‘Hello, Gorgeous – Becoming Barbra Streisand,’ by William J. Mann – NYTimes.com

Her early life is a writer’s feast. It involves childhood tragedy the death of her kindly father when Streisand was an infant, emotional neglect from her mother, Diana, a frustrated singer who rarely gave her a warm word of approval and outright abuse by a stepfather who called her ugly. Erasmus Hall High School’s “odd duck” pursued acting with a vengeance, but met mostly snubs.

Sidney Fields/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images (1962
Sidney Fields/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images (1962)

Singing was her second choice. In the cabarets of Manhattan, which embraced talented weirdos, Streisand found a home. Supportive friends, many of them gay, helped transform her into a Brooklyn Cinderella. Bob Schulenberg, an illustrator, did her makeup in the style of a ’30s movie star, and suggested retro-glam clothes. Dennen, a fledgling actor-comic, went further, schooling her in the great singers and steering her toward several of her best-known songs. He urged her to enter a talent contest at the Lion, a local gay bar — she won — and groomed her for her debut at the Bon Soir, the fabled basement cabaret on West Eighth Street. Romance bloomed: Streisand moved into his Village apartment, where they conducted an unlikely love affair.

via ‘Hello, Gorgeous – Becoming Barbra Streisand,’ by William J. Mann – NYTimes.com.

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  1. August 23, 2014

    I know it’s an awful thing to say, but her face does look like it was drawn by Jim Henson 😀

    • August 23, 2014

      Yesterday I looked like I was created by Henri Matisse! The asymmetrical aftermath of a migraine 😉 . Check out Bob Schulenberg’s website, you will love his illustrations, and his delightful memories… A lot of them were published online in the http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/
      xox, V

  2. August 23, 2014

    Thank you, Esth– uh – Vickie. Have I told you again recently – yet again – how much I enjoyed your book? I keep thinking I can run down the hill to meet Anne, Cliff and the baby at Treuscher for a champagne truffle. Or two.
    Or three!
    Stay de-migrainesd!

  3. August 24, 2014

    Not a fan of Streisand, but I am sorry to hear she had a rough childhood.

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