“You made me feel kinda beautiful, for a long time, you know?”
“You are beautiful, Fanny.”
Those were the last words between Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif in the 1968 movie version of Funny Girl. Then she went out and ripped into a tear-drenched rendition of “My Man.”
Beauty has always been important to Barbra — her own struggles to be a new kind of knockout back when everybody was getting a nose job and nobody was a noticeable Jewess. She succeeded there; literally transforming the landscape of what a leading lady could be. Dozens and dozens of unconventional-looking stars owe their careers to Streisand's belief that she was capable of declaring, “Hello, gorgeous,” and making millions believe it as a fact, not a joke.
Barbra also wanted beauty in her personal life — her homes, decor, clothing, lovers, husbands. This urge to merge with all that is lovely led to the book My Passion for Design. Last week the big, glossy coffee table effort landed on the New York Times best-seller list. Just one more terrific statistic in a career studded with record-breaking statistics.