Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images
Barbra Streisand and James Brolin in East Hampton, New York, July 6, 2014. Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images
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The Streisands, They’re Just Like Us!

Barbra and her hubby do not share bank accounts, and other fascinating mundanities I can only dream of

Rachel Shukert
November 05, 2015
Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images
Barbra Streisand and James Brolin in East Hampton, New York, July 6, 2014. Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images

There’s more breaking news for Streisand watchers this week (really, news of Barbra should be its own dedicated category of journalism), as Mr. Barbra Streisand himself, James Brolin, let slip in an interview for his new multi-generational CBS sitcom Life in Pieces (otherwise known as the show that kept Dianne Wiest in her apartment), that he and his lady-wife—who again, is the one and only Barbra Joan Streisand—keep their money in separate bank accounts.

Brolin reasonably pointed out that this was done on the advice of a wide variety of friends and financial consultants. Given the known fact of Streisand’s legendarily vast wealth, and Brolin’s presumably less vast but still considerable resources (the man’s been working for a long time, after all), this seems like solid advice. “This is my third marriage, and I know what trouble can come out of marriage,”Brolin said. “So I didn’t want any reason that I would ever have to be either divorced or married again.”

Fair enough! My husband and I also maintain separate bank accounts, although in our case, this has mostly led to recrimination, suspicion, and resentment, which, I suspect, has more to do with the relatively meager contents of said accounts rather than the fact of their bifurcation. But anyway: stars! They’re just like us!

Streisand, despite the success of her recent album Partners and the release, in October, of a new collection of remastered recordings from 1962, has remained characteristically Sphinx-like on the matter. But between this and a recent account from Glee showrunner Ryan Murphy about what it’s like to have dinner at the Streisand compound, I’m on the edge of my seat, wondering which quotidian detail of our greatest star’s life will hit the press next: Will her household staff start dishing about her famous penchant for Triscuits and string cheese? Will James Brolin, in his next publicity interview, start saying things like: “You know, we never get around to doing our taxes until, like, April 13th on the dot. Every year, when our 1099’s start coming in, Barbra and I say to each other, this year we’re going to get on top of it right away, and then we just let it slide.” Or will he go even more personal with something like: “You know, I like the quilted toilet paper, but Barbra says it’s a waste of money, and I guess you can’t really tell the difference anyway, when it comes down to it.” Or might Barbra herself finally give an interview, telling us what kind of hard candy she keeps in her purse, or wisely muse that “honestly, my greatest tip to the woman on the go is to never, never clean out your handbag. You never know when you’re going to need a crumpled Kleenex, or a really old stick of gum, or say, one of those little monogrammed head doilies they handed out at your nephew’s bar mitzvah in 1982. Waste not, want not, that’s my motto. What do you want from me? I was born right after the Depression.”

If I were to get that, then nothing, save my own invitation to the underground mall, could ever make me happier.

Rachel Shukert is the author of the memoirs Have You No Shame? and Everything Is Going To Be Great,and the novel Starstruck. She is the creator of the Netflix show The Baby-Sitters Club, and a writer on such series as GLOW and Supergirl. Her Twitter feed is @rachelshukert.

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