Barbra Streisand’s memoir “My Name is Barbra” was released on Tuesday, and one of the anecdotes in the long-in-the-works autobiography is one about how Judy Garland warned her not to let Hollywood give her the same treatment.
In 1963, Garland had her own TV show on CBS and dueted with the then-rising star Streisand on one episode.
“Judy and I became friends. … And I remember her saying something I never quite understood: ‘Don’t let them do to you what they did to me.’ I should have asked her what she meant, but I didn’t want to appear too nosy,” Streisand wrote in an excerpt shared with People.
“Six years after we did [her show], she was dead at the age of 47,” Streisand lamented. “What a tragedy… and such a loss. She was an extraordinary talent.”
Garland, a former child star, was notoriously put on diet drugs by the studios when she reached puberty and then unceremoniously dumped in one of the most tragic stories of Hollywood exploitation. She died in 1969 of an accidental barbiturate overdose.
Streisand also wrote that she and Garland immediately hit it off. “People were looking for some sort of rivalry between us. And when they couldn’t find anything, they made it up. I found Judy to be completely generous. We sang a medley of songs, taking turns, and she wasn’t just focused on herself. She watched me and responded to me. She would reach out and brush back a strand of my hair, like a mother.”
The EGOT winner says that Garland’s daughter Liza Minnelli told her her mother was in awe of Streisand’s talent. “Her mother’s first reaction on hearing me sing was to say, ‘I’m never going to open my mouth again.’ She was like that, very self‑deprecating. And deeply vulnerable,” Streisand wrote.
The 970-page memoir went on sale Tuesday, with the audiobook clocking in at 48 hours.
In the book, she also shares remembrances of disco star Donna Summer, whom she calls “a doll,” her first husband Elliott Gould, and “The Prince of Tides” author Pat Conroy.
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