Barbra Streisand’s memoir “My Name is Barbra” was released Tuesday, and one of the anecdotes in the long-in-the-making autobiography is about how Judy Garland warned her not to let Hollywood treat her the same way.
In 1963, Garland had her own TV show on CBS and duetted in an episode with then-rising star Streisand.
“Judy and I became friends. …And I remember she said something I never fully 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 seem curious,” Streisand wrote in an excerpt shared with People.
“Six years later [her show]“She was dead at 47,” Streisand lamented. “What a tragedy… and what a loss. She was an extraordinary talent.”
Garland, a former child star, was notoriously put on diet drugs by studios when she hit puberty and then unceremoniously released into one of Hollywood’s most tragic tales of exploitation. She died in 1969 of an accidental barbiturate overdose.
Streisand also wrote that she and Garland hit it off immediately. “People were looking for some kind of rivalry between us. And when they couldn’t find anything, they invented it. I found Judy completely generous. We took turns singing a medley of songs, and she wasn’t just focused on herself. She watched me and answered me. She reached out and brushed back a strand of my hair, like a mother.”
The EGOT winner says Garland’s daughter, Liza Minnelli, told her that her mother was in awe of Streisand’s talent. “Her mother’s first reaction when she heard me sing was, ‘I’ll never open my mouth again.’ She was so, very self-deprecating. And deeply vulnerable,” Streisand wrote.
The 970-page memoir went on sale on Tuesday, and the audio book was released after 48 hours.
In the book she also recounts memories of disco star Donna Summer, whom she calls “a doll”, her first husband Elliott Gould and “Prince of Tides” author Pat Conroy.