Barbra Streisand, the legendary singer and actor, has opened up about her early experiences with sexism and the challenges she faced during her career in her upcoming memoir, shedding light on both the trials and triumphs that have defined her life.
One of the revelations in her memoir concerns an incident during her early years on Broadway in the 1960s when she starred in “Funny Girl.” Streisand recalled a fraught relationship with Sydney Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin’s son. Their interaction left her deeply affected and contributed to the stage fright that eventually led to a 27-year hiatus from live concerts.
Streisand described how Sydney Chaplin developed a crush on her, and when she rebuffed his advances, he turned cruel, muttering curse words while she was on stage. This behavior left her flustered and played a role in her decision to step away from live performances for nearly three decades.
The memoir also delves into Streisand’s experiences with other male collaborators who proved challenging during her career. Walter Matthau, who worked with her on “Hello, Dolly!” humiliated her with demeaning remarks. Frank Pierson, who directed the 1976 version of “A Star is Born,” publicly criticized Streisand, calling her a control freak who demanded more closeups.
However, Streisand’s book also acknowledges the men who were enchanted by her, including Omar Sharif, Prince Charles, and Marlon Brando. Each of them had their own unique encounters with the iconic performer.
Streisand’s memoir provides insight into her journey from her challenging childhood, marked by the death of her father when she was 15 months old and a difficult relationship with her mother’s new husband, to her rise to stardom. Leaving home at 16, she worked as a clerk and a theatre usher while dreaming of becoming an actress.
Her dreams began to come true when she entered a talent contest in 1960, which led to bookings at venues in Greenwich Village. Streisand’s breakthrough came with her role in “Funny Girl,” earning her the first of her two Oscars.
Her career subsequently skyrocketed, with iconic roles in films like “What’s Up, Doc?,” “The Owl and the Pussycat,” and “The Way We Were.” As a recording artist, she achieved massive success with hits like “Woman in Love,” “Evergreen,” and “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough),” becoming one of the top-selling female artists of all time.
In 1983, Streisand made her directorial debut with “Yentl,” a groundbreaking film where she served as the writer, producer, director, and star. During the shoot in England, she found the country to be less sexist than the United States, highlighting the impact of strong female leadership in the UK at the time.
Streisand’s memoir serves as a window into her life, dispelling myths while sharing intimate stories that have shaped her journey. Her candid account reflects on both the challenges she faced and the heights she reached in her iconic career. From her early struggles to her remarkable achievements, Streisand’s life story is one of resilience, talent, and determination.