James Spada is the author of fourteen books, including the international bestsellers Peter Lawford: The Man Who Kept the Secrets, Grace: The Secret Lives of a Princess, Monroe: Her Life in Pictures, and Streisand: The Woman and the Legend.
Born and raised in Staten Island, New York, he founded a Marilyn Monroe Fan Club at thirteen and edited its journals for four years. As a college student in 1969, he began a political quarterly devoted exclusively to Senator Edward M. Kennedy. He spent the summer of 1970 as a Senate intern in Kennedy's Boston office.
In 1977, Spada became the only author to write an authorized career biography of Robert Redford. In 1981 and 1982, his best-selling pictorial books about Barbra Streisand and Marilyn Monroe were published, followed by studies of Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, Jane Fonda, Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty, and Katharine Hepburn. His 1987 book, Grace, spent nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was translated in thirteen languages. His Peter Lawford biography was serialized by Vanity Fair in 1991 and also became a New York Times bestseller.
He lives in Los Angeles.
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Singer. Actress. Producer. Director. Activist. Wife. Mother. Lover. Barbra Streisand has risen from humble beginnings to become one of the most talented, versatile, and influential women of our time. In STREISAND: Her Life, best-selling biographer James Spada delivers the definitive biography of this one-woman conglomerate.
Based on more than 200 interviews with Streisand's friends, relatives, and colleagues, along with never-before conducted research, Spada uncovers surprising and often startling details of this very private star's life. "For 30 years she has surprised, delighted, angered, polarized, and riveted the public," Spada says. "She is still going where many tell her not to."
In STREISAND, Spada traces the life and career of Barbra with equal depth. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Streisand began performing in her teens as an actress; she only began singing on a dare. But it was because of her voice, which brought her cabaret bookings in the early 1960s, that she initially became famous.
Never conventionally beautiful, she knew she had to make her talent outshine her looks, and always refused to remake herself to anyone else's liking. That sense of resolve and single-mindedness paid off in the years to come, as success followed success: a record deal, the big break in Funny Girl on both stage and screen, and the transition from Broadway darling to the toast of Hollywood. As her movie career developed, the appeal of branching out into production and then direction became even stronger. Her 1983 directorial debut, Yentl, and her second film The Prince of Tides earned both box-office dollars and critical acclaim. An avid supporter of AIDS research and other charitable causes, Barbra has become more involved than ever in recent years as a political and social activist, but always continues to grow and take risks as an artist.
In STREISAND, Spada delivers not only a thorough look at this celebrity's multi-faceted career but also an in-depth examination of her well-guarded personal life. We learn about her lovers, including Elliott Gould, Jon Peters, Don Johnson, and Elvis Presley, among others; her parents, including her complicated relationships with her mother and her abusive stepfather; and her son, including how she dealt with his homosexuality. Spada also provides a complete filmography and an annotated discography of the star's work, along with 32 pages of photographs.