NOTE: Barbra Streisand and Canada's Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau began seeing each other after they met in London at the Funny Girl film premiere. After Barbra wrapped filming on The Owl and the Pussycat, she joined Trudeau in Canada for some public outings.

Happy Birthday, Manitoba

January 30, 1970

Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and actress Barbra Streisand visit backstage after a performance by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet at the National Arts Centre 1/28/70. It was Manitoba Day at the Arts Centre as part of festivities celebrating the centennial of the province of Manitoba.

Streisand shakes hands with Manitobans

photos of Streisand with Pierre Trudeau

Actress Barbra Streisand joined Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Wednesday night in singing happy birthday to the province of Manitoba at a National Arts Centre party in Ottawa in honor of Manitoba's centennial. Miss Streisand was Trudeau's date for the evening which included a performance by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company. Winnipeg is capital of the province.

Scaasi gown worn by Ms. Streisand

[Above: Streisand's ensemble was designed by Arnold Scaasi. It was auctioned in 2004. “Fully lined cream wool jacket trimmed at the collar and cuffs in fur and accented with rhinestones and beads. The full length dress with empire waist consists of a silk bodice with silk chiffon overlay, decorated in floral motif with straw threads and unique rhinestones and beads. The skirt is cream colored wool. Dress zips up the back. The designers label is in the dress and the jacket.”]

Streisand shakes a fan's hand

Barbra Archives Notes:

Pierre Trudeau died in 2000. Barbra Streisand contributed the following words to the 2006 book Pierre: Colleagues and Friends Talk about the Trudeau They Knew (Nancy Southam, Editor):

Pierre Trudeau was a graceful balance of contradictions. He was an elegant, private, and dignified man who was also charmingly bohemian. And it all flowed through him so naturally. He was always ahead of his time.

[ ... ]

Both personally and politically, Pierre was a complex and fascinating man, with the wit and brilliance to charm us all. I so admired him for his iconoclastic and unconventional style, such as the day he so famously first wore sandals into the House of Commons.

There was a strange serendipity in our meeting. During a period when there was no significant other in my life, my friend, Cis Corman, and I were looking through Life magazine, jokingly checking if there might be a suitable candidate somewhere in the pages who would be right for me. There was a piece on Pierre, and he certainly captured my imagination. By the way, l’ve always believed that imagination can manifest itself in reality.

Some time later, in 1968 or 1969, I attended a party following the premiere of Funny Girl in London, and was placed at Princess Margaret's table, as was — to my surprise — the prime minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau. He was everything my imagination promised and more.

l was fascinated by him, but when he asked me to dance, I told him I didn't like to dance in public and introduced him to Cis, who was his delighted dancing partner that night — with pictures on the front page the next day.

As my friendship with Pierre developed, he invited me to Ottawa to attend the opening-night performance of the National Ballet of Canada. I brought Cis along as my chaperone. I knew I'd have a good time, since my lucky number is 24, and he lived at 24 Sussex Drive. Pierre held himself — and others — to strict disciplines. Very few things took precedence over his strict regime, and dinner guests all knew that they were to make their departure at 10 p.m.

[ ... ]

Both during his time as head of government and later, he was a model of dignity and humanity, qualities the international community noticed by nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize, and awarding him the Einstein Peace Foundation International Peace Prize. And what impressed me always was that he did it all with his own brand of flair and sense of justice that was the key to all he was and did.

He reminded me of the father I lost — intellectual, yet physical, loving sports and information, that great comtection of mind and body. I'm very proud to have been a part of his life.


[ top of page ]