Biggest revelations from Barbra Streisand’s 992-page memoir

Barbra Streisand’s long-awaited biography, My Name is Barbra, was released this week, revealing details about the actress and singer’s early career, including being sought by men such as Marlon Brando and King Charles, as well as the pressure she endured to change her appearance.

In the book, Streisand wrote that Sydney Chaplin, her Funny Girl costar on Broadway and Charlie Chaplin’s son, called her “vicious names” on stage after she ended a brief flirtation between the two, making her feel “physically ill” and leading Chaplin to face charges from the Actors’ Equity Association (according to The Daily Beast). She also described being pursued by Marlon Brando, whom she regretted rejecting; King Charles, who Streisand says called her “devastatingly attractive” with “great sex appeal”; and Yentl co-star Mandy Patinkin, who allegedly told Streisand he “thought we were going to have an affair” (according to The New York Times and USA TODAY).

Streisand also claims that she was repeatedly told that the size of her nose would impede her success, and that Columbia Records attempted to remove the bump from her nose on her The Way We Were album cover, but she refused to consider plastic surgery for fear of compromising her vocal abilities. She dismissed rumors that she and Judy Garland had a rivalry—which were pushed by the media, despite the fact that the two famously sang on The Judy Garland Show together—as “made up,” stating Garland was a “completely generous” friend who shared advice, including the plea: “Don’t let them do to you what they did to me” (source: Variety).

She said she was “appalled” to hear of her alleged role in creating what is known as the “Streisand effect,” the idea that attempting to hide information inadvertently draws attention to it—she denied attempting to remove a picture of her house from the California Coastal Records Project’s website, clarifying that she instead requested that her name not be published alongside the photo online for security reasons (according to The Daily Beast). Streisand discussed her negative experiences with men on set, including being yelled at by Walter Matthau on the set of Hello, Dolly!, being scared by film producer Jon Peters’ temper, and alleging Frank Pierson “blackmailed” his way to directing A Star is Born and writing a “cruel” article disparaging her (according to The Daily Beast).

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