Oprah: I was just listening to my old Barbra CDs. You are truly one of the musical legends of our time.
Barbra: I think of myself as a girl from Brooklyn.
Oprah: How can you, when you're sitting in this house, looking at that ocean?
Barbra: I have two sides. For instance, I have no problem giving away lots of money, but the Brooklyn part of me still has to ask, "Is that tile $10.95 a square foot?"
Oprah: I understand. But can you acknowledge what your voice and art have meant to the world?
Barbra: At times. But that's like contemplating your navel. Every time I look out over that ocean and see the lights of the city at night, I am in awe. To have this house now feels like being 21—like I've just made it on Broadway and I get to have all this. On one hand, you're talking about me as a legend. On the other hand, I remember trying to get an apartment on Park Avenue in the early sixties when I was a big star, and either because I was Jewish or an actress, I couldn't get in. I had letters from the mayor, the governor, the attorney general....
Oprah: And you still couldn't get in.
Barbra: Right. And no matter how many sold-out shows I do, I also understand when my records don't sell as many copies anymore. I think, "Well, I've been around for what, 40-some years?" I mean, it's the next person's turn. I could believe it if nobody came to see me.
Barbra: I wouldn't like it. But I'm also grateful that I've been around this long. I'm told I've had a number one album in every decade since the sixties.
Oprah: When did you know you had the voice?
Barbra: When I was maybe 5 or 6 years old, the neighborhood girls would sit on the stoop and sing. I was known as the kid who had a good voice and no father.
Oprah: I read that you resented your father for many years because he wasn't there.
Barbra: I wouldn't say resent, but maybe subconsciously. He died when I was 15 months old.
Oprah: Didn't your mother talk about him?
Barbra: No. Later in life, I said, "Why didn't you ever tell me about my father?" She said, "I didn't want you to miss him."
Oprah: Were you angry?
Barbra: Maybe. I just didn't know I was angry.
Oprah: Did your mother remarry?
Barbra: Yes, and my stepfather didn't like me. Maybe because he had three kids from another marriage who didn't live with us. I tried to make him like me for a while. I tried calling him Dad and got him his slippers at night when he came in. I'd get down on my belly and crawl so I didn't walk in front of the TV while he watched wrestling. But did he like me? No way.