Ryan Murphy pays beautiful tribute to Barbra Streisand as her TV career is celebrated at Paleyfest
Still processing last night. It was a tribute to the television career of Barbra Streisand on opening night of Paleyfest in Hollywood. It was like buttah. It was gay church. It was nirvana. After we were treated to a most delicious buffet of clips from Streisand’s various TV specials and guest appearances, she took to the stage and sat down for a Q&A with Ryan Murphy. But before Streisand appeared, Murphy shared with the audience the potent experience of seeing Funny Girl for the first time.
“The interesting thing about [Funny Girl] to me was I left and I said to my grandmother in the car afterwards, ‘I want to go back [to see the film again], and I want to be like her. To me, that’s not a male thing, it’s not a female thing, it’s not a straight and it’s not a gay thing. I saw something in Barbra Streisand that really touched my soul,” Murphy said. “She was the first of her kind as an artist, in our business and in the world. She had incredible power, she suffered no fools. You could tell that she was going to do things her way. She was not going to be [put] into a box that men created, and she kept that spirit alive throughout her entire career.”
“Many people talk about Barbra as the greatest female star of them all, and I say, ‘No. That’s not enough.’ People use the phrase ‘other’—‘the other’—and Barbra Streisand really was the first ‘other’ in our culture. She was singular, she was an artist who, on paper, probably should not have worked, but just by pure force of talent, and magnetism, and charisma, pushed through so many glass ceilings,” the producer continued. “She created an incredible career and an incredible life, her way. I think Barbra is the greatest star, male or female, that the world has ever seen, and I honestly don’t think that I would be in show business without having seen her at a very young age.”