Barbra Streisand revealed that Marlon Brando ran into her three times, including when they were both married to other people.
She rose to international superstardom in the 1960s, the decade after he became Hollywood’s heartthrob and ended all heartthrobs.
But the first time he approached her, snuck up behind her at a party and kissed her back, she turned around and said, “You’re destroying my fantasy.”
The second time, his opening line was, “I’d like to fuck you,” leaving the “nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn” so stunned that she blurted out, “That sounds awful.”
Now, in her new memoir My Name Is Barbra, she recalls how their awkward first encounters eventually blossomed into a deep, lasting bond.
But faced with his persistent attempts to get her into bed, did Barbra ever give in?
Did They?: Barbra Streisand Revealed Marlon Brando Ran Into Her Three Times; they first met in 1965, the year in which they are both depicted
Candid: In 1966, a year after Barbra was pictured here, Marlon’s message was, “I’d like to fuck you,” leaving the “nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn” so stunned that she said, “That sounds horrible’
The first time he contacted Barbra was through an intermediary, who told her, “Marlon Brando told me, ‘If you ever see Barbra Streisand, tell that motherfucker she’s great.’
At the time, he was a top movie star and she was still an up-and-coming singer, someone who had appeared on television but was far from the celebrity she eventually achieved.
By the time they met in 1965, however, she was the toast of Broadway in Funny Girl – and had also recorded People, which was such a huge success that it topped The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s charts. Night conquered. .
Barbra, just 23 years old, was backstage at a civil rights benefit where she was scheduled to sing when Marlon, then 41, made his move.
She considered him “the most beautiful, brilliant, talented human being on the planet” – but Barbra, raised by a sexually conservative mother who taught her that she could “catch a disease” just from holding hands with a boy, was completely unprepared for the way he first tried to charm her.
Dressed in an ‘almost backless’ dress, she unexpectedly felt ‘someone kissing my back. Who would dare? I turned around and it was him. My idol.’
“You’re destroying my fantasy,” she said, but Marlon let her heart flutter unperturbed by his response: “You can’t have that back and not let him kiss you.”
Barbra was so confused by the time she went on stage that she stopped in the middle of the song when she was distracted by a backstage noise, and then started the song all over again.
Throwback: Barbra was still with her first husband Elliott Gould at the time, whom she started dating when they were both emerging stage actors; they are pictured in 1967
Wow: Marlon, on the other hand, had his third wife Tarita (right), a dramatically younger French Polynesian actress who he described to Barbra as a “ripe piece of fruit”
“As a professional you just learn to keep going,” she wrote. “But I was so stunned by his presence that I wanted the song to be perfect, just for him.”
They met again a year later at a star-studded London party, held at the home of Leslie Caron, Gigi’s French leading lady.
When Barbra met Marlon there, she was again so impressed by his appeal that instead of a “charming” icebreaker, she said, “Have you had your teeth capped?”
Marlon wasn’t ashamed of her outspokenness, but she was, so she walked away with her tail between her legs and engaged in listless conversation with the other guests – until he came up to her side, took her hand and said winsomely, ” You look good. bored.’
They walked into a private room and began a four-hour intense personal conversation, laying bare the pain of their turbulent childhood.
But at three o’clock he suddenly said, “I’d like to fuck you,” and she was so shocked that she gave him the unfiltered response, “That sounds awful.”
In addition to the bluntness of his approach, his attempted seduction was complicated by the fact that both he and Barbra were married to other people.
At the time, Barbra was still with her first husband Elliott Gould, whom she started dating when they were both emerging stage actors working on an ill-fated Broadway musical called I Can Get It For You Wholesale.
The biggest star: She became an international superstar in the 1960s, winning an Oscar for the 1968 film adaptation (pictured) of her Broadway musical Funny Girl
Smoldering: Marlon became a Hollywood heartthrob in the 1950s with films such as A Streetcar Named Desire, in which he appears on set with his co-star Vivien Leigh
Marlon, meanwhile, was busy with his third wife Tarita, a drastically younger French Polynesian actress whom he compared to a “ripe piece of fruit.”
But that night at Leslie Caron’s party, he continued to grill Barbra, telling her he was unlikely to stay with Elliott “much longer” because he “didn’t look good enough for you.”
Although Barbra was initially “offended” by the comment, years later she thought in retrospect that Marlon had actually made a rather “insightful” point. “Did he know more about my search for beauty than I did at that moment?” she wondered.
By the time he attacked her again in 1972, Barbra and Marlon were both divorced and his world-famous sex appeal began to fade.
Out of the blue, he called her and invited her to “sleep under the stars” with him on an overnight trip to the California desert.
Barbra, who was still “too insecure” sexually to agree, agreed to go with him just for the day – a decision she now responds to by thinking, “How stupid!”
But at the time: ‘Free love wasn’t my style. Besides, how do you brush your teeth in the desert? Do I sleep with my makeup on?’
Although he again could not know Barbra in the Biblical sense, the two cultivated a friendship of moving depth.
Time has passed: by the time he assaulted her again in 1972, Barbra and Marlon were both divorced and his sex appeal began to fade; he is depicted that year
They bonded over their shared artistry, their mutual understanding of the trials of fame, and their willingness to speak freely about their personal fears.
Marlon at one point called Barbra and said, “Sing me a song,” a request she acceded to, arguing, “That’s like me asking you to recite a monologue from Hamlet.”
So he recited a soliloquy from Hamlet and said, “Now it’s your turn,” allowing Barbra to sing the Rodgers & Hart ballad Nobody’s Heart Belongs To Me – a song she first sang in her club act in the 1960s before she became famous.
“When I thought about it now, I used the song to tell him what was going on in my life, even if it was subconsciously,” Barbra wrote.
Although she told him the secrets of her love life through music, even at that point she did not go so far as to actually start a romance with him.
Yet their personal bond endured into his old age and his uncanny decline, when his various demons visibly began to overtake him.
One evening he went to Barbra’s for dinner and had become so fat that he could no longer get away from the wheel without her help.
They never slept together before Marlon died in 2004 at the age of 80 – with Barbra on the star-studded guest list at his funeral.
His failure to conquer Barbra was a source of lasting regret; based on a sad phone call, she still ranks as one of her “fondest memories.”
After seeing her on TV in The Way We Were, he called her and said, “At the last minute you were so vulnerable that I fell in love with you again.”
He reflected, “We should have done more when we were younger, fucked a lot and had kids. Kiss yourself for me in the mirror.”