Sunday, January 29, 2012

Some of the Many Mistakes in the New Book "Barbra: A Retrospective"


Here are a baker's dozen of the many mistakes in Allegra Rossi's boo, Barbra: A Retrospective. In each case, the false information is stated, then the truth is revealed:

1. FALSE: "Color Me Barbra" was savaged by critics.
TRUE: The reviews for the TV special were equal to "My Name Is Barbra," including this one from the New York Times: "Barbra Streisand's success on her first hour-long special was no lucky accident. She proved that last night when, in 'Color Me Barbra,' she did variations on the formula of her first show and, if anything, topped herself." The special received two Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Musical Program. The album got a Grammy nomination as Album of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year.

2. FALSE: Barbra's husband at the time, Elliott Gould, gave her the French poodle, Sadie, for Barbra's 23rd birthday.
TRUE: The cast of "Funny Girl" presented her the dog for her birthday. During "Color Me Barbra," on camera, told how she reached into the box and thought she'd be given a warm hat!

3. FALSE: Marty Erlichman is her agent.
TRUE: Marty is now and was always Barbra's personal manager.

4. FALSE: Barbra loved "People" and fought to keep it in Broadway's "Funny Girl."
TRUE: On first listen, Barbra didn't like the song because she believed "people who don't need people" are luckier than those who "do need people." Eventually, she grew to love the song. The person who fought to keep "People" in the show was Jule Styne, the composer.

5. FALSE; Barbra knew she was pregnant before "Funny Girl" opened in London.
TRUE: Barbra didn't know she was pregnant until opening night when her friend Cis Corman had taken Barbra's urine sample to the doctor for a rabbit test to confirm her suspicion. While accepting congratulations for her performance from celebrities and royalty, in her mind, Barbra was thinking they were congratulating her for becoming pregnant!

6. FALSE: Barbra met Phyllis Diller in off-Broadway show called "Driftwood."
TRUE: Joan Rivers was Barbra's cast mate in that workshop production. Barbra met Phyllis Diller at the Bon Soir when they became good friends.

7. FALSE: "My Name Is Barbra" broadcast on April 14, 1965.
TRUE: "My Name Is Barbra" was broadcast on April 28, 1965.

8. FALSE: Barbra's first husband spelled his name Elliot Gould.
TRUE: Like Barbra spells her name without the extra 'a,' Elliot has two 'T's' -- Elliott.

9. FALSE: Streisand started filming "Funny Girl" in August 1967.
TRUE: Barbra started shooting her first film in May 1967, took a few days off in June to do "A Happening in Central Park," and was shooting the "Don't Rain on My Parade" musical sequence on July 18, 1967 in New York harbor. The New York TImes wrote about the shooting in the July 19, 1967 edition of the paper.

10. FALSE: James Wong Howe won his second -- and last -- Oscar for "Funny Lady."
TRUE: Howe received his tenth and final Oscar nomination for "Funny Lady."

11.FALSE: On Broadway, "Funny Girl" played at the Majestic and Broadway theaters.
TRUE: Barbra Streisand only appeared on the stage of the Winter Garden theater in "Funny Girl."

12. FALSE: Rossie says in the Pixar film "WALL-E," there were many clips from the movie "Hello, Dolly" which all showed Barbra as Dolly.
TRUE: "WALL-E" shows only one clip from "Dolly," the song "It Only Takes A Moment" which does not include Barbra at all.

13. FALSE: John Brooks was the composer of "You Light Up My Life," the song which tied "Evergreen" at the 1978 Grammys for Best Song.
TRUE: The composer's name was Joel Brooks.


  1. I think this author just wrote a book,just to say that they did!! They did NO RESEARCH what so ever!! This is not only pathetic it's sad, and I hope the author is embarrassed!!!!

  2. She also awarded an Oscar to Lauren Bacall as Best Supporting Actress for "The Mirror Has to Faces", while she was nominated and didn't win it. Yes the book was poorly written and proof-checked while the pictures are beautiful. Shame on Ms Rossi