“Becoming Barbra” by Bill Eppridge— Photos of a Star

Eppridge, Bill. “Becoming Barbra”, Rizzoli, 2018,

Photos of a Star

Amos Lassen

“Becoming Barbra” is a  never-before-seen look at Barbra Streisand when she was a star in the making by award-winning photographer Bill Eppridge who had full access to her. There are photographs of Streisand’s beginnings in 1963 to her stardom in 1966. The photos were taken by renowned Life magazine photographer Bill Eppridge. He photographed Streisand shopping in a thrift shop; trying on outfits in her apartment; there are pictures of a Streisand appearance on the “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” which was then live from New York. We see Streisand meeting with Broadway producer David Merrick who wanted her for the starring role in Broadway’s “Funny Girl”, which took her up to celebrity status.

By the time Eppridge met Streisand in 1966, she was already a star— the film of “Funny Girl” had just wrapped, CBS had signed her to star in three television specials, five of her albums had gone gold and one platinum, and she had received three Grammys and an Emmy. Eppridge photographed Streisand throughout her rehearsals and recording sessions, then went to Paris where he covered her at fashion shows with Marlene Dietrich and Coco Chanel, and captured a Richard Avedon shoot of her for French Vogue.

The photographs say a great deal without uttering a word; they are “vivid, candid, and a truly intriguing and unprecedented look at the beginnings of Streisand’s career”. This is “an intimate photo album by a master photographer of one of the most talented performers of our time.

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