The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

A star really was born with Barbra Streisand. Even as a writer she has wowed me


Back in 1976 a young Glaswegian boy went to the ABC cinema, or The Pictures as it was known, on Sauchiehal­l Street to see A Star Is Born and promptly fell in love.

Esther Hoffman Howard was her name, or at least it was in the movie. In real life she was Barbra Streisand and the boy was…me!

Miss Streisand has finally released her biography, My Name Is Barbra, and it also doesn’t disappoint.

I’ve been a huge fan of Barbra for decades but they say never meet you idols. Well I have now met her four times and every time she never fails to disappoint!

Her book is fantastic and packed with anecdotes from her fascinatin­g life.

One of my favourite movie facts is Elvis was almost cast opposite Barbra in A Star Is Born until Colonel Tom Parker vetoed it.

And Barbra recounts a time when she went to see Elvis about A Star Is Born.

“I was such an Elvis fan and he was really going through what the movie was about. A star who was diminishin­g in light.

“We went to see him. And he said to me, ‘Could you give me advice? I have a girlfriend of mine. Well, she’s up on a plane. I put her up on a plane because she doesn’t understand that I need some private time before I go on stage.’

“And I said, ‘You have to tell her the truth. You can’t have her in a plane! Let her down. Truth always works, you know? Truth is so powerful.”

Barbra revealed she wrote the book after the disappoint­ment of not getting some movies she wanted to make greenlit.

It turned out being an author really fit her lifestyle. I was so disappoint­ed that I didn’t get to make those movies, so the only thing I could do that I haven’t done before was write a book,” she said.

“And I enjoy quiet time, I enjoy staying in my bed!

“I don’t enjoy looking back because I always feel you’ve been there, done’s hard to write about yourself: what you were like years ago, bringing up memories.

“Thank God I had a researcher who could look me up because I never read books about myself.”

It turns out Barbra read one biography about herself, but she wasn’t impressed.

“Each one [of these books] sort of copies the lies or the myths of what a person has become,” she said.

Barbra is very open about her dating history in her autobiogra­phy, and admitted her husband, the actor James Brolin, to whom she’s been married for 25 years, didn’t read it. But mostly because it was a long book!

“I would read him passages,” added Barbra. “Sometimes because we were lying in the same bed together, I’d say ‘which wording do you like?’

“So he was encouragin­g but he hasn’t read it yet.”

Plenty of time to catch up with it over the Christmas holidays, James!

 ?? ?? ● Ross King with his movie
hero Barbra Streisand.
● Ross King with his movie hero Barbra Streisand.

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