While we know about Barbra Streisand, 76, and her incredible successful career — a career that has included everything from Oscars, to Grammys, to Golden Globes, one thing about Barbra we don’t know a lot about is about her mother Diana. And that’s mainly because Barbra doesn’t speak about her very often. Barbra did recently sit down with Daily Mail to reveal some aspects about her relationship with her mother though.
After her father Emanuel died of an accidental morphine overdose when Barbra was only 15-months-old, her mother was left to look after her. Although Barbra reveals that her mother was not the typical mother.
“I think there are parents who don’t really like themselves,” Barbra says. “They don’t like their offspring either. My mother meant well. She loved me as best she could. She had dreams of her own and she wanted to be a singer. She was jealous, and that was staggering for me to learn.”
“She never praised me to my face but I have a feeling she praised me to other people,” Barbra adds. “And she never hugged me or said, ‘I love you.’ I’m more of a toucher than my mother. Now I’m older I can do it, but for a long time touching felt alien. I always felt, ‘Why are you hugging me, what is this about?’ I didn’t understand it and it felt uncomfortable. But I owe her my career. It was painful on the way up. I was always trying to prove to her that I was worthy of being somebody. She’d say, ‘Your voice needs strengthening. Put an egg in milk and whip it up.'”
“She called it a ‘guggle muggle.’ It was disgusting,” Barbra recalls. “Other people praised my voice but my mother would say, ‘It’s not good enough, it’s not strong.'” Barbra also recalls a time during a tour in 2012 (her mother passed in 2002) when she played a record her mother had made to the audience.
“She had a beautiful voice. When I was young we had a week’s vacation every year in the Catskill Mountains in New York state, and that’s when my mother hired a pianist so she could make this record,” Barbra says. “And we played it on stage so I could say, ‘Ma, you finally made it. You’re singing in front of thousands of people.’ She always said she was too shy. I had a good voice too. On the block I was known as the girl with the good voice and no father. I suppose you have to go through these turbulent times. She motivated me to prove I was worth it.”
I think Barbra turned out pretty well despite it all. And don’t be surprised if we hear more stories about Barbra’s past and family in the autobiography she’s been working on…for the last four years: “I like writing my book… sort of,” Barbra says. “I’m trying to convince the publisher to do it in two volumes now.”
Does that mean we get two parts when the books eventually get made into movies and Lady Gaga plays Babs?