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Barbra Streisand reveals the role Jackie Kennedy played in her upcoming memoir

The stage and screen icon reveals why she didn’t accept the former first lady’s offer — and whether or not that book is ever coming out.
/ Source: TODAY

Superstar Barbra Streisand has now been in the entertainment business for more than 60 years.

She's released 36 studio albums, starred in 19 films and performed on countless stages around the world. Her efforts have earned her eight Grammys, eight Golden Globes, four Emmys, two Academy Awards, a Tony Award, and she’s even received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

But despite her long list of accomplishments and accolades, somehow the 79-year-old icon still hasn’t released a memoir covering her one-of-a-kind life and career — even though another iconic American woman once offered to serve as her editor.

“In 1984, Jackie Kennedy came to me and said, ‘I’d love to be the editor of your book at Doubleday,’” Streisand recalled during a Tuesday visit to “The Tonight Show.” “We had tea, and she was just so lovely.”

At the time, the former first lady had embarked on a new chapter of her life as an editor, briefly for Viking Press and then for the remainder of her life at Doubleday, following the deaths of her first husband, President John F. Kennedy, and second husband, shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Sitting at Desk With Books
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is shown as a Consulting Editor for the Viking Press circa 1975.Bettmann Archive

And Onassis knew about editing memoirs for superstars, having also worked on Michael Jackson’s bestseller, “Moonwalk,” in the ‘80s.

But she never had the chance to work with Streisand, as the “Memory” singer told host Jimmy Fallon, “I wasn’t ready to do that then.” Later, she found herself taking notes about her life, but, “I was always busy doing something else, so I would write in the journals, then go on to something else," she added.

John F. Kennedy, Barbra Streisand
The iconic singer is seen posing alongside President John F. Kennedy in 1963, 52 years before another commander in chief, Barack Obama, presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.Getty Images

“In 1999, I really started writing,” she explained. “And then other things, concerts and movies or whatever ... and then in 2008, I really started writing. ... What year is it now?”

Fallon reminded her that it’s 2021 and that she’s been teasing a memoir for as long as he can remember. That’s when she made an announcement that’s bound to thrill fans.

“Fortunately, the pandemic helped me finish the book, or I’m almost finished,” she said. “I’ve written 824 pages, and I still have the little epilogue to do. And you know, interesting, my favorite number — because I was born on the 24th — is 24. This book is now 824 pages.”

Which leads her to believe the timing is finally right, as Streisand announced that it should be published next year. Although chances are, even though she’s written it, she won’t read it.

After all, she told Fallon, “I don’t watch my movies, and I don’t watch my television specials, and I don’t listen to my records.”