she has not had much fun.
‘I haven’t had much fun in my life, to tell you the truth. And I want to have more fun,’ she told the BBC in an interview about her tell-all book, which will be released on Tuesday.
The icon added that she hopes to have more fun with her longtime husband, James Brolin.
The 81-year-old singer and the 83-year-old actor wed in 1998.
Missing: Barbra Streisand ‘s life has been one of hard work and amazing success, but something has been missing. ‘I haven’t had much fun in my life… And I want to have more fun,’ she told the BBC in an interview about her memoir My Name is Barbra. Pictured in Los Angeles in June 2018
Memoir: Streisand’s memoir, My Name is Barbra, is scheduled for release on Tuesday
The 81-year-old EGOT began her life in Brooklyn, New York.
Her father, Emmanuel, died from a cerebral hemorrhage when she was 15 months old, leaving her and her widowed mother in poverty.
Young Barbra had a hot water bottle she turned into a doll, and would hug it at night until she fell asleep.
Her mother, Diana, would re-marry, but the future star did not have a good relationship with her step-father.
‘I don’t remember, ever, him talking to me or asking me any questions… How am I? How is school? Anything,’ she told the outlet.
The Grammy winner left home at age 16, with a goal.
‘I have to become famous, just so I can get someone else to make my bed,’ she said.
In the book, the Yentl writer, director and star reveals she took her first step on the road to fame when she entered a talent contest at a gay bar in Manhattan.
The prize was $50 and a meal.
She wowed the crowd with a selection of Broadway tunes that began with A Sleepin’ Bee. When she finished her set, the crowd was silent, then erupted in thunderous applause.
Talent contest: A talent contest in Manhattan would put Streisand on the road to fame, resulting in her Tony nominated and Oscar winning role at Broadway legend Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (Pictured in 1968’s Funny Girl)
Harsh critics: In spite of her amazing talent, critics put a lot of emphasis on her appearance in assessments that today would be considered bullying (Pictured in 1968’s Funny Girl)
Looks: ‘An amiable anteater? That’s how I was described at 19 in one of my first reviews as a professional actress.,’ she wrote. ‘Over the next year I was also called a…”a sour persimmon, a furious hamster, a myopic gazelle, and a seasick ferret.” Yikes, was I really that odd looking?’ (Pictured in London in 1969)
Hurt: ‘I wish I could say none of this affected me, but it did. Even after all these years, I’m still kind of hurt by the insults and can’t quite believe the praise,’ she shared in the memoir (Pictured in 1970’s The Owl and the Pussycat)
The girlfriend of a comedian named Tiger Haynes, told her after the performance a prophetic ‘little girl, I see dollar signs all over you.’
The rising star soon began singing in clubs in Greenwich village, where celebrities, and entertainment executives went.
Her shows attracted the attention of playwright and director Arthur Laurents, who hired here for a small comedic role in I Can Get It For Your Wholesale.
At the premiere, the first time actress got a standing ovation that reportedly lasted five minutes after she sang her number.
She received a Tony nomination for the part, which opened the way for her leading lady role in Funny Girl.
The now seasoned performer received another Tony nomination for her portrayal of real-life Broadway legend Fanny Brice. She would go on to win an Oscar for her performance as Brice in the 1968 film.
EGOT: During her extraordinary career, Streisand, 81, has earned multiple Grammys, an Emmy, an Academy Award and a Tony
In spite of her amazing talent, critics put a lot of emphasis on her appearance in assessments that today would be considered bullying.
In an excerpt from the audio book on YouTube, the author reads some of the cruel things written about her at the time.
‘An amiable anteater? That’s how I was described at 19 in one of my first reviews as a professional actress,’ she wrote.
‘Over the next year I was also called a, let’s see, “a sour persimmon, a furious hamster, a myopic gazelle, and a seasick ferret.” Yikes, was I really that odd looking?’
The actress described the difference in public opinion after she began her starring role in Funny Girl.
‘My face was exactly the same, but now I was being compared to “an ancient oracle, Nefertiti, and a Babylonian queen,” I love those descriptions,’ she quipped.
‘Apparently, I also had a “pharaonic profile and scarab eyes.”‘
‘I think that was supposed to be a compliment, though I have to admit that one of those eyes appears, well, a little cross-eyed at times, and it seemed like the pharaoh had a big schnoz’ she joked.
‘I wish I could say none of this affected me, but it did. Even after all these years, I’m still kind of hurt by the insults and can’t quite believe the praise,’ she shared.
If the best revenge is living well, the Oscar winner has achieved that goal.
She has been married for 25 years for fellow actor James Brolin, 83, whom she met through a setup at a dinner party.
‘Everyone could see it immediately,’ Brolin’s manager Jeff Wald told McCalls in 1998.
‘They didn’t look up, they didn’t talk to anyone else, I don’t even think they ate. And then at the end, they left together.’
Happiness: The superstar has found lasting happiness with her husband of 25 years, James Brolin, 83, whom she met through a setup via friends (Pictured in Washington, DC in February 1998)
Wander: ‘I want to live life,’ she said. ‘I want to get in my husband’s truck and just wander, hopefully with the children somewhere near us,’ she claimed. ‘Life is fun for me when they come over. They love playing with the dogs and we have fun’ (Pictured in Los Angeles in August 2016)
Because of the attention that followed the People singer everywhere, the couple would go driving in Brolin’s truck for dates, often driving an hour or so away to San Bernardino county, California with the Marcus Welby M.D actor behind the wheel and Streisand making sandwiches in her lap.
‘Barbra’s really never done any of that kind of stuff. She’s never really seen that side of America,’ he told the magazine.
Now family is the focus for the doting wife, mother and grandmother.
Streisand shares her son Jason, 56, with her ex-husband Elliott Gould, and is step-mom to Brolin’s children Josh, 55, Jess, 52, and Molly, 35.
Together they are grandparents to Josh’s four kids, Trevor, 35, Eden, 29, Westlyn, five and Chapel, two.
‘I want to live life,’ she said. ‘I want to get in my husband’s truck and just wander, hopefully with the children somewhere near us.’
‘Life is fun for me when they come over. They love playing with the dogs and we have fun.’
In her book, Streisand says she met Brolin ‘at a point in my life when I had basically given up on finding someone. And frankly, I was all right with being on my own.’
I had my son, I had great friends to keep me company, my work was fulfilling, and I loved my new house in Malibu overlooking the ocean,’ she said, adding, ‘Maybe you have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with someone else.’