Barbra Streisand's Memoir Contradicted Previous Claims About Her Relationship With Warren Beatty

Hollywood stars Barbra Streisand and Warren Beatty have had a long history of playing a coquettish "did we, didn't we" game regarding their possible fling in the 1960s. While Beatty has long insisted that the couple did get together briefly, Streisand has famously denied the story as a misremembered rumor. But as it turns out, Beatty might've been right after all. 

Streisand changed her tune about Beatty in her 2023 memoir "My Name is Barbra," explaining that she and Beatty had known each other for decades, stretching back to their days at a New England playhouse in the late 1950s. The multi-hyphenate performer recalled speaking with Beatty about politics and other subjects before the "Bonnie & Clyde" actor said, "I remember why we broke up." Streisand wrote, "I said, 'When were we together?'" (via Entertainment Weekly).

The "Funny Girl" actor wrote that after she and Beatty ended their phone call, she tried to recall if the fling had actually happened. She wrote: "Did I sleep with Warren? I kind of remember. I guess I did. Probably once." 

Barbra Streisand has long denied rumors of a romance with Warren Beatty

While Barbra Streisand and Warren Beatty were never officially linked as a couple, a dinner party exchange captured in Kathy Griffin's book "Celebrity Run-Ins" offered an inside look into the celebrities' flirty, lighthearted dynamic, per the Hollywood Reporter. The brash comedian all but forced the two stars to address the long-held rumors at Jane Fonda's 75th birthday party, writing, "I said [to Warren], 'Barbra's rehashing that story about how you always claim to have hooked up in the back of a car.'" Beatty quickly replied that he believed that to be true.

Streisand, seated next to Griffin at the dinner table, set the record straight. "Warren, I'm not going to have this fight with you again. We nev-ah hooked up," Griffin wrote, referencing Streisand's distinct Brooklyn accent. Still, Beatty insisted, adding more details. "Noooo, Barbra, I think we did," Griffin paraphrased. "We were coming back from that little club in the Catskills."

Griffin's book was released in 2016, which might have been the memory jog Streisand needed before releasing her memoir seven years later. And for Beatty's part, Streisand had glibly admitted to having a brief hookup with Beatty during a 1970 Playboy interview. However, the "People" singer wrote in her memoir that it was a tongue-in-cheek quip at best. "I was just tossing off a reply, playing the role of a jaded woman of the world," Streisand wrote (via EW).

Barbra Streisand and Warren Beatty met as young actors in 1958

"He said, she said" rumors aside, Barbra Streisand and Warren Beatty's connection at the Clinton Playhouse in Connecticut is indisputable. Streisand followed her mentors, actor Anita Miller and her husband and acting coach Alan Miller, to the playhouse after catching the married couple's attention while working as a teenage stagehand at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village. The Millers invited Streisand to go to Connecticut with them and watch their children while they worked on a production of "Tobacco Road."

The singer described the experience of meeting a then-21-year-old Beatty during his first summer at the Connecticut playhouse, per her archive website. "Can you imagine, he asked if I would cue him!" the performer recalled. "That's the closest I ever got to a casting couch, not that I could get a part! I saw him a month ago. We're always, 'I can't get over it. Here we are.' We were both nobodies!" Streisand wrote in her memoir that she and Beatty often ate together and have remained close friends ever since.

Beatty even delivered a speech at Streisand's AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony in 2001, which Streisand recounted in her memoir, writing, "Warren Beatty described meeting me when I had just turned sixteen. 'Even then you had that one-of-a-kind mix of intelligence, critical skepticism, and eroticism that we all know and love so well,'" per EW. Affair or not, Beatty clearly has great admiration for his fellow star.