In 1963, Judy Garland was a forty-one year old fading star just a few short years from her own premature death from a drug overdose, while Barbra Streisand was twenty-one and an emerging star who already had a cult following. Garland, always broke, needed her new television show to be a hit — and Streisand had a reputation as a guest star who could bring standout ratings and reviews. And so it was that Garland pieced together her own fragile self-confidence and invited the irrepressible Streisand to be a guest on her show: “At forty-one, Garland looked a decade older. Pills, alcohol, heartache, illness, roller-coaster dieting — and the recent ongoing battles with her husband over their children — had all taken their toll. This television show, for which she'd now taped eight episodes, was supposed to make her rich. That was what Begelman and Fields had promised. Garland was always broke, due to bad financial management and overspending. She envied male contemporaries such as Bing Crosby and Bob Hope who were rolling in the dough, much of it earned in television. This show, she hoped, would change all that. Her agents had never been wrong before. But problems had arisen almost from the start. …
“Barbra [Streisand] was the most exciting, most talked-about guest they'd had on their brand new revolving stage since they'd started production. Everyone was hoping Barbra could bring a little of the razzle-dazzle she'd bestowed upon [shows like] Brasselle and Garry Moore and Dinah Shore — and the ratings and the reviews as well. “In her trailer at the end of the mock Yellow Brick Road, Garland, wasn't unaware of the excitement being generated by the arrival of this Streisand kid. She was 'nervous and anxious and jealous,' one friend, Tucker Fleming, observed. Looking at her face in the mirror, Garland ran her fingers down the wrinkles and creases she saw there, clearly aware of the youthful features of the singer she would soon be rehearsing with….