Entertainment & Arts

Barbra Streisand, Larry Kramer feuding again over ‘Normal Heart’

The decades-old spat between Barbra Streisand and playwright Larry Kramer over the failed attempts to film his play “The Normal Heart” is back on -- this time on the director/actress’ website.

Responding to critical email from Kramer, Streisand wrote on her website Thursday: “I think it’s unfair to keep blaming me for the movie not getting made. I worked on it for 25 years, without pay. Larry had the rights for the last 15 years and he couldn’t get it made either. Those are the facts, and none of this is news to Larry.”

In the 1980s, Streisand was attached to direct Kramer’s 1985 autobiographical drama about the early days of the AIDS  epidemic. After several false starts and a tug-of-war over money and rewrites, the option returned to Kramer.

The story is now in the hands of “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy, who optioned the play last year, and has assembled a cast that includes Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Alec Baldwin and Jim Parsons, who starred in the play’s 2011 Broadway revival, which won a Tony.


Kramer reportedly decided to open old wounds by sending Streisand raves following the June 8 opening of the play at the Kreeger Theater in Washington, D.C. 

“Why make me sad that I’m not directing your wonderful play??” Streisand responded with an email sent via her assistant.

The New York Post reported that Kramer sent an email Saturday blaming Streisand’s lack of “passion” and interest in other endeavors for the film not being made all those years ago. “You had other movies and tours to make first,” Kramer wrote.

Kramer also praised Murphy for enhancing and financing the work, writing to Streisand, “You said you couldn’t get financing. He has his financing. He said if he couldn’t get it, he’d finance it himself. (You chose to remodel and redecorate your houses.)”


In her post, Streisand wrote that she “tried very hard” to get the movie made, but Kramer’s $1 million price tag for the rights and the controversial topic was too much for studios.

She concluded with, “I will always believe in Larry’s play and its powerful theme about everyone’s right to love.”


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