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Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisandby William J. Mann
Synopses & Reviews
The best-selling biographer of Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor tells the electrifying story of how Barbra Streisand transformed herself into the greatest star of her era, etching “an indelible portrait of the artist as a young woman” (Publishers Weekly).
In 1960, she was a seventeen-year-old Brooklyn kid with plenty of talent but no connections and certainly no money; her mother brought her soup to make sure she stayed fed as she took acting classes and scraped out a living. Just four years later, Barbra Streisand was the top-selling female recording artist in America and the star of one of Broadways biggest hits. Now the acclaimed Hollywood biographer William Mann chronicles that dizzying ascent, telling the riveting behind-the-scenes story of how Streisand and her team transformed her from an unknown dreamer into a worldwide superstar.
Drawing on the private papers of Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse, and interviewing scores of the friends and lovers who knew Barbara before she became Barbra, Mann recreates the vanished world of 1960s New York City and uncovers the truth behind the myths of her formative years. He shows us how Funny Girl was slowly altered, by Fosse and Robbins among others, from a Fanny Brice bio into a star-making vehicle for Streisand; takes us into the clubs and onto the set for her early nightclub and television appearances, including her torch-handing turn with Judy Garland; and introduces the canny marketing team whose strategies made her stardom seem inevitable. The Streisand who emerges is a revelation: a young woman who, for all her tough-skinned ambition, was surprisingly vulnerable in love.
Everyone who has felt outside the gate, as she once did, remembers a time when the newness and difference of Barbra Streisand changed everything and rewrote all the rules. In Hello, Gorgeous, Mann incisively illuminates the woman before she became the icon and pays tribute to one of the worlds most beloved performers.
"Bestselling biographer Mann (of Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor) chronicles the dazzling series of events as Streisand 'gate-crashed her way to fame.' Mann tightens the focus in this hefty volume to just the early, formative years of her career, choosing 1964 as his cutoff point. Beginning with her 1960 acting classes at age 17 and her friends then, he traces her journey as a performer. Boyfriend BarrÃ© Dennen steered her away from acting into singing, giving her an education on the great female vocalists and helping her develop a club act. After winning contests at a gay Greenwich Village club, she changed her name from Barbara to Barbra (to become 'the only Barbra in the world'). Her nightclub performances 'displayed the raw power of Piaf,' and word spread. After her TV debut on The Tonight Show, she arrived on Broadway in 1962 in I Can Get It for You Wholesale, followed by Funny Girl two years later. The marketing of Streisand and the men in her life are key themes throughout. Combining extensive interviews (some anonymous) and exhaustive archival research, Mann balances intimate personal details with audience reactions and critical acclaim to etch an indelible portrait of the artist as a young woman. 16-page and 8-page b&w photo inserts. Agent: Malaga Baldi, Baldi Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The acclaimed and bestselling biographer of Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor charts Barbra Streisands climb to fame during her New York years and tells the electrifying story of how she transformed herself into the greatest superstar of her era.
A narrative account of Elizabeth Taylor's career, with particular attention paid to how the consummate movie star influenced and crafted her image over the years.
"[An] excellent new work . . . One can only put down Hello, Gorgeous with renewed appreciation for Barbras single-mindedness, and with some glimpse of her inner struggle." —Liz Smith, syndicated columnist
“Barbra Streisand’s story may be the most triumphant case of revenge in show business history . . . Mann vividly evokes the atmosphere of Streisand’s New York.”—New York Times
In 1960, Barbra Streisand was just a seventeen-year-old Brooklyn kid with plenty of talent but no connections and certainly no money; her mother brought her soup to make sure she stayed fed as she took acting classes and scraped out a living. Just four years later, she was the top-selling female recording artist in America and the star of one of Broadway’s biggest hits. In Hello, Gorgeous, the acclaimed Hollywood biographer William Mann chronicles that dizzying ascent, telling the riveting behind-the-scenes story of how Streisand and her team transformed her from an unknown dreamer into one of the world’s most beloved superstars.
“Trying to figure out the Barbra Streisand mystique is no easy task, but author William Mann expertly captures the launch of her remarkable career in the early 1960s when a unique ‘star was born’ . . . Mann's meticulous research and insightful analysis go deeper than any previous biography: shedding light on the formative years that shaped Streisand's persona, debunking some myths . . . and providing a cultural snapshot of the wild and free-spirited era in which Streisand blossomed.”—USA Today
“In his masterful book, Mann captures one of the most fully realized pictures of the multi-hyphenate superstar to date . . . Many books have been written about Streisand but few, if any, put readers as close to the subject as Mann does."—Miami Herald
Elizabeth Taylor has never been short on star power, but in this unprecedented biography, the spotlight is entirely on her—a spirited beauty full of magic, professional daring, and wit.
Acclaimed biographer William Mann follows Elizabeth Taylor publicly as she makes her ascent at MGM, falls into (and out of) marriages, wins Oscars, fights studio feuds, and combats America's conservative values with her decidedly modern love affairs. But he also shines a light on Elizabeth's rich private life, revealing a love for her craft and a loyalty to the underdog that fueled her lifelong battle against the studio system. Swathed in mink, disposing of husbands but keeping the diamonds—this is Elizabeth Taylor as she lived and loved, breaking and making the rules in the game of supreme celebrity.
About the Author
WILLIAM J. MANN is the author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn, which was named a New York Times Notable Book, as well as several other acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction. He divides his time between Provincetown, Massachusetts, and New York City.
Table of Contents
Why Streisand Now 1
1. Winter 1960 9
2. Spring 1960 37
3. Summer 1960 57
4. Fall 1960 83
5. Winter-Spring 1961 104
6. Summer 1961 133
7. Fall 1961 154
8. Winter 1962 177
9. Spring 1962 212
10. Summer 1962 244
11. Fall 1962 271
12. Winter 1963 295
13. Spring 1963 322
14. Summer 1963 346
15. Fall 1963 383
16. Winter 1964 431
17. Spring 1964 471
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